If you have been given an opportunity to relocate for work, you probably have a lot to consider. If you’re at the very start of your career and aren’t tied down to your place of residence, this could be an exciting new adventure. Maybe you found a remote, online job during quarantine and will finally have the chance to relocate and meet your team in person. If you do have a house and a family in your current town, relocating might be a bit more stressful. You’ll have to find a new house, a school for your kids, and maybe even a new job for your spouse.
If your job requires you to relocate, they should offer a relocation package to make your life easier. In the wake of the pandemic, companies have realized that it’s often easier for employees to work from home. It offers more flexible work hours and can even increase employee productivity by allowing employees to spend more time doing what makes them happy and less time commuting. Thus, if your job is asking you to relocate and work in person, it should offer some incentives to do so.
Relocating for work doesn’t have to be a nuisance, either. While any major life change can be stressful at first, a change of scenery could be just what you need to increase your productivity at work, make new friends, and live your ideal lifestyle. Whether this is your first time moving or your tenth, change can be hard. But human beings were never meant to stay in one place. Work will always be a part of your life, but it doesn’t have to define it. If you have the opportunity to move to an exciting new place, you may as well make the most of it. University of Houston professor and author Brene Brown says, “Owning your story is the bravest thing you’ll ever do.” It certainly takes bravery to move across the country or across the world—or even just a few cities over from that town you love. But if you and your family are truly happy where you are, then moving doesn’t have to be a part of your story. It’s completely up to you.
The good news is that relocating can come with a myriad of benefits, but if you have the pre-move jitters, it can be comforting to know that you aren’t alone. Author Shannon Alder tells us that “The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.” Read on for some relocation recommendations from business people who have helped their employees relocate or even relocated themselves.
Advantages of Urban Relocation
Depending on where you’re relocating, your job’s new city or town could be a complete change of pace for you. If you’re moving from a rural or suburban area to a city, you have a lot to anticipate. Moving to a city could provide you and your family with a higher salary and shorter commute. You’ll have access to restaurants and shops within walking distance. People relocating to the city for work may be concerned about finding high-quality schools and childcare for their kids, but the truth is that cities have a number of school and daycare options. You’ll also likely have easier access to after-school activities, extracurriculars, and social events for both you and your kids.
John Jacob, CEO of Hoist, notes that it’s important to seek out work connections in your new area. “Everyone is connected on LinkedIn these days, so even if you don’t have any family members or friends in your new location, you might know someone in your network who lives there. Think about classmates from college, former coworkers who moved, or new connections from your company. Your network should be ever-expanding, and if you’re moving to a new home base, you may want to have lunch with someone who can advise you on work-life balance and the culture in your new hometown.”
Advantages of Suburban or Rural Relocation
If you’re moving out of the city to the ‘burbs, you will have the benefit of reduced living costs that could allow you to afford a home and have a better work-life balance. While city living is exciting, the constant work culture and high living costs can be too much for some. Even if you have always been an urban dweller, you may find that moving to a quieter location gives you more space to relax and think. Some suburban and rural locations also have easier access to forests, parks, and beaches than cities—which is great if you have pets or kids.
Woody Sears. Founder of HearHere, believes that relocating and finding a proper work-life balance is key to satisfaction at work. “We don’t talk about work-life balance enough, but it’s so important,” he says. “Spending time with my family is so important to me, and in order to do that, I have to get away from my work environment sometimes. Even if you work from home, spending time outside or socializing with neighbors can help you feel more balanced. If you’re relocating to the suburbs or somewhere more remote for your job, you’ll have access to that all the time.”
Disadvantages of Urban Relocation
If you’re moving to a new city for your job, you’re going to need some time to adjust to your surroundings and find a new place to live. You’ll have to find a new favorite restaurant, new doctors, and a new grocery store. That adjustment period can be seen as a disadvantage, and you may also be moving away from friends, family, and your social circle at your previous workplace. Coupled with higher living costs, moving to a new city is understandably scary.
Kevin Callahan, Co-Founder and CEO of Flatline Van Co. suggests staying in touch with old friends and family until you’re settled in.
“Moving is definitely one of the biggest life transitions that any of us have to go through. If you’re moving across the country—or across the world—you’re going to want to pack light, but make sure you don’t skip out on those sentimental items from friends and family that you won’t see as often. You’ll always be able to find clothes and furniture in your new city, but those are the things you’ll miss the most. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your new coworkers. If they have lived in the city for a while, they’ll probably be more than willing to lend a hand and offer recommendations on cheap transportation and good food.”
Disadvantages of Suburban or Rural Relocation
If you’re moving to a rural or suburban location, you may find the excess of space overwhelming. You may also feel frustrated and bored with the lack of public transportation. The job market can also be more competitive.
Drew Sherman, Director of Marketing and Communications of RPM says that the suburbs will feel like home before you know it. “Just like the city, you’ll probably find a new favorite coffee shop or park in the suburbs. People in the suburbs and country are very friendly to people who are new in town, especially young adults and families, so choose a bakery or location that you like and strike up a conversation. You might be surprised by how easy it is to connect with people.”