No matter how prepared you are, relocating for work is a huge adjustment. Here’s how to make it a little easier.
Relocating for work is becoming more common, but that doesn’t necessarily make it an easy transition.
If you’re relocating for work, you might not know a whole lot about the place you’re moving to. If you’re making the move alone, it can be even more daunting.
Once you know you’ve made the right decision, it’s time to prepare. There are plenty of things you can do ahead of your move to make it as smooth as possible.
However, even with all your ducks in a row, it can take time to adjust to your surroundings. Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you settle into your new home.
Become familiar with your home
That means becoming familiar with the actual dwelling you’re going to live in. If you’ve prepared for your relocation with the help of your employer, you should have your accommodation ready and waiting for you to arrive.
Start with unpacking. Even before you’ve set up your kitchen or your living room, start with a few home comforts and wall hangings that will make you feel more settled.
Don’t feel the need to rush out into your new city right away. Take a few days to set up your house or apartment properly so that it really does feel like your home.
Create a positive mindset
Hopefully, you’ll have started developing this from the moment you decided to relocate. It’s important to remind yourself why you made the decision to move.
Even if you don’t feel the need to convince yourself, it’s good to always have positive thoughts about the move ticking away in your head.
Once you’ve gotten used to your home, don’t get stuck in a rut. Staying in your comfort zone will only cause fears about the unknown to manifest, so be positive about new adventures as much as possible.
Explore your new city
Now would be a great time to start exploring the city. You should already have a virtual idea of where things are (or a real idea if you managed to make a preparation trip).
Take the time ahead of starting work to walk around your area, find your nearest amenities, scope out local cafés and bars. Become a tourist and get to know the well-known sites.
Also, get to know your routes to and from work, and find out what might be nearby your office for lunch. The more familiar you become, the more at home you will feel.
Meet new people
If you’re coming to the new city on your own, meeting new people can feel daunting. However, if you’re relocating for work, you can use your professional network to your advantage.
Get to know your colleagues and ask them for tips about the city and where some of the less well-known hot spots are.
You should also consider joining meet-ups or a new class where you can meet like-minded people and take on something new at the same time. Even getting to know your local baristas, hairdressers or bartenders will give you an insight into life in your new city.
Stay in touch with your old network
Part of relocating for work will mean saying goodbye to your old network that you were used to seeing much more frequently. It’s important not to lose contact with those people.
The fewer connections you have to your home life, especially at the beginning of the transition, the more homesick you’re likely to feel.
Be sure to block out time to talk to your old colleagues and friends regularly, so that you always feel connected to your previous home. However, don’t let these connections stop you from making new ones. You need to mix the old with the new.
Find a new routine
A big part of settling into any new situation is about establishing a routine that you can feel comfortable with.
Similar to setting up your home and staying in touch with old friends while making new ones, your new routine should be a blend of what you’re used to and some new experiences.
Factor in your commute, workload and free time when setting up your routine. Analyse your old routine and pick the parts that are most important to you, which you can adapt to your new life.
Take the opportunity of starting fresh to incorporate something new that you previously didn’t have time for. Giving yourself a blank canvas can feel very liberating and will help you look forward to your new life.
Say yes to opportunities
With your new routine in mind, you should also take this new opportunity to say yes more often to things you might not have said yes to in the past.
Over a number of months and years of being ‘bedded down’, we start to accumulate commitments and spend time before we’ve even had a chance to decide how we want that time spent.
When you relocate for work, it’s likely that once you’re settled in, all that will be in your calendar is your new job. Make a deal with yourself that you will say yes to more opportunities, be they professional, social or otherwise.
Develop another space
Like I said, starting out in a new city for a job might mean that the only thing in your calendar is work. While this leaves you open to endless opportunities and possibilities, it can also see you fall into a trap of just going from home to work and back again.
Suddenly, those four walls in both spaces will start to close in, and it’s not always easy to immediately fill your time with new things.
As a safety net, find an extra space for you to go between work and home. Whether that’s a coffee shop, a museum, a park, a beach or your local library, have a place that you feel comfortable relaxing in outside of home or work. This can be the start of getting acquainted with other places in your area.
Take your time
The most important part of adjusting to a relocation is to give yourself a break. Moving is hard enough, but adjusting and settling into your new home can be even tougher.
Take the time you need to get as comfortable as you can with your new home. Don’t rush into anything too fast just because you feel you have to.
Get support from family, friends and colleagues, both old and new. Before you know it, it will feel like you always lived there.