Relocation for a Marketing Career – Follow the Budget

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Given the real estate slump we are experiencing, USA Today published an interesting story that says employers are offering a bit more help than before to relocate.  Take this with a grain of salt, as the somewhat self-serving study was conducted by apartments.com and careerbuilder.com that arguably generate more revenue when more people are relocated. 

But this brings up an interesting point: in marketing and advertising, relocating is often a crucial way of advancing. All but the smallest of companies need finance or HR people, for instance.  But marketers go where the budgets are. Those who are in the biggest markets for advertising may never have to leave, but odds are most of us in advertising and marketing will consider relocation for their career at some point.   

So I thought it would be a good time to go over a few points when it comes to relocation: 

1) Don’t Abandon Your Marketability – Leave your line of work or leave your city but don’t try both at the same time.  It often leads to a short stint which is not good.

 2) Ask for Help – Most companies do not offer relocation assistance and say so up front.  But they may provide some help to you to make the transition easier, even if it is just a bit of cash to defray your costs. Explain your situation and ask if there could be some help.  The worst they could say is “no.” Offer something extra in return if you need to, such as an accelerated start date before the move. 

3) True Rock Stars are Rare – Don’t expect to get promoted into the job.  Prove yourself first. 

4) Don’t Overdo the Details  Even the most level-headed marketers can go haywire when it comes to uprooting their family.  It happens.  But don’t call your new boss or HR every day to ask minor details.   

5) Weigh the Short Term vs. the Long Term – a geographical move is a long-term career investment.  In the short term, it will cost you time, energy and some of your own money to make the move.  Ask yourself, will this new job provide growth opportunities? Will I get the chance to work on a growing brand? If you are happier in a new job, your family may be better off in a new city. You can always move back (to the city, not the job). 

6) Consider Renting First    This goes against everything your tax guru told you, but especially given the real estate market, and the uncertainty of a new city and new job, weigh the pros and cons before making the financial commitment of buying a new house.  

All circumstances are different, and every city is different, but assuming you have done your homework on the company you are going to, and the chemistry with your new boss and co-workers seems right, relocation can mean a step up in your career. 

Some good moving resources: 

Salary comparison sites:

Homefair.com

www.salary.com

Indeed (salary by location) 

Used moving boxes- nationwide

www.boxquest.com 

Cost of living calculators:

Recruiter’s world

Homefair calculator  

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