Relocating For Work: 6 Tips For Success
Moving to a new home is one of the most stressful tasks you can take on. But what if you combine moving to a new home with starting a new job once you get there? This life events combination can easily send your stress levels soaring.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the stress of relocating for a new job, whether that job is a traditional office position or you’ll be working from your home. We spoke to several real estate, moving and career experts about strategies that can reduce – though probably not completely eliminate – the pressures of relocating for work.
Their advice? Expect things to go wrong. Don’t panic when they do. And start prepping for your move as soon as possible.
1. Prepare For Your Move Far In Advance
One of the best ways to remove stress from a job relocation is to research your move as early in the process as you can.
"One of the best things you can do with any move is to spend a couple of weeks preparing by researching information," says Ryan Fitzgerald, a real estate agent and owner of UpHomes.com in Charlotte, North Carolina. "Learning about ways in which you can make your job relocation less stressful is a step in the right direction to simplifying your move."
Mumford recommends drafting a rough budget for all the costs associated with the relocation. Some of these costs will include the preliminary trips you need to make to research an area, the costs of hiring movers and rent for any temporary housing you might need.
"The further in advance you can brainstorm these costs, the more prepared you'll be when the time to move comes," Mumford says.
It’s important, too, to share your new address with your credit card providers, banks and the IRS before you move. This way, you won't miss out on any important letters and documents once you make your move.
2. Research Your New Community
Fitzgerald recommends, too, that you research your new community before you make your move and sign up with a local bank, find a dentist and doctor, visit your children's new school, sign your children up for local sports leagues and pick out a few favorite restaurants and shops.
The more you know about your community before you get there, the more stress you can remove, not just for yourself but for anyone moving with you.
Also, remember to give your new home a deep clean before you move in. The easiest way to do this is to hire a cleaning service to tackle the job before you arrive. Fitzgerald says that moving into a clean home will be a calming influence as you and your family relocate.
3. Consider New (And Unexpected) Costs
A job relocation might sound enticing when your employer is offering you a raise to move to a new location. But two factors could negate those extra dollars.
First, moving is expensive. Second, you might be moving to a community where housing, food, gas and property taxes are all higher than what you're paying in your current city. Don't forget to consider these costs when determining whether a job relocation makes financial sense.
Look To Cut Moving Costs
Ryan Carrigan, co-founder of Athens, Georgia-based moveBuddha, says that you can slash the costs of moving by asking your company to pay for many of them. Not all companies will cover all costs, but Carrigan recommends asking if your firm will cover travel expenses, the cost of hiring movers, the fees associated with selling or buying a home or the costs of traveling to an area to research it before you make your move.
The more your company can chip in, the less time you'll need to spend worrying about the costs of making a move.
Moving isn't cheap. The American Moving and Storage Association says that the average cost of a move from one state to another is about $4,300, while the average cost of an intrastate move is about $2,300. If your company isn't paying for these costs, and if handling them on your own might bust your budget, you might consider taking out a moving loan, such as a personal loan, to help cover them.
When you take out a personal loan, you receive a single lump sum payment that you can use to pay for anything, including moving costs. You then pay back this loan in monthly payments, with interest. If you want to learn more about personal loans, click here.
Determine Your New Costs Of Living
Don't accept a relocation offer until you research the cost of living at the community you might soon call home. The higher costs of owning a home, covering taxes and shopping for groceries could quickly eat up your raise. Don’t be quick to accept a job relocation if you’ll be spending too much to live in your new home. Watching your pay raise disappear each month won't do much to ease your stress.
"People are also often tempted by relocation job offers when the offer comes with a higher salary," Carrigan says. "But you need to remember to always adjust for the cost of living. Sometimes the higher salary is just a cost-of-living adjustment and won't actually net you any additional income."
Remember, too, that your new home might need work, too. Every home requires yearly maintenance. Make sure to budget in those costs, too.
4. Get Your Children On Board
Career coach Carlota Zimmerman says that it's important to get your children involved in the moving process. Don't forget, that they are probably experiencing as much, or even more, stress as you are. And if they’re unhappy, that will only make your job relocation more challenging.
Your children might be resistant to a move. This isn’t unusual: Moving to a new community and facing the prospect of meeting a new group of friends isn’t an easy task for children. But the more you can involve your children in packing, finding a new home, visiting schools and buying new furniture for your new home, the greater the odds that your children will consider your job relocation as a positive.
"Share with them your own hopes and concerns," Zimmerman says. "Make it clear that you are optimistic that this move is going to be a great adventure for the family, and that as long as everyone commits, there will be a happy ending."
5. Use Social Media To Network
Kate Tudoreanu, a career counselor and founder of Millennial Career Counseling, says that Facebook groups or forums can help you connect with people online before you complete your move to a new community. Joining and contributing to these groups can also help you learn more about the city or community to which you are moving.
You can ask people for recommendations for a good dentist or doctor, you can chat online about preschools, you might discover neighborhood walking clubs or parents' groups that you can connect with once you arrive.
"If you have a family or are moving on your own to a city, these are great ways to meet new people and potentially form friendships," Tudoreanu says. "That always makes the transition easier if you don't know anyone yet and will help you feel less isolated in a new place."
6. Put Down Roots
And once you make your move, it's important to explore and put down roots quickly in your new community, Zimmerman said.
If you volunteered at your local soup kitchen in your old home, find a new one to donate your time to in your new community. If riding bikes, hiking or visiting museums was a family tradition in your former community, make it one in your new city, too.
"Those kinds of traditions are what will keep you and your family engaged and united, which is absolutely crucial to a successful relocation," Zimmerman says.
Relocating for a job will never be a stress-free experience. But if you research your new community, involve your entire family in the move and come to your new city armed with reasonable expectations of what you’ll be spending once you arrive, you can at least cut down on this stress and enjoy more of the adventure of starting a new chapter in your life.
And to help reduce stress on you and your wallet, consider taking out a personal loan to help offset the costs of your new community adventure!