“Are you open to relocation?”
As a health IT professional, you’ll likely be asked that question more than once in your career. In fact, because of the shortage of qualified health IT professionals in the US, relocating for a job might not be an option.
But before you take the plunge and move to another city or state for a health IT job, you might want to consider a few things to make sure relocation makes sense.
Are you and the new job a good “fit”?
Enjoying your work and doing it well are about a lot more than adequate compensation; they’re also about “fit”– how well your workplace complements your skill sets, abilities, talents and personality, and vice versa. You don’t want to pack up and move across the country for a job, only to realize later that you and your new employer are not a match.
To avoid this fiasco, thoroughly research the company beforehand. Does this seem like the type of company or environment you’d be happy working in? During on-site interviews, pay attention to current employees and the vibe they give off. Are they happy, or tense, stressed and angry? Most important, don’t ignore your gut feelings. If something seems “off,” or otherwise, not right, it’s not.
Can you afford to move for your new health IT job?
A salary that looks good on paper might not be so good in reality, depending on the city and state in which you live. While $60,000 might go a long way in Mississippi, it might just keep a roof over your head in New York or California. Do some research to find out the cost of living in your city of choice so you can anticipate costs for things like sales taxes, fuel, groceries, housing and more.
Does this new position fit into your long-term career goals?
Where do you want to be in three years? Five years? Ten? Will taking this job in another city help you to achieve those goals? If there is no easily identifiable, tangible, long-term benefit to relocating for your career, you might want to reconsider.
Is the company stable?
While the traditional notion of job security appears to be a thing of the past, you at least want to make sure the company you’re moving to work for is established in your new community and poised for growth. Google the company and read all recent news and headlines; if it’s on shaky ground financially, you’d do better to stay put.
Quality of life.
No amount of money can compensate for a poor quality of life. It’s important to consider what you do during your own personal time when you’re not at work. Are there sufficient venues for entertainment, sports, or whatever other things interest you and your family? If you have children, do the school systems meet your standards? And if you hate traffic, is there a viable and easily accessible public transportation system?
Who will pay moving costs?
The costs of moving for a job can be extensive. With the US economy still in a state of recovery, fewer corporations are covering the full costs of relocation. Before moving for a new job, ask yourself if the long-term benefits of relocating for this job will offset your out-of-pocket costs.