Friday, January 11, 2013

Stop, Look and Compare Before Accepting That New Job

You've aced the interview, you've landed the job at the modular home factory. All bases have been covered. Or have they?  There‘s one minor detail that may be major if you do not stop to count the cost. This detail is comparing the cost of living from the city where you live to the city where your new job is located.

By doing a cost of living comparison, it will help you ascertain what it will take to move from one city to another, while maintaining your standard of living. For example, if you move from Dallas to New York City, will you be able to maintain the same lifestyle with your new job and salary even if you've received a substantial salary increase?  How much home can you purchase in comparison? If it is not comparable to the square footage you are used to, can you live with that?  You have to ask yourself these questions. No two people are the same. We all have varying standards of living. One person might be content to live in a smaller space while another will not handle the transition well. Make sure to count the costs, financially as well as mentally and emotionally.

Sometimes, in the excitement of a new job and location, people do not think about the details. It can lead to sticker shock when they arrive at their new destination. On the other hand, they may be pleasantly surprised if they can get more bang for their buck in housing and lifestyle, even with their same salary.
Steve Reed, an economist at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics cautions not to use a ‘state to state’ cost of living comparison because it just isn’t useful. He says, “The cost of living in Eureka, California is different from Los Angeles, California.”  What is much more helpful and accurate, is doing a city to city comparison.  For example, if you live in Elkhart, Indiana and receive a job offer in Birmingham, Alabama, you would find out the cost of living in Birmingham is approximately 7.4% lower than Elkhart. What this means is hypothetically, if you’ve been earning 50K per year in Elkhart, you would need to earn approximately $46,312.00 in Birmingham. The chart may even reveal scenarios such as Birmingham typically pays their employees 0.5% more than employees are paid in Elkhart. This sweetens the deal even more. The bottom line here would be if you took the same type of position in Birmingham that you had in Elkhart, you would likely earn $50,270.00, all things compared.  By visiting a website to check the cost and comparison of the city you live in compared to the city you will be moving to, you can get a good idea of the price difference for groceries, housing utilities, transportation, health care, etc. 
By doing your homework up front, you will know what to look for and what to expect with few surprises. It’s good to have an approximate estimate of what you’ll be up against. It’s prudent to count the cost of all things and compare the city you live in to the city you‘re moving to. That way there will be no surprises, and your transition to your new position will be smoother.  Below is a website you can visit to get you started on your comparison journey. Remember, it always pays to count the cost.

Cathy L. Sage is President of Robert Sage Careers, LLC; an Executive Search Firm and Job Board Publisher that specializes in the Factory Built Structures Industries. Cathy Sage can be reached at (727) 504-5350 or  For more information about the company and to visit the job board, access

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