The probability that the best job option is right on your doorstep is low. But would you be ready to change your place of residence for a new job? In most cases the answer to this question is probably no. “Job-related mobility is associated with costs and benefits,” says Sebastian Bähr from the Institute for Employment Research in Nuremberg. “For many, however, the benefits are not so great that they would cover the costs.” Even an attractive job offer often cannot change that. Whether or not moving is an option depends heavily on the individual framework conditions. “There are people for whom moving and changing regions is harmless,” says Volker Klärchen. The career coach often has to deal with clients who are faced with the question: move or not?
The earlier, the easier
The step is easier, the further you are at the beginning of your career. “If you have no children, no house, no apartment, no partner, then that is also an opportunity,” says Klärchen. Bähr can confirm that a change of region is particularly useful at the beginning of a professional career. “Mobility is really worthwhile for a group of workers: career starters can achieve income increases faster if they are mobile – and then benefit from it for longer.” According to Bähr, moving more often can be a strategy for making career leaps, regardless of professional experience. “You often get ahead faster if you show mobility than working your way up with an employer.” Even those who have to apply from unemployment automatically have more offers available if they expand the scope of the job search. But how often is often enough and what is too much? “Changing locations is like changing companies,” says Klärchen. “Now and then it shows flexibility, too often it seems erratic.” At some point, professionals should see that they are arriving at a company. Otherwise potential future employers will no longer believe that an applicant will really stay.
The step into the unknown
Even if it makes sense in terms of career, one thing is clear: “A change of location is always a step into the unknown,” says Bähr. You never know exactly how the options will develop in the next few years. Therefore, you have to think carefully about whether moving is still a sensible decision. It is important to collect as much information as possible in advance. «So you can compare. And that applies not only to the job, but also to the new environment in which one will live. ” Very practical considerations should always be included in the decision-making process. “Something that I also experience very often: someone makes the decision to move to Munich because the salaries are much higher. However, without considering that the cost of living is also much higher, ”explains Klärchen. So you should invest time and effort and, for example, research potential apartments – to see: What would life in the new region actually cost?
According to Bähr, the psychological constitution also plays a role, i.e. the question: “Do I even trust myself to do this?” Employees and applicants have to be honest with themselves. “I had a customer who was more of an introvert,” explains Volker Klärchen. With the new start in her professional life in another city, she resolved to get more out of herself. But it was even harder for her in the new city. “So I would always say that you should solve such things before you move.” Before making a decision, job changers should therefore run through various scenarios: What if something doesn’t work out? What do I do if I find out during the probationary period that it does not fit after all? Am I really sure what I’m getting myself into? Homesickness is also an underestimated topic, says the coach.
In private, it has to fit
Heinz Ostermann, Chairman of the Personnel Placement Association in the Federal Employers’ Association of Personnel Service Providers, says: “A change of location has to fit into life as well as professionally.” Moving from Berlin to Munich for a top position may look good on paper. “But if, for example, the husband, partner or children don’t play along and the entire family is unhappy, then it will be difficult to perform well professionally.” Taking a new professional start in a new city as a kind of reset to start over can be just as problematic. “Anyone who uses the move to evade a problem and hopes that everything will then be different will usually find that they have taken the topic with them,” says Klärchen. Anyone who has made a decision in spite of all their reservations will give Klärchen a very practical tip: “Even if an employer is not obliged to support the employee with the move, it is worth making this an issue in the interview.” The company can, for example, take on moving costs or help out with contacts – for example when looking for an apartment. “It doesn’t cost anything to ask.”