A career-related move is often an emotional roller coaster. It’s exciting to gain a new work environment and a new home at the same time, but sadness at leaving the home where you feel comfortable, as well as worries about facing an unknown city, might feel overwhelming. Many people in this position struggle with a sense that they have lost control of their lives for a while. Here are some tips to put you back in the driver’s seat.
Negotiate Relocation Benefits
The hassles and expenses of moving for a new job or transfer extend far beyond just packing and getting into a truck or onto a plane. Be sure to ask your employer what kind of relocation assistance it offers, and if you’re in a position to negotiate, hold out for the benefits that are most important to you. A few things you might not have thought about negotiating include two or three reconnaissance trips to scout for a new neighborhood and home, temporary housing, whole-house packing and moving, and a cash stipend for expenses.
Research Your New Home
Knowledge is power. When you’re well informed, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions about neighborhoods, school districts, and commuting. Learning more about your new city will also help you feel like you’re taking control of your new life. Travel websites will tell you about the things tourists want to know, but if you want the lowdown from a resident’s point of view, turn to a website published by a local builder, realtor, or relocation firm.
Visit Your New City
No matter how much you research and read, there’s no substitute for visiting your new hometown. What’s more, two or three visits are better than one. Rent an apartment if you can, rather than staying in a hotel, so that you can have a more residential experience. Rent a car so that you see what rush-hour traffic feels like and how difficult it is to park downtown while also testing the public transportation and the walkability of the city. If you have your eye on a neighborhood, visit the park and a local grocery store to see how you feel about the people who live in the area.
Check Your Budget
Hopefully, your employer is helping you with relocation expenses, but you’re on your own when it comes to monthly expenses. A cost of living calculator can give you an overview. If you don’t get a chance to shop for groceries when you visit, find a local grocery chain that offers online shopping so that you can see what food prices are like. How does the cost of gasoline compare? Are property taxes similar to your old city? Is there a local sales tax?
Once you take control of your new life, you can relax and enjoy the rest of the process. Think ahead to the fun you’ll have exploring your new city’s restaurants, shops, galleries, and attractions. As you hug your old friends goodbye, look forward to the new ones you’ll be meeting. Don’t let the challenges of moving overshadow the joy of undertaking a new adventure and starting a new chapter in life.