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6 days ago by Caroline Crotty

​Changing job and relocating during Covid 19

2020 has been a year of reflection for all of us, and for many people part of their plan for the future involves changing jobs, some because of circumstances outside of your control and other who have been prompted to consider the future and realised they want a change. However, moving roles during a global pandemic means there is more to think about, so we have put together a guide to give you some things to think about before you decide to move role generally, and some additional advice on moving during Covid and relocating too.

What to consider before you decide to move roles?

  • What are your overall career goals? How will this move have an impact on achieving those?

  • Is leaving your current company the best way to achieve your goals? Or could you look at internal options?

  • Why are you looking at this move now? Have your personal circumstances changed, do you want more progression or are you looking for a more stable environment for instance? Knowing what is motivating your move is key to being able to explain it to future hiring managers. Also if you can’t answer this question clearly, are you sure you actually want to move role?

  • What are you bringing to a future employer? It is a busy market at the moment, and knowing what your key skills are and how they will benefit your future team/company is a real advantage

  • What sort of role are you looking for? Sounds obvious, but sometime requires a bit of thought- perhaps you love the operational side of your role but have less interest in managing a team, or you want a project based role that keeps you on your toes- understanding your own expectations and requirements make it much more likely that a recruiter can help you find the right next move

  • What culture are you looking for? Think about what you like and dislike about your current/previous workplaces. Where did you enjoy working the most and why? What sort of business is right for you next?

  • Relocation? The right role that matches all of the above might not be on your doorstep, so before you start consider if you are looking for something commutable or if you are open to searching further afield (and if so, where?). Don’t forget to talk to your family etc. before you make a firm decision!

What factors should I consider due to Covid?

The biggest consideration about moving roles during Covid is job security, more so if you are leaving a permanent role. Global pandemics shouldn’t put you off moving role, because with uncertainty there is also opportunity, but you should consider whether a place you are joining is going to offer at least some level of job security. Ask questions like how has Covid affected them? How has the business performed due to Covid? What changes have they had to make? The best thing to do here is be totally honest and ask the questions you need to for your own piece of mind.

Location & Relocation

Many companies are still in a state of limbo regarding office arrangements and long term flexibility so while looking for a job right now you may need to be comfortable with a bit of ambiguity around that as it’ll be hard for a company to give you loads of certainty on their future working from the office/home arrangements as they may not have fully decided.

Rules are changing all the time and there is a good chance you might accept a new role and never have seen the office- but all of companies we are working with have done a great job putting in place remote onboarding processes and really doing all they can to make people feel a part of the team even remotely.

Not seeing the office when you live in the same city as your new role is one thing- but what if you are thinking about a relocation?

The first thing to know is it IS still possible- remote working has in fact sometimes made it easier for people to join the team before the full physical move takes place. The biggest change we are seeing with relocation processes at the moment is the timescale involved- where once you might have accepted a job, moved the family and started once your notice period was served, that process is now likely to take a good deal longer with travel restrictions changing regularly.

For the right role and location this shouldn’t be a deal breaker- just bear in mind you may not get to pop over to your new home town for a look around or house hunting visit before you start work- it’s quite likely you will be working for your new company for at least a month before making those trips, so doing your research is key- find out about schooling, housing etc – and don’t be afraid to speak to new colleagues and ask questions to help to you get a local perspective.

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to re-locations- and it’s as important, if not more so now, that you are 100% sure of these before you commit to a role. Re-locating a new team member is a big move for an employer as well as the candidate and you want to be as certain as you can be that you have made the right choice. Also, you don’t want to accept a role because you can start it without relocating, and then cold feet about the move when it’s too late.

Key things to consider about relocation generally in our experience are:

  • Family requirements - are the family on board, will your partner have the possibility to find work in your new location, what are the childcare options available, will you need an international school, can you easily travel back to your ‘home’ country if needed?

  • Financial - cost of living varies hugely across the world- having a like for like salary does not mean you will take home the same amount every month. Taxes also may vary so make sure you have looked in to NET pay so you have a realistic picture. Company benefits can vary from country to country as well- in some places its common to get a car, others offer public transport allowances – don’t assume it will be the same

  • Practical - will you need language lessons in your new country? Is your place of work centrally located or rural? Do you need a visa/work permit? Are you planning to ship all your furniture or move a pet etc.? You might need to speak to a recruiter or employer first to help you answer some of these questions before you start planning a big move to the other side of the world.

Obviously everyone has their own circumstances, so the best approach is to be fully open about what you need and share as much info as possible with your recruiter and new employer who will do what they can to support you.

The team at Pod have supported multiple people who have relocated since lockdown began, so if you would like a chat about this or any other element of your job search please feel free to reach out to us. You can reach our Head of International, Caroline, on caroline.crotty@pod-talent.com

Moving jobs is a big step at any time - and during this period of seemingly endless change in the world it can seem even bigger- but the opportunities presented in these new times also offer exciting opportunities for people ready to make the move, so hopefully this article has helped you decide if now might be the right time for you.