Professional openings come with various clauses: ‘Open to Relocation’ is one of the most important that you are likely to meet up with. Of all the clauses, this is the one most likely to invite a tough SWOT analysis.
You’ve come across a promising position, but that relocation clause stops you from clicking on the Apply button for the job! Delve a little deeper to understand what’s stopping you and why you are apprehensive about relocating. Whether it is moving to an industrial city, a backwater, metro-to- metro or even a developing market, this complex decision could be the one that will help you evolve in the professional space.
It’s time to decide
Aspiration, advancement and achievement need to be the key decision-drivers, so when a promising opening comes by, the most appropriate thing to do is to enter into a self-study session. Find answers to a few broad questions and evaluate your personal and professional priorities before you decide to let the opportunity pass.
Where do you want to see yourself, some years from now? Are family reasons or emotional constraints or health considerations really strong enough to stop you from relocating or is it just a reluctance to leave your comfort zone? An astute young banker spent years in hardship postings, building up his bank balance and adding the stamp of international exposure to his profile. It meant challenges for his family but the returns included a fast-tracked career and immense growth.
Evaluate industry considerations
Does the industry that you are currently in offer scope for professional growth in your base city? Professional openings in the heavy metal industry, due to geological factors, are located in remote areas, whilst the KPO, IT and ITeS industry have found themselves blooming in SEZ havens. While some industries might seem to be omnipresent like FMCG or Real Estate, many industries are in fact city-centric. Mumbai for instance has long been associated with the BFSI and media verticals and a position at a senior level might require you to shift base. Ankur Seth*, who works in the IT sector in Gurgaon, often comes across many promising openings, which require him to relocate to Bangalore. While openings are available in Gurgaon, he is equally clear that re-location cannot be ruled out.
Go beyond the obvious
The decision to relocate should not come in haste. Look beyond the obvious upside of job profile and company’s credentials, or the downsides of family, cultural and lifestyle considerations. Rahul Singh* recalls a brief stint in an industrial town where he repented a hurried decision to relocate. On joining, he found himself lost as his peers did not pose a challenge to his intellectual appetite. Equally, a move to an organisation that does provide a stimulating environment and an opportunity to work with the best in the business should be crucial in the decision to relocate.
Reach out to a support system
Relocation is usually about ‘relocating with family’! Finding schools (and friends) for the kids or a new job for your spouse can end up being a stressful exercise. But there could be a support system that you have not factored in. If relocation is on the cards, check what assistance you can get from the organisation or colleagues with settling into the new city. This might ease the task of finding a place to stay, the pangs of giving up your club membership, and help you getting acquainted with the city. Relocation expenses can also usually be negotiated with the prospective employer.
Adapt to the environment
Opportunity is defined by the environment, not the location. In the backdrop of economic turmoil in the West and uncertainty about the job market in the US and Europe, professionals are heading for Asia and the NRI fraternity is returning home. Factor in that the Indian market and businesses have evolved and are enticing professionals from the world over. We are seeing ‘reverse brain drain’ that is evidence that a changing environment can make it necessary to review a location decision.
Have an open mind
Mukesh P.*, born and brought up in Delhi, found an impressive job which required him to relocate to a small town. He was particularly excited about the brand name, job profile, the salary bracket, scope of growth and the organisation’s culture. At the back of his mind, however, the ‘small town factor’ was bothering him. It took him to the smaller city for a week-long stay, seeking details about sports centres, recreational and other facilities that metro living had accustomed him to. As it happened, he was in for a pleasant surprise. The city had plenty of recreational facilities and also housed a national park in its vicinity, allowed him follow his passion of wildlife photography.
What matters at the last is that one should be happy with the decision! You’ll know best – but take a few moments before you reject a job on account of its location. You may find that the city you were not sure you wanted to move to will become the one you now don’t want to leave!
*Name changed on request