Making a big move to a new city or country for work is exciting, but it’s also stressful at times. With a bit of thought, there are ways that you can make it easier on yourself before you move, as well as on the ground.
Once you have the job, it’s time to get serious about transferring your life to a new place. Be sure to check the cost of moving items versus buying furniture at your new location. Keep anything really meaningful, but be wary of paying for storage long term, or paying to transport articles which may not suit your new home. Even if you have family happy to store things in the interim, circumstances can change and it’s much harder to move it later when you’re far from home.
It’s not just all about what to pack or leave behind. To feel comfortable in your new city, you need to rebuild your support system. Even if you have a partner coming with you, you both need to build fresh routines and social groups - these take time.
It’s tricky enough settling into a new job, but what if that also means a whole new home far away from friends and family. Read on to find out how you can make the transition easier and feel at home sooner.
If possible, try to find a place which is comfortable and close to work for your first six months. Down the track you will have a much better idea of the areas you might love, but now is not the time to deal with a long commute or a dodgy area. Later you might find somewhere great to live through people you meet, so don’t tie yourself into the first place you find for too long. If you have a friend or relative to stay with for the first few weeks or months, be cautious about how long will suit you both. Use this time to actively house search, you definitely don’t want to outstay your welcome.
At your new job, people will look forward to you starting and will have special introductions and meetings organised, plus insider information on the best places for coffee and lunch. Make sure to give yourself a few weeks to focus on the work. Don’t try to also find the ideal apartment or your new best friends as well. Practice some self-care while you get used to your new routine.
Eat healthily even if you aren’t cooking every night, get some exercise and do something you enjoy on the weekends. This will also give you something to talk about with your new colleagues the next week. If there are any opportunities for extra training or conferences, it can also be an opportunity for getting to meet other people in the industry.
Firstly, stay in touch with your friends and family elsewhere, and not just on social media. Give them a call and talk to them – hearing familiar voices helps. Make a plan to visit in a few months, or have someone to stay down the track. These are still your support people while you’re building a new group. There’s room for both, one doesn’t replace the other. Creating a social life is important to settling in. Say yes to invitations, even if you aren’t sure you’re interested. If there are after work drinks or volunteers are needed for a company event, go along. If there are any friends or relatives you can catch up with, look them up and have a coffee together.
Getting out and about is far healthier than staying home with Netflix on weekends. If you enjoy the gym, find a good one in a convenient location and look on their noticeboard for group events. Join a local sporting group. Meetup groups also cover all kinds of activities in most cities.
Volunteer for a cause you’re interested in and be a tourist, get around to see the sights and learn what makes your new location special.
The easiest way to make friends is to spend time with people doing something you enjoy. That way you get to know who you think could be fun to hang out with. If you find someone interesting to talk to, ask if they want to meet up sometime for a coffee. Keep it light and don’t take offence if they decline.
You will find others happy to catch up but shy to ask first if you can be outgoing. Try new activities which challenge you and see who else is giving it a go too. A new city is a chance to try new things you can’t do at home. You’ll find others who enjoy the movies or certain sports, theatre and galleries.
Any big move is challenging at times and there will be days, nights and weekends when you wonder what you’ve done.
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