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Ask a counsellor: Should I take a job across the country?

A generic photo of a young woman worried about her future (Thinkstock/PA)

Fiona Caine answers a reader’s question about whether she should start a job that means she’ll have to leave her boyfriend and family behind.


Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on how a woman should handle a new promotion in a new town.

The problem…

e, have a great job, lots of friends, a great boyfriend and am about to get promoted in a few months’ time. I am really happy, but the new job worries me. It’s at the other end of the country and I’m worried that finding somewhere to live will be difficult and expensive. My boyfriend says he will visit as often as he can, but I am still scared I will lose contact with everyone I know. Should I go?

Fiona says…

It is perfectly natural to feel afraid and excited by the prospect of a new job, especially one that involves moving to a different area. So, please, try not to get too stressed about this. You have some big decisions to make and you won’t be able to think clearly about these if your mind is in turmoil.

As a first step, I suggest you find out everything there is about the new job, where you will be based and what you will be doing. Also, enquire if your employer can offer any assistance with the move and finding somewhere to live. Presumably you will be looking for somewhere to share with others, which would spread the cost and mean you needn’t worry about being alone.


Before you make the move, visit the area and investigate what social and leisure facilities are nearby. Perhaps you could include a visit to your new place of work while you’re there. You might even ask your employer about the possibility of a short-term secondment if that can be arranged, which would give you a better feel for what you’d be getting into. Knowing all of this will take a lot of the unknowns out of your thinking.

Having dealt with the practical issues, you can move on to tackling the thornier problem of whether to move away from family and friends. I am not going to pretend this will be easy. You are clearly happily settled, but talk to your boyfriend, friends and family, and share your concerns with them. If they have your best interests at heart, I would hope they encourage you to go. I will sound one note of caution; long distance relationships rarely last. That aside, this sounds like a great opportunity, one you may grow to regret if you turn it down.

Have more confidence in yourself. Your employer clearly has faith in you and thinks you are ready for the challenge. In the end, though, it should be your decision.


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