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The Brighter Side of Relocation

Aspen Dental

Date: March 9, 2018

Mired in years of either double-digit or high single-digit unemployment, your home state has hardly been flourishing with employment opportunities for new dentists. Determined to steer your dental career in a new direction, you applied for licensure in a different state or region.

And though landing an associateship elsewhere initially seemed like a long shot, an employer dentist has bit on your resume and offered you a position. Before packing up your bags and settling into new digs, here are some questions to address.


How will this affect my relationship?

If you're single, in your 20s, and enjoy flexibility, you may be open to taking a position halfway across the country. Being married, however, you have to consider your spouse’s career or family as well.


What about the kids?

Moving children from one place to another could have a negative effect, especially if child care, schools and security in the area are a notch below where you currently live.


What kind of financial shape is the practice in?

Be diligent in the interview phase, particularly with regard to the patient count. If the practice is just getting off the ground or has struggled financially in the past, it should give you pause.


Will your moving expenses be covered?

Hauling your belongings thousands of miles away can be pricey. A single person moving from a one-bedroom, Los Angeles apartment to one in Chicago could spend approximately $2,240 for professional movers to load and unload a single mobile storage container, according to national cost estimates. If the practice won't cover the moving expenses, do a cost-benefit analysis, weighing both professional opportunity and possible financial sacrifice.


Will my cost of living increase?

Visit to crunch your salary data with the cost of living to ensure your new paycheck is commensurate with the area in which you’ll be living.


How have others handled the transition?

Find out from those who went before you. Contact a previous associate from the practice if possible—ask your employer dentist for permission to take this step. Visiting travel message boards might also help.


What will the day-to-day be like?

Spending winters in Southern California is a lot different from Chicago, but weather is only one daily factor to consider. Take into account how commute times and other daily rituals unique to the location may affect not only your work routine, but your personal one.


Can you visit or stay beforehand?

If possible, travel to the place for a brief visit before saying yes to the employer. This helps you sample the local area and the culture and really try to develop the perspective that you would have if you were living there.


Relocation can be a stressful time for everyone, but with some preparation it can be easily managed. Cut yourself a break, review these tips to help you though this time, and good luck in your new place!


Relocation Facts to Consider


If you're single, in your 20s, and enjoy a traveling lifestyle, you may be open to taking a job halfway across the country. However, marriage changes things. If your spouse has a great situation going now and the relocation would force them to give up that situation, sometimes that's not a good idea.


Moving Expenses

Try performing a cost-benefit analysis, weighing both professional opportunity and possible financial sacrifice.


Cost of Living

According to, a website that provides salary data for employee and employers, if you ended up working in New York City, where the cost of living is significantly higher than the national average, you could pay 48% more in groceries compared to the national average.


Financial Position & Long Term Goals

Moving is worth the risk if it aligns with your long-term career goals. If you feel that the opportunity is in your long-term plans, then it's probably worthwhile.


Do Your Homework

Be sure you've sufficiently analyzed the move from every angle. The more information you can find out, the more educated a decision you can make.


“If the practice won't cover the moving expenses, do a cost-benefit analysis, weighing both the professional opportunity and financial sacrifice.”


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