Relocation… it isn’t what it used to be

header-relocationI’m certainly dating myself when I say I remember the days when insurance companies and most of corporate America not only enticed you to relocate, but they paid you to do so! I moved ten times during my 20 year corporate career. Some of the moves were great, and I earned a sales bonus for selling my home before the company had to take it into their inventory to be sold later. Some of the moves were not so great, especially when I did not sell my home for what I thought it was worth, or even worse … I was not able to sell my home and had to accept the corporate buy out. Whether it was a good or bad move based on my limited criteria, I never had to worry about moving without some form of corporate financial support. Well, those times have passed us by, and now you are very fortunate to find companies willing to provide any financial support (and finding a company that still offers to buy your home if you cannot sell it is next to impossible!).

So why am I talking about relocation? Because it’s still one of the most viable ways for companies to attract new talent. According to a recent article in Property Casualty 360o. with the shrinking talent pool and increasing demand for insurance employees in the coming years, we can expect openings in our industry of nearly 400,000 jobs. That means companies still need to attract employees, and one method is still very powerful … relocation. So what are some tips to consider when faced with the question, should you relocate? Here’s a short list of things to consider:

HOW DOES THE ECONOMY IMPACT YOUR INDUSTRY?

  • Does your industry grow or shrink relative to a good or tough economy?
  • What do experts say are the ‘hot’ geographic locations for the opportunities you seek?
  • Coming out of the Great Recession, do you anticipate your industry is on the cusp of significant growth?
  • How can you best position yourself to take advantage of your skills, competencies and attributes in the current economy?

WHY IS RELOCATION ON YOUR MIND?

  • Are you asking to be relocated, or are you being asked to relocate?
  • Where are you planning to relocate or being asked to relocate?
  • What time of year are you considering relocating?
  • Are you familiar with the relocation process, or is this your first relocation?
  • What are you prepared to do to assist with the relocation?
  • What do you believe will be accomplished by relocating?

WHAT ABOUT THE LOCATION?

  • Is the new opportunity in a desirable location?
  • What’s the economy like in the new location … growing, stable or declining?
  • More specifically, is there growth in your industry or specialty?
  • How many competitive companies are based in the location?

IS THE MOVE CAREER ENHANCING or CAREER ENDING?

  • If you’re being asked to relocate can you say thanks, but no thanks?
  • Do you know how long you will be in the new location?
  • Does this move better position you for future opportunities?
  • Do future opportunities require additional moves? If so when and where?
  • Do you have other opportunities in your current location that you should consider before relocating?

WHAT ABOUT FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES?

  • Is your industry attracting Millennials, or do you see it as predominately Baby Boomers?
  • Is your industry in a talent crisis, or is a talent crisis predicted for your industry?
  • Is it possible to find a new opportunity without relocating?

HOW DOES FAMILY FIGURE INTO THE EQUATION?

  • Do you have a family to consider? If so, how does your family feel about relocating?
  • Have you done a cost of living comparison between your current location and the new location?
  • Do you have children? If so, is this a good time for a move?
  • Have you researched the school districts in the new location?
  • Do you have aging parents or extenuating family circumstances? If so, how will it factor into relocation?

If you were able to answer the questions or had given these questions and others some thought  … congratulations … you are on your way to giving relocation a thorough review to determine if it’s the right next step for you and how to position yourself for success.  We’re just scratching the surface regarding relocation and have not provided a full list of things to consider, nor have we discussed career strategies and ideas to help you answer these questions and others that you may have.  For more information and insight, please feel free to contact us.