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To Move or Not to Move for Work

If you have been unemployed for some time, you may have pondered moving out of your local area to find plausible work.  Perhaps "the grass looks greener on the other side."  Realistically though, each person must weigh out the pros and cons unique to their situation.  I have moved across country several times during this economic snag. Here are some things that I observed in my travels that may be helpful to you:
  • Check the Unemployment Rate - Take a look at the unemployment rate in the area you may move to.  If the rate is at the top of the list or higher than your present location, you may want to reconsider moving or checking out what skills or trades are actually hiring in the area. Local newspapers may give you an idea of what companies and the type of positions that are hiring.   U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Cost of Living - You definitely need to look at the cost of living factors in the new location. For instance, some areas of Florida have very high rent coupled with low wages.  I repeat, some areas.  You should do your homework.  Look at the real estate market in the area.  What are the homes valued at?  What are the rents?  What are the grocery prices ?  You get the picture.
  • Transportation - Does the city of your choice offer public transportation?  If not, how will you get around if your vehicle breaks down? Is it a rural area?  If your car needs repair, what kind of prices are the mechanics charging? All of this matters when it comes to gasoline prices and upkeep of your vehicle.  Also consider if your car insurance rates may change.
  • Medical Needs - You no doubt will need to find a new doctor and dentist.  Personal recommendations are always helpful; this may take a little time as you make new acquaintances.  However, if you have any special medical needs, you may want to consult the local hospitals and other medical agencies before moving.
  • Degree or Certification - Is your particular degree or certification honored by the state you are moving to?  If you want to use your credentials, this might be your first step in deciding to move or not. 
  • Flexibility - Are you a flexible person?  I don't mean physically!  Is it easy or hard for you to adjust or accept differences in surroundings, attitudes, cultures, or methods of doing things? No two places are exactly the same.  Is the area drastically different than what you are use to--or just slightly? 
  • Friendliness -  A friendly person will find it easier to meet  people and ask questions when needed.  How easy is it for you to talk to strangers? 
  • Relatives or Close Friends - Do you know anyone, family member or close friend, in this new location?  A relative or close friend can give you tips on where to eat and shop, what areas of town to avoid, and what social events take place, etc. 
This is just a short list of what I encountered in my moving across country several times.   There are many more things to consider before jumping the fence onto "supposed greener grass."  On the other hand, if you are a friendly, flexible, and a focused person, you may be in for the adventure of a lifetime.  Only you can make that decision.  Just make sure you do your homework and know that some sacrifices may be necessary.  If possible, visit the location you are considering, get a local newspaper to get a feel for things, and talk to as many people as possible.  Good fortune to you my friend.