With employment and graduate schemes, it may be necessary to relocate for the job. Relocating after university may be daunting as you have spent the last few years in the same place learning, maturing and finding out what you like and dislike. However, relocating gives you another chance to reinvent yourself and enter a career you enjoy.
Statistically, 22% of graduates will relocate to London within 6 months of graduation. In universities such as Manchester, 67% of graduates left after studying there. This figure rises to 76% when looking at Birmingham and 86% in Southampton. Clearly, if you decide to relocate you won’t be the only one. Relocating can be a great thing as it gives you a fresh perspective and opens you up to brand-new opportunities.
Below are some questions you'll need to consider before relocating, finding housing, leavings things behind and moulding your future.
Firstly, is it financially viable?
Moving is expensive. Consider the price of rent, travel costs, moving vehicle hire, in addition to start-up costs like Wi-Fi, insurance and tax. You need to think about the overall cost of moving and whether your new job is worth the money. For example, if you are living in Sheffield with an expenditure of £1,000 a month, you would be spending 25% more in Brighton on the same amenities, as the South is more expensive than the North. You may also need to buy things such as furniture, car permits and appliances as not every property supplies these.
Where will you live?
You need to research the place you are relocating to and whether it will suit you and your future. What is there to do there in your free time? Is there a gym, good pubs, parks, shops? Are there lots of people? How will you get around, i.e. driving, walking, public transport? What is the nightlife like? What are the locals like? These should all factor into your decision, but don’t forget the opportunities living somewhere new offers. You get to meet new people, explore a new city, work in a job that has lots to offer.
Is there growth and what are the benefits?
Whilst the job you have achieved may seem perfect, does it allow room for growth if you are planning on long term opportunities?
Do your research on the company, the people you will be working with, and the company's image through its media exposition. Also ask about the relocation package - are expenses paid, is there set accommodation, how long the relocation is for? Also consider any clauses in the contract. Make sure you know what you are signing up for.
Who are you leaving behind?
Although relocating may be scary as you will no doubt be leaving people behind, it has to be your decision. Most likely your peers have or are planning to move after university. The worst thing you can do is turn down an excellent job offer because of fears regarding other people. Remember this is your life and your career. Don’t be held back. Everyone will be advancing and changing as the years go on.
With today’s technology and transport links, it is easy to travel or use something like Skype to keep in contact with friends and family. You are only ever 48 hours away from anyone in the world.
If you need familiar people around you to thrive then think about who you are leaving. Remember your happiness and mental health is the most important thing.
What are you leaving behind?
You will be leaving behind memories you made whilst at university, in addition to pubs and attractions. But everywhere has its own charm and USP and remember that more memories can be made. You will also have to possibly restrict the personal items you take with you, but this is a perfect reason to whittle down your belongings. You also have the chance to reinvent yourself and to work with people with similar skill-sets to you. You also don’t want to be the only one of your peers to not move on after graduation.
What is my back up plan?
If all goes wrong and nothing is set, what is your back up plan? Will you stay in your university town, relocate or move home? Where will you work if you turn down the offer? What will your future instead be? You will need a plan for every eventuality, so be prepared.
Is it really for me?
If you are continuously second guessing yourself, take a few moments to really think. Of course, you do not have to decide right now in life if you think relocating is what you want, but it will help your career and future to begin working whilst you have the key skills in the forefront of your mind. But look at the full picture, write a pros and cons list of what you will gain and what you will lose. Only you can make the decision.
Don’t burn your bridges with employers or people in your current situation as you may need to go back to them. Take a chance whilst you’re young, make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t be too hard on yourself as relocation isn’t always for everybody. Remember that it’s your life and your decision, make it your own.