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Considerations Women Need to Take Before Moving For a Career

There are always many factors that go into planning a move. But for women in particular, there are several factors to consider before you make a move for your career.

Image via Bingham Self-Storage/Flickr CC

Given how quickly companies transfer employees around or move headquarters, the possibility of relocating is pretty good. While for some families this may be a great idea, for others it might not be an option at all.

Whenever you’re moving or being transferred for your career, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do you know everything you need to know about the new company? Do you think you’ll like your new boss and team? Do you think the new city is exciting and interesting? But for women in particular, there are several factors you need to consider before you make a move for your career.


While many women are accustomed to needing to be careful of danger as they move through their daily lives, women who are in the process of moving need to be particularly aware. Moving into or out of a home means that it may be easier to break in and commit a robbery or an assault.

Seeing a woman moving into a new home may lead a criminal to think that no one will be surprised if she’s out of touch for a few days. And a woman in a U-Haul or similar vehicle at a rest stop or diner looks like a particularly easy target.

When you’re moving, hire professional movers to get the job done quickly and minimize exposure. Considering using a similar company to move your items and drive or fly to your destination separately.

Cost of Living

Different areas of the country have different costs of living. If you’re moving from a more rural area, the salary available at that major metro job may make your eyes pop – but be less impressive when you consider the cost of living in that area.

Even if you live further outside the metro area, you need to factor in commuting costs. Food has to be transported farther and is more expensive in big cities, and bars and restaurants tend to charge more because their operating costs are higher. Consider these factors when you consider whether or not your salary is enough to justify your move.

Office Culture

If you ask during the interview process, every employer will tell you that their office is diverse and accepting of diversity, but finding the real story is important. For this, you want to turn to social media, company review websites, and more.

Especially if you are a woman who is multiply marginalized – a woman of color, a disabled woman, or a lesbian, for example – it is important to know how women are treated in the new organization. Is the environment relatively free from harassment? Are pay scales equitable? If you have children or plan to have children, what are the company’s leave policies, or on-site mother’s rooms like?

It’s better to know these things going in than to find out once you’ve moved cross country.

Dress Code Changes

For men, dress code changes tend to be relatively minor in both expenses and effort; moving from khakis and polos to a shirt and tie involves a couple of shopping trips, and then they’re done. For women, upgrading or downgrading a dress code can be a lot more involved, and a lot less clear in terms of what is and is not acceptable. Especially when one is moving to California from a more formal city like those on the East Coast, the change can be downright shocking.

Make sure you know what the dress code will be in your new location, and if wardrobe changes will be necessary, make sure to factor those into your budgeting.

Social Circle Changes

It’s hard to leave friends and family behind. Some people easily maintain friendships through social media, using Snapchat, group texts, and more to keep up with each other. Others struggle to maintain digital connections, either because they’re uncomfortable with the technology itself or because they simply prefer a friendship that has more to do with going out and doing things together.

Family can be particularly difficult to move away from, especially if you have young children; grandparents are often less tech savvy than younger family members, and may be frustrated that they’ll have more distance from their growing grandchildren.

On the other hand, if you’ve moving closer to friends and family, this may make the move a little easier. You may feel more supported in your new destination, and may be willing to make a little less money in order to be closer to your loved ones.

There are always many factors that go into planning a move and determining how exactly to make it happen. When you factor in changes in your career as well, the process can become even more complicated. Make sure to consider as many factors as possible as you weigh your
decisions so that you’re more likely to be happy with the outcome.

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