What you need to consider before relocating for your job

In this posting from the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program, Publicis Media's Alex Delehunt offers her tips on making a move for your career

Last year I was presented with an amazing career opportunity that involved moving from Sydney to Melbourne. Granted, not a huge move, only a short flight away and in the same country but it still came with challenges.

I have a great sense of adventure and love to travel so this seemed a logical step for me. I could satisfy my itchy feet, explore a new city, and still be able to have a great job.

But, of course, I only focused on the positive aspects and when it came time for the physical move and after I arrived, there are a few things I wish someone had told me.

So if you ever get offered an opportunity to relocate for your job, whether it’s overseas or just interstate, then here are some things for you to consider so you’re more prepared:

  1. Moving house is painful – packing up your life’s belongings is hard enough, but when doing so interstate or overseas there is 100% going to be added stress. One, you need to find a place to live, and it’s so hard to figure out exactly where in your new city you want to live without extensive research. It’s a great time though to reassess your lifestyle. Do you want to move nearer the hustle and bustle of the city or are you able to finally live by the beach? Take the time to properly research the suburbs and figure out what is going to suit you best. If you have the luxury, try renting somewhere for a month or so before committing to a year lease so you can suss out if it is the right place for you.
  2. The cost of living is going to be different – your rent may be more, food may be more expensive or little things you may not think about could rack up the dollars. For example, changing over your car insurance to a different location can cause your premium to increase! So take this into consideration before signing on the dotted line. It’s a good time to negotiate with your company on your salary if your daily expenses are going to increase.
  3. Your support network will change – do you have family or friends in your new location? I went from a big group of friends and a tight-knit family all living close by to basically zilch. Moving interstate (or overseas) puts you out of your comfort zone, so you need to be really open to meeting people. I became a yes person accepting all invites when half of the time I just wanted to curl up on the couch. Making friends as an adult can be hard so have a think about joining a sporting team or taking up that dance class you always wanted to.
  4. Going home – I am lucky that my work needs me back in my original location from time to time so I align this with family visits, weddings, babies being born etc. But if you’re moving overseas then it’s likely you won’t have this luxury. Therefore you really need to ask yourself, can you afford to be flying home for every birthday party you get invited to? Chances are not. You should have a chat with your company and see if you can get a flight home once a year thrown into your new contract, the worst they can say is no. But plan it out, everyone generally wants to be home for Christmas so save up your leave and try and maximise your time back home. I always try to do a dinner somewhere low key or have a few drinks at the pub and invite all my friends and whoever can make it comes.
  5. Invest in a good internet connection – you’re going to be doing a lot of Facetime/Skyping so to avoid the constant cut-outs and lag times, sign up to a decent provider. You may have some more time on your hands so that good internet is going to come in handy when you’re two days deep in a Netflix binge.

So that’s my top five things I really urge you to consider before accepting that new role in a different city or country. You will learn a lot by being outside of your comfort zone and will get to explore somewhere new.

Tell me if you’ve had a similar experience or have any tips to add!

Alex Delehunt is people and culture manager at Publicis Media

This article is part of the LinkedIn Agency Influencer program. See more from the program by clicking on the banner below.

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