Relocating for a job is a fairly common practice, especially with the low job security of today’s economy. But moving can result in heavy personal costs and should be extensively thought about before leaping to take a job. Here’s how you can best enter a relocation type situation.
First and foremost consider why you are willing to move for this position. Is it for the money? Can you not find a job in your hometown? Are you looking for a life change? Are you being forced to move by your current employer? Have you been looking for a chance to move? The answers to these questions will determine how well you adapt to the new situation. If you’re putting yourself in this situation for good reasons and not just for the money or because you are being forced to do so you are more likely to have a positive attitude about your move and more likely to be happy in your new location.
Look into the details about the town you are moving to. Consider the average home prices, what the culture is like, what the weather is like, if you have children consider what the school districts are like you don’t want to move somewhere where you really aren’t happy to live. Often when the perfect job comes around we think that we will automatically be happy there but if the town you are moving to does not offer a social scene or isn’t family friendly it can take a serious toll on your psychological health.
You’ll also want to take a long hard look at your finances. How much money will you lose on your house if you sell it right now. If the real estate market is not favorable in your area, as it isn’t in most of the nation, you’ll want to consider how much you can rent your house or apartment for. Selling your current residence is a huge part of the relocation process and it is often a bit of a financial burden. Make sure it’s worth the money, and that you are financially able to do so.
If you have a family consider the effect of the move on them. Will they be able to find jobs in the area? Are they willing to say goodbye to their friends and coworkers? Will they be happy in the new town? If your spouse and/or children are not happy with the move it may make it difficult for you to be happy.
If you’ve decided relocation is the right decision for you, there are a few ways in which you can make the transition a little less painful. Prepare yourself for the difficulty of saying goodbye. Often we enter situations in which we have to say goodbye unprepared and end up fighting with the people we love because it’s harder to be sad than angry. Give yourself time to say goodbye to the people who have really mattered to you. Be honest with them about your feelings and they’ll be less likely to be angry with you about your move. Make a plan as to how you are going to stay close. For some people talking on the phone is enjoyable, others find it tedious and difficult consider setting up a time to video chat, or making it routine to email each other a few times a week. Alternatively you could try mailing a journal back and forth, complete with photos, and fun anecdotes. Elizabeth Bernstein of the Wall Street Journal showcased a group of women who did just that, and they have found that it has helped them remain close despite the fact that they all reside in different states. Old friends can help keep you from feeling lonely after a move, and should be included in your plans to relocate.