John is traveling with clients. Today’s post was originally published on Aug. 5, 2013.
Corporate relocation issues are a major factor in career and personal brand management. I have seen executives abandon an otherwise promising career because a spouse and/or family will not consider relocation.
Many family members don’t like the idea of having to go through the process of finding a new house, selling their old one, and moving to what could be an unfamiliar place. It can be a lot of stress for some people to take on, but of course, if they knew that real estate agencies like House Buyers of America could help to sell their old home, some may be persuaded to take on this leap after all. The leap could result in a lovely house in a new area. Relocations can actually provide a fresh start for many families, allowing them to purchase a new home and move on with their lives. Maybe the relocation will lead people over to North Carolina. If it does, families could end up living in one of the Saussy Burbank homes. However, as we’ve already established though, the idea of relocating for a job is not for everyone.
As an executive recruiter, my role is not to judge. Candidates make decisions about
relocating for a new job based on a multiple of factors. Family issues are usually number one on the list.
That said here is the important takeaway: Family issues are very important. But those important decisions are rarely made without career tradeoffs, some of them significant and consequential.
I appreciate a candidate’s commitment to family or to whatever belief that led to the I do not want to relocate position. That is important stuff. But in this new normal economy – where productivity increases probably have permanently limited employment opportunities at all levels – relocation tradeoffs produce serious financial and emotional costs.
In healthcare, this will be particularly troubling. Without doubt, there will be reductions in manpower at virtually every health system/hospital in the country over the next seven years owing to consolidation and ongoing cuts in reimbursement. Some of those hit the hardest will be long tenured employees, many of whom will have had multiple performance evaluations that rated the individual “excellent.” However, in industry transformation, excellent performance is no guarantee against losing one’s job.
For many, personal identity is intrinsically linked to their job. Families become deeply rooted in a community with close friends, schools, churches, and their homes. These make a layoff all the worse.
“The reduction in force notice is a slug to the gut. That the human resources representative said, ‘This is not personal, it is business…’ did not have a clue. “Of course it is deeply personal,” one recently laid off executive told me. There is shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – the stages of grief. It affects the whole family.
Force reductions are coming. Now is the time, not when it happens, to have that family conversation. Career brand management means looking ahead, even at the unpleasant options. You cannot have a career strategy without including this potentiality.
© 2021 John Gregory Self