Relocating for a Job in a New City 1,000 Miles Away from Home

Life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls, doesn’t it?

Picture yourself: happy with your social life (albeit single but otherwise very happy with your social life), unhappy with an 8am – 6pm job in the best city in the world, and unhappy with this overly ambitious angel-devil on your shoulder that won’t stop whispering,

…betch, you need to get out of here. You’ve said you wanted a management role by 30 and you’re stuck in a rut and almost 30. You’re destined for greater! Move on! Apply to new jobs, go on… apply!

Turn your head to the other shoulder and the angel-devil is also saying,

You know what, maybe this is okay. This life can be equally as rewarding! Forget about work and these high expectations you have for yourself and what you need to achieve, and find something else to take your mind off your unhappiness at work… like… a boyfriend? Host parties and send out thank you notes! Start a family!

Then suddenly, in a whirlwind of applying to jobs anywhere and everywhere because the former angel-devil voice was more convincing, an offer actually comes along to move you just about 1,000 miles away from your hometown where you’ve lived for close to 20 years.

I did my research on “relocating for a new job” and learned that moving is literally third in a list of top 5 most stressful life situations after the death of a loved one and divorce. I mean… who signs themselves up for that kind of stress?

lBcP5q6.gif

I guess I thought it’d be fun. And here I am, sitting on the balcony of my new apartment in Wisconsin, listening to my neighbors’ remix of Linkin Park’s In the End and wondering why.

    • Why leave my family on the east coast (including my precious, beautiful baby cousins/god daughter)?
    • Why leave my best friends in the prime of their lives (weddings, babies)?
    • Why leave all the things I know and love like my favorite pizzeria, my favorite Metro North train conductor, my favorite burger from the local comfort food/all American restaurant?
    • Why leave my comfy cozy, beautifully decorated (recently by moi) apartment that I love and just started hosting in?

The list seemed endless. But then the incredible people in my life that love me – grounded me. In a weak moment of almost saying no to the opportunity, they reminded me that I’ve wanted change – some kind of change. In a way, I asked the universe for this and it serves me right for not being more specific about the location. So I wished this opportunity into existence and how dare I not give it a chance?

Besides, how can you expect change if you don’t make change? If you walk down the same street every day, you’re going to see the same shops, the same cracks in the sidewalk, the same homeless man begging for money.

So I said yes and have started a brand new chapter of my life. I can’t tell you the ending yet, obviously, but I can tell you that in just 4 short weeks the chapter’s already had both its amazing and challenging moments.

To all the single people in their late 20s /early 30s relocating to a new city for a job, here is some actual advice from a single person who has relocated for a job to a new city on the brink of 30:

    • Thank the Moving Angels above if the job you’re relocating for offers a relocation package that includes physically moving your things. While it may feel like you’re detached from the entire experience (and maybe in a little emotional shock), I cannot imagine having coordinated and done it all on my own in the short timeframe I had. If you do have to do it on your own: buy lots of wine, get organized, get your finances in order, and start coordinating/planning ASAP.
    • Do see all of your loved ones before you go. Negotiate your start date to accommodate that time with family, friends, your go-to mani/pedi and hair lady – whatever you need to do … do it. Not that you’ll never be back home but you may not be back home soon (especially not conveniently for a mani) so savor those moments because everything is going to change.
    • No matter how much you think you have and pack, you will need new things that you didn’t think of because it is – after all – a new and very different place. Less closet room? Ooop, well – guess I’m going to need tons of storage. Hello, Target! Meet my credit card!
    • Do try and find an apt or house close to a Target (see previous bullet). While we’re on the topic of proximity to your favorite things: don’t forget about (1) pizza (2) Homegoods/TJMaxx (3) a gym (4) a liquor store (5) a good nail salon, etc.
    • Do coordinate your cable/internet on your move-in date if possible. Last thing you want is to be in your semi-organized/unpacked apartment, waiting on food delivery, sipping vino in slippers with no Netflix or cable. Quiet time with your own thoughts to think about this huge move and life change you just made?! Woof – no bueno.
    • Do ensure your bank has ATMs and/or branches in your new city. Last thing you want is to be broke because you probably haven’t been paid in over a month and because Direct Deposit takes time to kick in. So you find yourself driving around with your fresh paycheck and cannot find a single ATMs and/or branch for your bank. So then you have to snail mail it to the bank to deposit it for you? Christ.
    • Do remember your nail salon doesn’t know who you are yet and just because you arrive 30 mins before closing that Heath, your new favorite Vietnamese male manicurist, will just be available for you… because he won’t… and you will need to rip off the rest of your gel mani leaving your nails looking devastated.
    • You will get lost driving around until you’re familiar with the town/area so keep the Waze app handy on your phone.
    • Prepare for pizza not being the same as your favorite place at home, but bank on your favorite bottles of wine tasting the same and probably being available anywhere.
      • No matter how much you hate OkCupid, you will find yourself back on it. Whether it’s short term dating, long term dating, or just to find someone to go to a bar with and have a beer… I promise single one, you will be swiping and a-matchin’ on the ol’ OKC. So get the profile updated and get excited.

     

    • People are kind. Don’t hesitate or be afraid to say hi, or ask questions, or just introduce yourself, “I don’t think we’ve met, I’m new in the building!”. On my first week in my apt complex I couldn’t find the trash room. I wandered the three floor garage to no avail. Finally, garbage bag and recycling in tow, I yelled as sweetly as possible to a young girl just getting home. I scared her a bit but she was so happy to help.
    • The fact that you’ve moved is a conversation started in itself. All my new coworkers can’t help but ask questions – use all those new moments to fuel conversations with people outside of work… like the hot GM at the 24 Hr Gym in your building.
    • Remind yourself over and over again why you’re doing this. Remind yourself, when things get tough, but also when things are going really well. Remember that it doesn’t have to be forever. It could be just a year or 2 (which fly by) at which point you can move back home if you want.

In short, relocating for a new job is definitely worth its position in the list of top 5 most stressful life experiences but I’m sure I’m writing one hell of a chapter in my life book. Excited to see it through and see where the story goes.

If you still seriously need help making this big decision, I found this list of qualifying questions helpful on forbes.com.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s