is a word that either scares you or excites you. Convincing your spouse and family to make the move, absorbing the costs both psychic and tangible and taking on the risk that living in the new spot may not be as magical as the new job are all scary. New job, new city, new friends and just change itself can add a level of excitement to your life that isn’t found in taking a job in the same city. According to an study “27.8% of people are currently looking for jobs across state borders.” Should you be one of the 27.8%?

Why move?
The study found that “the places with the greatest number of job postings attract the most people from outside.” Indeed even controlled for population impact. “Places with a lot of job openings are growing places, not just places with a lot of employed people.” More opportunity now is what drives most relocations, and a location with economic growth will sustain opportunity for your future.

Cost of Living
As nationwide recruiters, Smith Hanley runs into a cost of living discussion most often when representing openings in California and New York. Many moves cannot be justified through a cost of living analysis. Salaries in New York City will only be 10% higher than the same position in Indianapolis. New York City has a 55% higher a cost of living than Indianapolis…hard to justify that move strictly on dollars. Of course, moving from New York to Indianapolis reaps a terrific benefit. Your similar salary goes much further.

Most experienced candidates move for a reason: to be nearer to extended family, to be in the center of their industry (media to NYC, pharma to NJ, etc.), to follow a spouse or to make a lifestyle change (lower cost of living, warmer OR colder weather, etc). Candidates coming out of their Masters and PhD should remain as location flexible as possible in their job search. That first job out of your advanced degree program sets the tone for your career, limiting the location can limit your long-term success.

From the Company Side
Relocation used to be a synonym for a financial boondoggle. Companies paid for moving costs, temporary housing and often closing costs and broker’s fees for a new home. With the real estate crash of 2008, and heightened expense management this is often no longer the case. Be prepared to compromise on the relocation package to make the move to the job or the location you want.

Smith Hanley Associates, Executive Recruiters, works nationwide with candidates and clients resolving relocation issues just like the ones discussed above. We’d love to help you in your job change. Contact, Jacque Paige at [email protected] or find your specialty recruiter at


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