There are many ways to move up on the corporate ladder. One way to go that could be a real-life changer is to accept a relocation and move to another city for work. It will upend your life for a bit, but it can also be a fantastic opportunity.
Besides the benefit that comes from taking one for the corporate team, a new city can be the key to unlocking a lot of positives in your personal life as well as professionally. It isn’t easy, however, and you have to be prepared for a few bumps along the way.
With the right preparation and knowing what you’re getting into, the process can be much smoother. In this article, we will go over what to keep in mind before you set out on your relocation for work.
1. Get a rental
It takes a little while to get the lay of the land in a new city. Finding a short-term rental to ease into the new area and see how things are set up really pays off. There are a lot of these types of rentals that cater to business travelers, and they offer a wide range of comforts so you can settle into the new city nicely. For instance, DelSuites has apartments all over Canada for stays of a month or more.
Get into the apartment and then see what neighborhoods are going to suit your lifestyle as well as the commute to your new office. Ask some of your new colleagues which areas they like and why so you can then go and check them out yourself. You may even get the benefit of corporate housing as part of the relocation plan.
The rental itself should have all the same conveniences you would expect from your old house or the one that you plan to move into permanently. It should feel like a home away from home, in other words. If you plan to be there for more than a month, then it is also a good idea to decorate the place a bit. This will help with the transition period, so it doesn’t feel like a sterile house but more like home.
2. Ask for relocation assistance
Accepting a relocation is a big sacrifice, and it should be rewarded by the company. They hopefully have a package put together to aid you. If they don’t, then you should ask them to assist you.
The main thing to ask for is to have your expenses paid for. A mover is not cheap, especially when going across the country or a long distance. Even aside from a specific expense, there are going to be things that you have to pay for, so ask them for an upfront payment to cover things like any fees from canceling services early or for any other out-of-pocket expenses.
A big part of the relocation isn’t the expense. It is the logistics involved in planning and coordinating everything. Ask the company to hire a relocation management company. They will handle the planning stage and ensure that everything goes smoothly. This frees you up to get work done and take care of your family’s needs. Make sure the company understands that a successful relocation aligns with the company’s goals as well.
A good package also includes the packing and unpacking of the boxes.
3. Downsize before the move
A big move is an ideal time to downsize and get rid of a lot of stuff that has outlived its usefulness. Have a yard sale and make some money off of the things that have been gathering dust in your garage for too long.
The less you have to bring with you, the easier the process will be. If you don’t even know where you will be living when you get there, then you don’t even know if you will have enough space to keep everything. And storage is going to be expensive and inconvenient if you have to deal with it from across the country.
4. Build a support network
Having contacts where you plan to live before you get there is ideal. These people are going to be your support network to help smooth the transition. They could be future co-workers that you can be put in touch with ahead of time. They will be the ones to give you tips on how to get to work and be there to answer any questions that you have.
There should be others that you don’t work with that you should network with, however. Look for meet-ups in your new city for things that you enjoy. This is the easiest way to meet people. It’s difficult to make friends as an adult that aren’t people from your work. However, when you go to a club meeting or event, it is nice to see the same faces and have some adult conversation.
A professional network is also very beneficial. Look for events in which local business leaders and professionals can get together and swap business cards. The more people you know in your industry, the better as they understand the lay of the land better in your area.
5. Get involved with the community
Going from work to home and sticking with the regular routine can cause you to feel isolated and not a part of the greater goings-on in your community. This is true no matter where you live and if you relocated or stayed put.
What happens when you break that routine and start getting involved is that you can put down roots much faster and much deeper than ever. It’s also important to remember that your opinion on local matters is important. Just because you are new to the area doesn’t mean that you can’t help decide how things should go.
This means that you can be involved in charity organizations that work in your area and in your area of interest. Or, you could even get involved in political matters.