Should you relocate for work after you graduate?
During the college application process, you may have thought that choosing a school and picking a major were the toughest choices you'd have to face for a while. However, another decision awaits many of today's college graduates - whether to relocate to another city to find work.
Should you stay or should you go?
Although the choice to relocate to seek new employment opportunities will ultimately depend on your circumstances, there are several benefits to remaining open to the idea of moving for a job. The first, and most obvious, is that your chances of finding work in the field you studied improve substantially when you're not limited to one specific area.
Secondly, relocating for new opportunities could land you a higher salary. Certain industries and market sectors pay more in some regions than others, so the freedom to move around could open doors to better pay and benefits. However, don't forget to factor in the cost of living when you're mulling employment offers.
"Weigh cost of living against average salaries for a given city," Lindsay Olson wrote in a blog post for U.S. News & World Report. "Making more in New York City doesn't necessarily leave you with a surplus of money; the high cost of living doesn't always compensate with your monthly salary, and it means you'll put a higher percentage of your pay toward that tiny apartment in Manhattan."
The world's your oyster
If you've decided you're willing to relocate to find your dream job, figuring out where to go - or even where to start looking - can be daunting. However, with some careful planning and a little forethought, it doesn't need to be be an intimidating decision.
Something you may want to consider is the kind of city you want to live in and the type of work you hope to find. Employment database website CareerBliss.com recently compiled a list of its top 20 cities for young professionals in the U.S. Some of the highest-ranking cities, such as Los Angeles, may come as little surprise, but what about places like Indianapolis, which ranked fourth?
"Through our research, we have found that a positive company culture, which focuses on overall happiness and not just compensation, is key for young professionals," said Heidi Golledge, co-founder and 'chief happiness officer' of CareerBliss. "We have cities ranking higher, even though some are paying less because they offer a happier life for employees who chose to live and work there."