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By Luke Smith

Moving is stressful, especially these days. A lot of factors have to be kept in mind when it comes to picking up and starting life in a new location. Relocating for a PR position comes with an extra set of considerations that you will have to make.

Facing a pandemic economy and an uncertain future, relocating may be an even more difficult task. Today’s PR landscape has evolved, reducing PR funding in some companies by as much as 64%. At the same time, companies are increasingly relying on digital content to thrive in the new world.

Considerations before uprooting to follow your public relations goals entail understanding the logistics and examining the pros and cons. Here are just a few questions and tips to help you make such a difficult decision.

The Logistics

Relocating for any job in the modern world in which remote work is increasingly common means factoring in all the moving parts. As a PR employee, you are likely moving between firms or agencies that have a significant physical presence in a specific area. Such a move may be highly beneficial for your career. but you must examine all of the components of your situation.

Here’s what you need to consider.

Questions to Ask

There are potentially hundreds of factors that can affect your decision when it comes to relocating your entire life to a new city, state, or even country. PR work tends to happen increasingly in the digital realm, but a slew of benefits can come from sharing an office space with other experienced individuals.

For anyone relocating for a job, consider the following questions to determine if that experience is really worth the move:

  1. What are the costs?

Moving is expensive. There may be a million considerations that you haven’t even thought of. The cost of living varies depending on your area. Gas for your commute, distance to local stores, amenities nearby, all these factors play into your overall budget, dictating the true value of your move. Be thorough in your budgeting to understand the full implications of relocating.

  1. What is the timeline?

You will want the timing of a relocation to work best for you and your family. This means planning for seasonal changes, breaks in schools, and many more factors. If the timeline just can’t work out well, this may be a deciding element for your PR career. You need a chance you determine if—considering current events—a move right now is truly the best choice.

  1. How much time will I spend in-office?

With the state of the workforce after the coronavirus pandemic, a very real question you need to ask yourself is how much time you will spend actually within the office. This could make all of the difference. Potentially, you could accept a new position without having to relocate at all if you can do most of your work remotely. The cost of the occasional plane ticket could end up saving you far more money in the long run than uprooting yourself and your family.

All these factors and more will help you make a final decision about relocating in a post-pandemic world. However, with the nature of PR work, you also need to take into consideration whether you are going in-house versus an agency position.

In-house vs. Agency

Transitioning from an agency position to an in-house firm is the traditional path for many PR workers. However, some go the opposite route. Either way can have benefits for your career and make relocating worth the transition.

Working for a fast-paced agency, you can get a vast amount of experience early in your career. Alternatively, if you decide to work in-house for a firm, you can begin to learn campaign strategies from the beginning to the end, allowing you to explore the full process of PR and marketing.

Regardless of your path, considering which position is more beneficial to you at this current point in your career will help in your relocation decision.

But first, always consider the pros and cons.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Any relocation decision will come with its benefits and drawbacks. Perhaps the benefits of a new experience in a new community will be too appealing to turn down. On the other hand, moving far away from family or going through the process of a whole transition just to work mostly remotely might not add up for you.

We’ve assembled a few common benefits and drawbacks here to help you assess your cross-country career move.

Pros

Possibilities abound when changing your geographical location for a new career opportunity. Here are some of the positives that can come about through accepting a PR job in a new area:

  • Financial Success — Clearly a new opportunity comes with financial benefits for you to even consider relocating. Perhaps the benefits package is better than the one you currently have. Perhaps the salary is a step up. Regardless, you want to budget carefully to ensure the financial boost will be a payoff in the long run.
  • Professional Growth — Regardless of where you are moving to, a new position will help you accumulate experience for your resume and portfolio. This can help you find a new position in the future in an area you truly want to live in.
  • New Experiences — Living in a new area is guaranteed to bring new experiences into your life. With new coworkers, new recreational haunts, and new places to see, there is guaranteed to be something worth your time.

Cons

No transition is perfect. Regardless of how great your new opportunity seems, there are some negative aspects to consider that can happen with any move. These include:

  • Adjustment Period — Transitioning your entire life can be fraught with stress and anxiety. For any move, there is an adjustment period in which you will begin to get your bearings, especially when starting out with a new PR job. Learning new co-workers, new clients, and new skills can be a lot to take on. But it can definitely be worth it.
  • Planning Risks — No matter how solid your plans are, there is always a chance they won’t work out as you intended. This can mean unexpected costs, a company culture that wasn’t what you had in mind, or perhaps even a boss that you really cannot get along with. There is no way to anticipate exactly what will happen after you move.
  • Questionable Job Market — In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, millions lost their jobs. Some companies have even cut their PR budgets. If you decide to turn down a distant job offer, you may have to begin the job search all over again. During the pandemic, this can be an especially difficult process.

Every new job opportunity comes with positives and negatives, some foreseeable, some not. Do your best to make a list of your pros and cons to help you consider your relocation decision.

Making Your Relocation Decision

Moving is a huge choice. It involves uprooting your current routine, moving away from familiar faces, and starting over someplace new. This can be immensely exciting and immensely stressful.

With the current pandemic, it is very likely that you will be working from home at least some of the time even if you start a new job in another city. If you’re moving into a new space be sure to put energy and effort into creating a productive workspace in your new place.

At the end of the day, you have to determine what is right for you. Examine the financial benefits, determine whether in-house or agency work will be best for your career, and analyze the pros and cons. By doing this, you can better make a relocation decision that you can feel good about, regardless of what happens.

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but PR and communications topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.