Relocating for work is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, one that is often exciting and terrifying at the same time, even if it’s only for a few months. But there are a few things you can do before moving day to cut out most of the stress.
Follow these steps to ensure a smooth move:
1. Understand what your relocation benefits are
Most companies offer some kind of benefits package to employees relocating for work. At the bare minimum, these packages cover the cost of your temporary apartment and moving expenses. Moving expenses typically include a full pack and unpack.
If you’re relocating permanently, many companies will also help cover legal costs associated with selling your old home and buying a new one. Job hunting services for your spouse may also be provided.
2. Research suitable neighbourhoods
The more you know about a place, the more comfortable you’ll be when you arrive. Take some time to research the city you’re moving to. Look at both the city in general and specific neighbourhoods to get a feel for the overall place.
Some important things to look for are ease of transportation to and from your office, access to amenities like grocery and drug stores, and access to entertainment. Choose 2-3 suitable neighbourhoods to focus on for step three.
3. Choose a temporary furnished apartment
Even if you’re relocating permanently there will probably be a period of time between when you need to move and when you’re able to enter your new house. A furnished apartment can help you stay comfortable during that time.
Your company may already have a company they prefer to source apartments from, so ask them for suggestions first. You should also ask other professionals you know who have relocated for work.
4. Take an advance trip
This isn’t always possible, but it’s always better to visit a place first before moving there. Even two or three days of exploring the city can make you feel more comfortable when you’re settling in.
Focus on exploring the area where you plan to stay and the area around your office, but don’t limit yourself. It’s always better to see more.
If you’re permanently relocating this is also a great opportunity to start looking for homes to purchase.
5. Make friends ahead of time
Knowing even a single person can make a major difference in how you feel about a place. Take some time to meet people from the city you’re moving to, either online or through an advance trip.
There are two primary ways to do this. The first thing you can do is ask your boss to introduce you to a couple people from the new office before you show up. That way you’ll have a friendly face in the office right from day one.
The second thing you can do is network with professionals in your new city through social media. Many big cities have local Facebook and LinkedIn groups for a variety of industries, so you can easily connect with like-minded people. Some of these groups have live events on a monthly or quarterly basis so you can form deeper connections.
6. Plan everything in advance
The best thing you can do to reduce the stress of relocating for work is plan everything in advance. You should start planning the logistics of your relocation the moment you know that it’s happening. This prevents you from doing everything in a last minute panic, making it possible to actually enjoy relocating for work.