It seems, in the interests of fairness, that it would make sense to take turns relocating. "OK, honey, I had to find new friends and new schools and a new job all my own when I followed you here. Now I have the job offer, so it's your turn." Except that's not always practical, especially if you're trying to follow an upward trajectory in your career. You can't always move upward when you've got to take what you can get in the new city, and if you're climbing, leaving your job can interrupt everything you're trying to accomplish.
I just learned that there's a term for one spouse following another for a job--he or she is a "trailing spouse". Being the trailing spouse can be difficult for a number of reasons. There's the hassle of finding new friends, a new job, new schools, and more. But I think what makes it hardest in terms of a career is that you have to abandon the networks you've worked so hard to establish and start all over. This might pay off in the long run because hey, imagine having friends all over the country or even the world. But it can be difficult to navigate in the short term, wh
Trailing spouses are disproportionately women. Even in dual-career families and even when the woman makes more money, families tend to follow the husband's job, giving his career priority over hers. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, but when you're deciding whether or not to move, it might be worthwhile to consider why you're making the move. Are you doing this because it makes the most sense for everyone in your family or because that's what's expected?
So if you've packed your bags and headed to a new city, it's not easy to start over. Make sure that you spend some time before the move determining your goals for yourself and planning as much as possible (and here are some tips for relocating spouses if you want to read more). Anticipate that adjusting to a new location will take some time. Talk to some people who have lived or who currently live in your new location so you'll have a better idea of what to expect (especially for international locations). And be prepared for not being prepared--unexpected things will happen!