As you navigate the twists and turns of your career path new opportunities will present themselves on a regular basis. And some are simply too good to pass up, even if they cause disruption to your lifestyle or take you outside of your comfort zone. Indeed, you may find that to pursue the job prospect of your dreams, you may need to up sticks and relocate to a new city, a new state or even a new country. Moving for work can be a bittersweet experience. You may be excited about the new opportunities available to you, yet feel regretful at having to leave old colleagues, friends or even family members behind.
Any seasoned HR professional will tell you that moving for a new job can feel like either the best or the worst thing that ever happened to you. Heck, you can fluctuate back and forth several times over the space of 24 hours. With this in mind, if you’re moving to new climes for a new job here are 7 things you should keep in mind…
1. Moving can be stressful… but you can find ways to make it fun
Moving can be an extremely stressful experience, even when you’re just moving a few blocks away. So if you’re moving to a new city or state the stress levels can be exacerbated. The further away you’re moving the more logistically fraught you can expect the move to be, especially if you’re travelling with a reluctant partner and agitated little ones in tow.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take the time to make the experience easier and more fun for yourself. If possible practice the route once or twice before the move. Identify cool places to stop off on the way for a bite to eat or to take in some gorgeous sights to turn the move into more of a road trip.
Moving is made much less stressful when you have a good moving company behind you so take the time to carry out your research and find a removals company that meets your needs.
2. Your partner may have their reservations. It’s up to you to be there for them
Moving for work is easy when you’re free and single. When you’re in a long term relationship or marriage, however, it can require some serious compromise on your significant other’s part. And if you don’t acknowledge and respect that, you could create the conditions for resentment.
Make sure you do all that you can to be there for your SO. Help them to find work in your new location but also help them to find cool social groups, stores, cafes, bars and restaurants that you know they’ll like. Try and make sure that they have something to look forward to for everything they’ll leave behind. This will not only help to get them on side, it will help you to remember that you’re doing the right thing.
3. If you have kids, a move can be tough on them… But you can make it easier
Anyone who’s seen Disney / Pixar’s Inside Out knows how traumatic a move can be for kids. Children need support structures and moving can make them feel as though their entire world is collapsing around them.
Help them to see that they’ll always be able to keep in touch with their friends, and even (logistics permitting) have them over for sleepovers. As with your partner, help them to find cool things in your new home town that you know they’ll enjoy and give them plenty to look forward to.
4. Virtually everything you loved about your old location can be found in your new one
Even if you’re not moving with a partner and kids, you might start to feel the pangs of homesickness even before you’ve left to take the next step in your career. You might even need to convince yourself that you’re not taking a tremendous risk for the sake of pursuing a career opportunity.
The good news, however, is that no matter what you’ll miss about your old home town, you’ll be able to find something similar in your new location. From the pizza place you visit without fail every night to the little indie roasterie where you pick up your Monday morning latte, you’ll be able to find a local equivalent. Do some homework and get to know local businesses around your new home and / or workplace and you’ll find that your move needn’t impinge on your lifestyle.
5. Visiting before you move can really help lay the foundations for a positive move
Of course, you can only get so much from a business’ website or Google reviews. Which is why you should ideally plan a couple of reconnaissance trips to your new home town to get to know it a little better at ground level. Familiarize yourself with the route from your new home to your new workplace and identify cool places to stop off on the way. Find parks you can visit when you need a calming break as well as a great deli where you can pick up your lunch order. Find a local gym you can join or a play area for your little ones.
This will give you and your family a chance to build a positive personal relationship with your new home town and ensure that everyone has lots to look forward to.
6. Getting to know the weather beforehand can make a huge difference!
If you’re moving interstate, one thing that you may not have accounted for is the change in climate. The last thing you need is to arrive in your new home to find that virtually none of your clothing is appropriate and that you’re not prepared for the extremes of weather that can occur there.
7. Talk to your new colleagues before and after you move
Finally, remember that your new employer is on your side. They want you to be part of the team and that means that they want you to be as happy as possible from day one. Happy employees are not only more productive, they’re also infinitely more pleasant to work with. So take some time to get to know your new boss and (if possible) your new colleagues. Share your reservations with them and ask their opinion on what you can do to facilitate a smoother transition. Even asking them for bar or restaurant recommendations can go a long way.
This will also show them that you respect and appreciate your opinion and lay the foundations for a harmonious working relationship.