Your Office Coach | As you imagine making the move, do you feel a sense of eagerness or a sense of “should” or even dread?
Q: In order to advance in my company, I will need to relocate to our company headquarters across the country. I’m not sure if it’s the right decision for my family and me. What should I consider to make the right choice?
A: You’ve got a lot of trade-offs to consider, both practical and emotional.
Start by grounding yourself in the assurance that there is no one right course of action. While that may feel like you’re opening yourself to too much uncertainty, in fact, it can take the pressure off. We can all look back at options we didn’t choose and wonder “what if,” but the paths we selected make us who we are. That will be the same for this situation, so let go of any anticipatory regret.
Now let’s get a bit analytical, beginning with your professional goals, being as honest as you can about what you want. If, for example, you’re bored in your current role, want a higher-status position, or more compensation, recognize it. Also be realistic about the “cons” column — the new role could come with more pressure and higher stress.
Consider the other aspects of life in turn. Look at the impact on your family — partner, kids, and extended family. For example, if you have kids in high school, you will have different trade-offs to consider compared to if they’re younger. Be sure you’re thinking this through carefully with your spouse, and that you are taking his or her needs into consideration. Take a family visit to check out the new locale to make it real for all of you. If you have caregiving responsibilities for aging parents, also factor that into your assessment.
Then look at the idea of a move in the broader context of your life. What will you gain or lose in terms of social network or opportunities for fun and quality of life? If you have always wanted to move to the mountains and this is your chance, it looks a lot different from if it feels like a quality of life sacrifice.
After all of this thinking, sit back and let your feelings show up. As you imagine making the move, do you feel a sense of eagerness or a sense of “should” or even dread? Is your body energized or pulling back? Noticing sensation emotionally and physically will help you land on a decision. Now imagine that you’ve decided to stay put. How do you feel? Are you disappointed? Relieved?
Think about other options for change. If you are not satisfied in your role in your current company, have you explored moves to other companies in your current location? You may be able to get the growth opportunity you’re seeking in a different organization. You will have more disruption in your job, but less in other aspects of life.
And remember that decisions don’t need to be forever. You may make a calculated decision to move to a place you don’t adore to get the resume gains that help you be ready for your dream job. Taking a long-term view of your goals, professional, personal, and familial alike, will lead you to a decision that you feel confident about.
Submit questions to Liz Reyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.