The decision to relocate for a job is a major one that demands significant time and consideration. Frequently, it is a process that involves family and network contacts. It is not a decision that is arrived at quickly or haphazardly.
The move itself could be one of the most stressful changes in a workers’ life. Even when there is a tremendous opportunity, and the worker is excited about the new position or company, the move can still be complicated.
But there are some positives early on that help with the transition.
The first good news is that the worker has been recognized as a valuable asset to the new company or office. New employers are typically more than willing to help make the transition a smooth one. That may include a relocation package offered by the new company.
Not all companies offer financial incentives for relocation, but they may offer other services through Human Resources, such as contacts with realtors, schools, and ancillary services.
Another challenge faced by two-income families. Finding employment for the relocating employee’s spouse or partner can muddy up the waters. Families with children will also be concerned about their transition to the new environment.
This type of challenges make it extremely difficult to be 100 percent focused on the new job while dealing with all of the logistics of the move. A relocated worker will want to focus on making a great first impression on their new colleagues. But everything is new and unfamiliar, so it takes working double time in the beginning to make it all work.
In order to increase the odds of a successful transition, here are a few tips that should help.
· Stay organized. Much of moving-related stress comes from managing all of the logistics, like leaving home and finding a new one. Try to be very organized. Keep to-do lists for both departure and arrival locations to help stay on top of everything.
· Know what’s available. Many companies offer a variety of relocation services and most are flexible in what they provide. Take the time to learn what’s available and use it. For example, some companies will pay for things like house-hunting trips, transportation of cars, or assistance in selling or buying a home. They might also be able to help a spouse with job placement or employment leads.
· If the new employer doesn’t typically offer relocation assistance, ask for it. If assistance isn’t typically given, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Start by researching moving costs in order to present the employer with a detailed estimate of how much relocation is expected to cost. Having this supporting information is crucial to the success of a negotiation.
· Take the time to get to know the new environment. Try to take some time to explore the new area before arriving. Explore the neighborhoods in the area to make sure to find the best suited one. Take the time talk to people that live there or used to live there. Get as much perspective as possible.
· Know the cost of living in the new city. There are significant differences in cost of living among U.S. cities and states. Typically, these differences will be compensated for in salary, but it’s still important to check. Do the research and plan accordingly.
· Don’t make any long-term commitments. Renting at first is a great way to settle into a new city without making a commitment to a neighborhood. A common mistake many people make when relocating for a job is to buy a home or commit to a long-term lease immediately, and later find that they don’t like the neighborhood.
· Build a social support network. Use friends to network in the new community. Use online services to find others in the area that have similar interests or hobbies. The new company may also offer clubs and interest groups to meet new people. Establishing a social network in the new town is going to make a worker feel more grounded and happy.
Next week’s JobsSunday feature will focus on what workers can do to make themselves more valuable to their organization.