Anywhere but work.
If you landed your dream job in another state or simply want to start a new career in a different city, get excited! You’re about to make a big move that could change the entire course of your life.
While this is an exciting adventure filled with new people, new experiences and more, moving can be difficult. Especially if you’re moving far away, or even across the country. From finding an apartment to moving all of your belongings, it’s a costly task that few of us—if any—actually enjoy.
Before you pack your bags, consider the following details to make the move a little easier.
1. Speak to Your Employer
See if your current—if you’re transferring—or new employer will help with your move financially. Some companies offer relocation assistance, and even if the first answer is a no, you may be able to negotiate your way there. If you have to negotiate, Michael Chaffers, a Monster contributor, suggests keeping the following in mind:
- Make a list of where you need financial assistance. “Before you limit what you ask for, make sure you know what you want. Think broadly and do not limit yourself to financial expenses,” explains Monster.
- Find out what assistance is standard: This would be in the relocation policy. If there isn’t one, ask friends about what their company offers. Note that some commonly covered costs include: moving costs, temporary living, and travel back home (for those with a family).
- Come up with ideas that benefit the company: If paying extra to get you into your new apartment faster allows you to get back to work faster, they have more incentive to say yes. Find ways to make this type of case with what you need.
- Get it in writing: Once they say yes, have it written and signed with specific details on what they’re paying for and how much.
2. Research the Cost of Rent
Financially, you’ll need to research the cost of rent in your new city. If you don’t have a new job yet, you can use this to negotiate your new salary. If cost of living is higher, it makes sense that you’ll make a larger jump between your old job and new job.
If you know where you’re going already, check out rent reports like this one for Champaign, Illinois from Abodo. You’ll get a full assessment of the local rental market in the city where you plan to live, allowing you to choose the best neighborhood for your preferences and budget.
When you know how much rent is, you can start saving appropriately, in addition to using that data for salary negotiations. Plus, living in a new city means you’ll be spending a lot more to try new restaurants and meet new people. Don’t blow your budget on rent if you can avoid it.
3. Prep Your Resume
If you don’t have a new job yet, but hope to land one when you arrive, the time to start preparing is now. As you start your job search—which you should do before you leave, unless you have enough money saved to wait—consider the challenges of interviewing from out of town. Here are a few ways to overcome these common issues:
- Location on your resume: Don’t lie; put “Relocating to [location] in Month/Year” where you’d normally put your home base. You can explain in interviews.
- Network: Tap into your network in the new location, if you have one, to secure interviews and referrals. This will make it easier to get in with a company when you’re not currently in the area.
- Interviews: Dress like you normally would, and face the camera toward an empty wall. Don’t show any boxes or your midst-of-a-move apartment chaos.
- Be flexible: If you can, offer flexibility. If they need someone in two weeks, offer to be there, in-house, in two weeks. This can increase your chances of getting the job since many companies are on a hiring timeline.
4. Get Clear on Your Decision
With any new job, there’s an element of risk and uncertainty. When transitioning from one job to another in a different state, that risk is even higher. Before jumping in head first, ask yourself the questions below to make sure it’s the best move for your career right now:
- Does this job get you closer to your ultimate goal?
- Is the company in good financial standing?
- Is there room for upward growth within the company?
If you can answer yes to most or all of these, there’s a good chance this is a great move for your career.
5. Address the Cost of Living
In addition to rent, it’s important to consider the overall cost of living in your new city or state. This can also play into your salary negotiations, and the price of food and services greatly vary throughout the United States, so the time to prepare is now.
Luckily, this is an easy one to research. Start with CNBC’s 2017 Most Expensive States to Live In report, which found that Washington’s transportation is 16.9 percent more expensive than the national average and groceries in this state are 7.4 percent more expensive.
If you can’t get the salary you feel you need, you may need to consider starting a side hustle or saving extra money now to help you better adjust later.
Get Ready for a New Life
The time has come to prepare for your big move. Consider how this change will affect your career and how you can make the most of your time to prepare now. Use these ideas to get your life in order before taking the plunge. Before you know it, you’ll be driving off into the sunset, with a new career so close you can taste it.
This article was originally published on Create + Cultivate.