• United States
Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

Readers on relocating

Apr 01, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Your colleagues sound off on the subject of moving for an employer

We’ve covered a lot of topics in the 2+ years of this newsletter, but the topic of relocation really caught readers’ attention. I received a ton of response to the newsletter (see editorial link below) that cited a survey that said more managers are refusing to relocate when asked by their employer.

The survey cited aftershocks of Sept. 11, the economy and more as factors in managers’ decisions. Yet our reader colleagues came up with many more excellent reasons:

* Company loyalty. Many readers said they feel as if it’s on the decline in this economy and were concerned that they’d pick up and move only to find themselves the victim of a layoff or corporate merger once relocated. “So you are left to fend for yourself in a strange city without your established local network, and you’re on your own to navigate both the company and the new city, not to mention schools, spouse’s job, etc.,” one reader stated.

* Cost of living differences. Moving from San Francisco to Boise is one thing, moving the other way is another. 

* Lateral moves. “I have heard of more than one company asking for personnel movement not only in a lateral career path but with what would amount to a decrease in pay, if state taxes and other new expenses are taken into account,” one reader says.

* Trust: “I’ve personally stuck it out in a job that is two steps back from my old career path on the principle of ‘Better the devil I know than the devil I don’t.’ “

* Budgets. “I believe that a lot of companies out there are not relocating people due to cost cutting measures. We have seen very curtailed and limited relocation in the last 18 to 20 months due to the economy and cost consciousness.  Promotions are still taking place, but w/o the relocation normally associated with them.”

* Relationships. Relocating removes you from not only a corporate environment that you know well, but also from your community. “I have a life inside work, my close colleagues in my department, those whom I have worked with in other departments or on other projects in the past.  It is a community in which I am known, and let’s face it, spend most of my waking hours. My family need a community around them too, and uprooting them to follow my career ambitions denies them this.”

Thanks to everyone who wrote in such thoughtful responses. Next week we’ll examine the other question posed in that column: Are companies embracing telework?