Relocating for a job, once seen as a common stepping stone to opportunity, is less popular now than ever. In fact, the New York Times found that people in their twenties are 40% less likely to relocate now than they were in the 1980s. However, moving for the sake of a new job is still something you should consider, particularly if doing so would allow you to work at a brewery you believe in.
To help you decide whether relocating is right for you, we’ve put together a list of the six questions you should ask before saying yes or no. Some of them are questions to ask yourself, while others are aimed at your potential employer, or questions to research on the internet. By finding these six answers, you’ll have a far better idea of which choice you should make.
1. Ask yourself: Why am I considering this?
In the stress and excitement of a potential relocation, it’s easy to lose track of the reasons you have for considering the job. Before moving forward with your research, write down these reasons. Maybe your current location has a small brewing community with few job opportunities. Maybe you wouldn’t otherwise think about leaving, but you’re interviewing for a dream job at a brewery you love. Maybe you’d have the chance to be mentored by someone you admire.
There are countless possible reasons, but you should have yours firmly in your mind. Of course, it’s possible that your research will make you reconsider these factors. Allow for this, and allow for your opinions to change and grow, but this can only happen if you know where you’re starting from.
2. Ask your potential employer: Is there a moving allowance?
If the brewery you’re interviewing with has had other employees relocate (see below) they may already have made decisions about what they’re capable of offering as a moving allowance (also known as relocation assistance). Others, particularly small or new breweries, may be working on the fly. Regardless, a moving allowance can do a lot to cover the expenses of moving and therefore negate some of the stress that comes with relocation.
One survey — unfortunately not focused on the brewing industry — found that while the majority (29.86%) did not receive a moving allowance, others were given financial assistance for the costs of moving, temporary accommodation, or miscellaneous expenses. Asking about money can be uncomfortable, particularly outside of salary negotiations, but it may be the deciding factor for whether relocation makes sense for you.
3. Ask your potential employer: Have any other employees relocated? If so, can you speak to them?
Current brewery employees who have relocated to the area are a treasure trove of information. While researching online can offer you plenty of facts and opinions, it’s less likely to give you the low-down on what it’s like adapting to an area and its brewing culture. Whether in person (when visiting for an interview), over email, or on the phone, chatting with someone else who has relocated can clarify your options enormously.
If possible, make a list of questions you want to ask your informant. Focus on four or five so as not to overwhelm them, and try to ask about the brewery itself, the area’s brewing culture, and the area’s culture as a whole.
4. Ask us: What’s the brewery job market in the area?
It’s always crucial to consider the worst-case scenario when making a decision. In this case, that would be relocating in high spirits only to find you’re not the right fit for the brewery in question. While some people may be happy to move back home (or move forward to another location), others may be interested in staying, particularly if they’ve begun to put down roots.
Luckily, discovering the brewing job market in any area can be done using our craft beer jobs board. Our search function allows you to look for jobs within a 10 to 50-mile radius of a location, giving you a better understanding of what is on offer. While hiring may rise and fall over time, this will still allow you to get a feeling for whether you’d be able to find a new job in the area if yours didn’t work out.
5. Ask the internet: What’s the cost of living there?
When considering your possible new salary, you must also consider the local cost of living. A higher or lower cost of living can mean you’ll make significantly more or less even if your wages stay the same, so this is one of the most critical financial considerations when relocation.
Choose a cost of living calculator — we like this one, but there are many available — and plug in your potential new home. What you learn will be an important factor in whether relocation will be worthwhile or even possible.
6. Ask yourself: What would I lose? What would I gain?
Nobody will be able to tell you whether leaving behind friends and family will be worth it in the end, but asking yourself this difficult question may prevent unpleasant shocks in the future. Make a list of all the things you love about where you are now: good friends, that taproom you love, that perfect place to practice your hobby — whatever comes to mind. Now make a list of ways you could find similar things in the new area. Use the internet to research this as well, as nobody wants to discover they can’t do something they love somewhere once they’re already living there.
If you moved to your current location from further away, consider how long it took you to settle in. Did you find yourself struggling to meet new people? Did you suffer from loneliness or boredom? How did you move forward, and did you find any solutions which could prevent it from happening again?
Finally, look online to discover what locals love about the area you’re considering. You might be leaving a lot behind, but there’s almost certainly plenty to get excited about.