It’s almost impossible to know where life will take you when it comes to your career. Sometimes, a job leads you to a small town you’ve never heard of before, and other opportunities might call for big-city living in a corporate office. Maybe you have a clear vision of where you want to take your career. Or, perhaps you’ve never been much of a planner, and you’re open to wherever opportunities land you. Between choosing a home, finding the right career, and preparing for a major transition, there are plenty of things to consider. Here are some places to start:
Review Your Options
Not everyone has the clearest picture of the career they want to pursue or the field they feel is the best fit for their skills and expertise. If this resonates with you, before taking the leap and relocating, take a moment to consider your interests as well as the professional skills you have acquired throughout your job history thus far. Prioritize the results based on which feel the most aligned with your desired career and start searching. Keep an open mind when starting your job search, being sure not to limit yourself to positions that tick all the boxes. Look for roles that will allow you to grow your current strengths and gain new ones in the process.
If you are currently employed in your desired field of work, but feel stuck in place, consider seeking the opportunities that may require relocating. Branching out of your office and researching internal employment opportunities is a great way to stay motivated and challenge your professional skills. It can also lead to building viable professional relationships with co-workers you might not have otherwise met.
Talk to Your Partner
If you are still wrestling with the decision to relocate or stay put, talk to your partner. This decision will impact their life both personally and professionally as well, so taking their thoughts into consideration is important. Be sure to gauge how they feel about relocating and discuss your relocation options. Find a place you are both excited about and can picture starting a new chapter of your lives together. Relocation depression is common, especially for following partners, and stems most commonly from fear of the unknown. Sit down and evaluate how this move will affect you both in your careers and if there is an opportunity for your partner to find a new job if applicable. Communication is everything, so make this discussion a top priority and continue it well into this new chapter.
This is also a great time to discuss your financial plan with your partner and determine how you will cover the costs of the move and new living expenses. Having a firm idea of your monetary health will help in the planning process and make the transition less strenuous on both your bank account and your relationship.
Determine the Costs
Relocating not only comes with a change of scenery and a new career path, but with costly expenses as well. Being prepared can help alleviate some of the financial stress when it comes to larger costs like buying a home or apartment and helps to adjust to the average cost of living in the state you plan to relocate to. Know the cost of living ahead of time and compare it to your new salary to design an accurate, updated budget. Minimize your disposable income and transfer it to an emergency fund prior to relocating in case you spend more than planned. Reach out to your new or current employer to discuss job relocation assistance as well. Some employers cover the entire cost of moving, while others give a designated amount to put towards the relocation expenses.
There’s often a time crunch when relocating, so be sure to get your housing affairs in order well in advance to ensure the selling and buying process aligns with your relocation timeline. Explore applying for mortgage preapproval ahead of time to make buying a home more timely and shorten the closing process on a new home. Then, contact a real estate agent that will help price your current home right so it sells at a faster rate. They will help to take care of the smaller details so you can focus on next steps as well.
Relocating can be an opportunity to declutter and start fresh. When preparing for the big move, go through your current belongings and set aside pieces you no longer need or have a place for in your prospective home. This may sound time consuming and maybe a little overwhelming, so create a moving checklist. This gives you a visual of necessary steps leading to the move and makes separating items that you don’t have a use for much easier.
Take it one step at a time and go room by room. Pack your moving boxes as you go and color code for each room. This will come in handy when setting up your new space. Gently used items you no longer need can be donated, given to a friend, or put into a mini sale to gain some extra cash for the move. Both you and your new space will feel lighter, and it also gives you a chance to redesign your new home and make it fit this new, exciting season of your life.