To stay or to go? The relocation dilemma

Sometimes the perfect job isn't down the street, but rather thousands of miles — or perhaps even an ocean — away. If someone offers you a job in a different location, how do you know if it's worth relocating?

Unlocking tech talent stories

March 18, 2024

Sometimes the perfect job isn’t down the street, but rather thousands of miles or perhaps even an ocean away. If someone offers you a job in a different location, how do you know if it’s worth relocating? With a seemingly endless cascade of layoff and hiring freeze announcements impacting the wider tech sector on a near daily basis, thousands of tech workers have likely dusted off their resumes and put feelers out to their networks to gauge the hiring market. The question arises: to stay or to go? The relocation dilemma. 

These RTO demands, plus the gradual reduction of fully remote jobs available over the past year, have left people questioning whether they should move for work. The mean distance to work rose from 10 miles in 2019 to 27 miles at the end of 2023, according to a recent report from Gusto and Stanford’s Work from Home Group, The share of workers living more than 50 miles from their employer rose more than five-fold, from 0.8% to 5.5%.  — Cloey Callahan, 2024

Also, the number of tech professionals working remotely for companies in other countries has increased from 18.6% to 22.6% since last year, according to the Global Tech Talent Trends Reportdownload the full report. Workers earning more that $250.000 per year live on average 42 miles form work, compared to those making less than $50.000 who live within 18 miles of work. That means that many people still don’t have the choice to be too far from their employer. In fact, they might need to uprooted from their entirely to progress in their careers.

What the experts say 

Whether or not to relocate for a new role is a big decision both professionally and personally. There are so many factors to consider:

  • What’s the opportunity?
  • What’s the longevity of the job?
  • What’s the family situation?

Nevertheless, relocation for a job can often be great for your personal and professional development but is also “a risk and a leap into the unknown”. Now, you’re likely thinking — why would I go through the inconvenience, anxiety and significant financial investment of relocating for a job when I could easily secure a remote position? It’s a legit concern, but the majority of roles anticipate the necessitate of some form of physical presence. 

The Tech Hiring Trends Report 2024 has shown that European companies only practise 39% of fully remote policy. With a common work mode of hybrid one or two days a week — check the full report hereHere some tips to help you think whether to stay or to go. 

Career growth opportunities

Relocate to a new job in a new city is a way to help improving your skills and experience. Nobody desires to embark on a new adventure with a company without guarantees of career progression and advancement. This sentiment is especially valid when considering the possibility of upending your life for the position. 

Prior to making any decisions, engage in open and honest discussions. Both with the hiring manager and your team leader regarding your immediate and future aspirations. Together, devise a plan for personal and professional growth, including considerations such as reimbursement for education or certifications. Attendance at workshops and conferences, and a clear outline of promotion opportunities and timelines. This will help you deciding whether you should stay or to go.  

Cost of living 

It’s commonly understood that certain cities, regions, and states carry a substantially higher cost of living compared to others. Ideally, you’d transition from a higher cost of living area to a lower one. However, especially within the tech sector, it’s more probable that you’ll find yourself relocating for the US, which is not exactly known for their affordability.

For a more accurate comparison and to determine what income you’ll need to maintain your current standard of living. Consider utilising one of the many free cost of living calculators available, such as those provided by CNN Money, NerdWallet, BestPlaces or Coverflex. These tools can be invaluable when negotiating your salary prior to a potential move, ensuring that your fair market value aligns with the cost of living in the area you’re considering relocating to.


This aspect is crucial, perhaps as important as considering the cost of living. Is the new location truly where you envision yourself being? While the job opportunity might be fantastic, remember that you’ll only spend eight or nine hours a day at work. That leaves two-thirds of your day, and you certainly can’t spend it all sleeping (though it’s a tempting challenge!). 

Consider the climate. If you’re accustomed to the sunny skies, Portugal is your guy. According to the Global Tech Talent Trends, 22.6% of tech professionals in Portugal are working remotely for a company in another country, and 49% don’t want to leave Portugal. It’s clear that the country is a perfect fit for remote workers in the tech industry. So maybe, sometimes, the relocation dilemma can be solve when you move to Portugal. 

That’s why it’s crucial to visit your potential new home before making a final decision. Ideally, spend a few weeks there to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere beyond just the tourist attractions. Consider asking your employer if you can undertake a 30 or 60-day trial period before fully committing to relocation. This allows you the opportunity to fully experience the city’s culture as well as to scout for suitable housing and explore various neighbourhoods where you can see yourself settling down. What do you think so far: to stay or to go? It is the relocation a dilemma? 

Culture and stability 

Before making such a significant leap, it’s crucial to thoroughly research the company’s culture and reputation among current and former employees. This includes understanding how the leadership team is perceived, assessing the work-life balance and flexibility offered, and examining expectations regarding after-hours work. Additionally, it’s essential to investigate the support systems in place for employees’ health and well-being. Feel free to comment what do you think: to stay or to go? It is really the relocation dilemma?

Whether you’re actively seeking a new role or reacting to unforeseen circumstances, consider exploring the multitude of remote and in-person job opportunities available on our platformwhere you can instantly connect with key decision-makers.

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