Moving for a job is exciting. There’s the anticipation of a new city, the thrill of “starting over” in a new place, and the excitement of the unknown. It’s one of the best and most difficult things you can do for your career. So if you’re thinking about making a change and moving for work, here are some things to consider before you make the leap!
Research Your Company
Are you changing jobs completely and starting with a new company? If so, you’ll want to do as much research as you can to ensure you know as much as possible about your new employer. Granted, it isn’t easy to learn as much about the culture until you actually start working there, but if you can at least get as much “public” information as possible before you start, you will have a better sense of security. I’ve known friends who’ve moved for jobs, only to get laid off within the first three months. Ask questions in the interview process, check annual reports or financial statements if you can, anything you can do to get an idea of the financial health of the organization. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Research Your Neighborhood
I recently moved to a new state and started a job. I was lucky in that I was moving to a place where the man I love was already living, so I had a head start on knowing the neighborhood, and I wouldn’t be alone. But I still had my work cut out for me in terms of learning the neighborhoods near my new place of employment.
Starting over from scratch can be overwhelming – if you’ve grown up in one city or are leaving a place you’ve lived for years, it’s easy to forget just how much effort goes into learning a new geographic area!
I’ll never forget the afternoon I went for a walk in search of a coffeehouse I had read about, only to find myself suddenly lost in a not so great (read: dangerous) area. Lucky for me a very kind person came to my rescue just as I realized I was being followed. Don’t take for granted your safety – read up on area crime statistics, speak to your local police department and get the lay of the land. (Note – this isn’t mean to scare you – just a good thing to consider as you discover a new area.)
Know What’s Really Important to You
As you consider moving to a new place for work – think about what you’ll be gaining as well as what you’ll be giving up. Are you someone that values arts and culture? Will you have opportunities to avail yourself of those things in your new city? Or maybe you are interested in a walking community. Is there public transportation near your new office? What will the weather be like in your new place? If you’re used to sunshine and palm trees, how will you deal with snowstorms and ice? What sounds romantic and exciting on paper may be exhausting and daunting in real life, so just be sure you are prepared for the realities of your new location.
And Finally…Make Connections Ahead of Time
If you can, reach out and start making connections before your move. Is there someone at your company assigned to your relocation? Write to your Chamber of Commerce to request a “New Resident” packet and ask if there is a local “Welcome Group” in your community. Or, ask family and friends if they know anyone in your new area – you might be surprised to learn that Aunt Nancy’s best friend lives just down the street from your new apartment. Knowing someone you can count on or call when arriving in a new place can make your transition feel less lonely!