When it comes to major life changes, moving for work is up there with college graduation and marriage, especially if you’ve found a new job in a distant city. You’ll feel excitement and dread, possibly in equal measures. It’s a good idea to look at the reality of your move so that you can approach it with a clear head.
If a company hired you knowing you would have to move, there’s a good chance they will help with your moving expenses. The human resources department should get in touch with you about a job relocation package. If they don’t, ask them if they have one.
Your job relocation package will greatly help. It may include help finding a home in the form of paying for you to come to the new city and stay in a hotel so you can look for a house. If you’re a homeowner and have to sell your home, it may pay your closing costs, your real estate agent’s commission, and more. It may also have a clause that says if the house doesn’t sell by a certain date, the company will purchase it.
Your new company may also help your partner find a job in the new city. If you have to pay to travel to your new home, the company might reimburse it, as well as pay many of your moving expenses. Finally, if you don’t have a new home by the time you move, this benefits package may pay to put you in a temporary, furnished home until you do.
Also, if you need a self storage unit to store your belongings during the move, ask if the job relocation package covers the cost. Get everything in writing. If you’ve been hired at a large company, they probably have an information packet for you.
You will end up visiting your new city at least once, and possibly multiple times. Some businesses or government agencies, if they’re really interested in hiring you, will pay for your travel and lodging even when you’re just coming out to interview.
However, until the actual move itself, you may be traveling alone. If you have a family, they still have things to do at your current location. Your spouse has to do his or her job, and your children need to go to school.
When visiting the new location, it’s your job to scout ahead, which brings us to the next two things you need to know.
The cost of living may be drastically different from where you currently live. Basically, it may be higher, or lower. That seems obvious, but the effects can be drastically different. If you’re moving somewhere less expensive, you’ll be stunned at the size home you can buy or rent compared to where you lived before.
If the new job is in a city where the cost of living is higher than you’re used to, make sure that your compensation will be enough to maintain your standard of living, or that you’re willing to lower it a bit. If the cost of living is lower, make sure the new location is one where you’d really like to live. Many areas cost less for good reason, such as undesirable weather, lack of available activities, and crime rates.
The more rural an area, the lower the cost of living as well. In fact, if your new job is in a city, you may want to live just outside it in the suburbs to save money.
Online you’ll find cost of living calculators to help you compare your current and destination cities. While you’re visiting the new city, looking for a place to live or going on another interview, note the prices of restaurants, theaters, groceries stores, parking, and more. Using the knowledge you’ve gained, you can create a preliminary budget to get a view of your future finances.
Every town and city has its own cultural quirks, so get ready for a mild case of culture shock. Perhaps you come from a more conservative, rural area, and the liberal attitudes of city dwellers take you by surprise. Or, perhaps you come from a city, and you’ll be surprised by how everyone in a small town seems to know each other.
If you have a strong attachment to the place you’re moving from, you may find the adjustment especially difficult. Check out the attractions in your new home. Cities have many, but even small towns have unique sites to see.
Finally, when you move to a new place, you’re going to miss the family and friends you left behind. That’s true even if you’re moving to a new home with your family. Get out and make friends. Sites like Meetup can help you find people with similar interests, whether you’re into writing or weekend sports.
Of course, there are also Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, as well as video conferencing apps, to help you keep in touch with people back home. Just remember that adjusting emotionally to a new routine in a new place takes time.
With all that said, we hope you find the job of your dreams, wherever it takes you.