Published: August 08, 2020
Relocating for work can be an intimidating and stressful time, especially if it’s a region in which you’ve never spent a lot of time. However, UNITS of Chapel Hill is here to help you get organized and refocus on the excitement of your opportunity.
It’s difficult to get excited about your new position, company and area if you’re worried about how your move will work. If you’re selling or renting your home, it can compound your stress. It’s important to keep a checklist of everything you need to do upon departure and upon arrival. Keep these separate and try to check off one thing (if not a few) every day. Realtor? Check! Moving or storage company? Check! Buy moving supplies? Check! Post unwanted items on Craigslist? Check! Change any bills you have to your new address? Check! Complete your forwarding address form at the Post Office? Check! You get the idea.
The more prepared you are, the better. Once you’ve settled on a place to live, keep a separate checklist for services you need to obtain. Examples: contractors and painters, cable and Internet installation and furniture delivery.
Ask for Assistance.
Many companies will offer their employees relocation assistance, but some may not offer it right off the bat. If they don’t, be sure to ask. Ask about potential reimbursements for moving costs like storage units, professional movers, transportation expenses and mileage, temporary housing, etc. If you can, try to estimate your costs before asking, which can help HR decide how much assistance they can offer. Ask about any preferred vendors or real estate agents that the company may utilize often or have discounts with, too. Large companies may have forums or sites where you can post your needs and requests to other employees as well.
Research the difference in cost of living.
Not only will this help you prepare for living in your new area, it will help you negotiate your salary. If there is a dramatic increase in cost of living (like if you’re moving from Oklahoma to San Francisco, for example), be sure to factor this into your compensation. It’s going to cost much more to live, not only for rent or your mortgage, but for everything from groceries to entertainment. If there are added benefits to moving (like complementary company housing, meals or transit), be sure to attribute an approximate dollar amount to these and factor them in.
Consider renting first.
If you’re moving to an unfamiliar area, renting may be a good way to test the city and/or neighborhood without too much commitment. If you have a chance to spend a substantial amount of time in the place before actually moving, that is obviously ideal. But if not, it’s better to sign a shorter lease and learn more about what area suits your lifestyle before committing.
Plug into a peer group.
Whether it’s a professional networking group or a supper club, be sure to explore social options before or right when you arrive to the area. It’s great to get out and meet new people, especially before you get to buried by your new job’s responsibilities and learning curve. During the stressful first months, you’ll want an outlet for fun.