Moving For Your Job? 5 Ways to Ease the Transition

You’ve always dreamed of moving across the country to pursue your career, but now that the time has come, you probably feel a little unprepared. You’re leaving the friends you made in your current city and you’re going to be in a completely new place with a new job—that’s not easy! Although it will take more than packing up your suitcases, it’ll all be worth it. Here are five ways to make your cross-country move a little bit easier:

1. Say your goodbyes

You’ve quit your current job, and you’re ready to start new—but you still have to say goodbye to everyone you’re leaving behind. Although it’s difficult to leave all of your friends, at least you'll have people to see when you visit your old city! It can be hard to make sure you don’t forget to say goodbye to everyone, from co-workers to old classmates to friends, so take a few weeks to think about how you’d like to say goodbye. Rachel, a recent grad who moved from NYC to Chicago, says, "Don't forget to say goodbye to everyone you've been close with the last few months. I remember when I moved I forgot to say goodbye to an old co-worker and I got an email once I moved to Chicago asking if I wanted to get drinks. She didn't know I moved, and I felt really bad that I hadn't told her before I left."

Friends might throw you a going away party, but if not, you can plan your own. Whether that's a formal happy hour at your favorite bar, or a casual dinner with friends, just make sure you take the time to say your goodbyes the way you’d like to. You don’t want to be the one to receive a text from an old friend saying, “You left the city without telling me?”

2. Pack your bags

The least fun part of moving is, of course, packing. If your future employer is paying for your move, you probably don’t need to consider what to bring and what to ditch because you’ll be able to pack everything into the moving truck, and it will all be sent to you. In that case, you’ll need to consider what to pack in your luggage so you have it immediately in your new city, just in case the rest of your stuff doesn’t arrive before you do. If you don’t have a new job yet or your new employer isn’t paying for your move, you need to weigh the pros and cons of paying to move everything versus leaving certain things behind and re-buying them in your new city. For example, it doesn’t make sense to pack your bulky sweaters if you’re moving to California—they’ll just take up space and you probably won’t need them. The more stuff you bring, the more expensive the move will be! It also doesn’t make sense to ship your armoire or mattress across country—you can easily buy furniture in your new city for a fraction of what it would cost to ship them. Instead, use websites like Craigslist to sell the things you won’t be able to bring—tables, couches, rugs and the like. You can pack belongings like your picture frames, kitchen supplies and other decorative items that you can’t part with, as well as the clothes that won’t all fit in your suitcase. You may really want to keep that poster you have in your room, but don’t waste the space in your suitcase—you can buy new ones once you move and you’ll really thank yourself when you start to unpack.

Erin, a college grad who moved from Boston to Denver says, "I didn't have a new job before I moved to Denver, so I really had to be frugal about what I was going to bring across the country. Definitely don't bring furniture! There's probably an Ikea or Target close to where you are moving and it is way easier to just buy new things once you get to your new place. I made the mistake of bringing my mattress, and then when I got to my new apartment I realized my Queen bed was too big for my closet-sized room." 

3. Do some research

Before your move, spend some time researching your new city so you'll have a list of places you'd like to check out as soon as you get there (instead of spending hours trying to find the best coffee shop). First, figure out what you really want to know about the city. Do you care more about finding the best restaurants the area has to offer? Or would you rather find the nearest museum? Maybe finding the closest gym is important to you so you can workout once you're finished with the move. While it’s nice to just stumble upon gems around the city once you get there, you should also do your research by buying a book or looking online to get to know the area a little better. The more research you do prior to your move, the easier the transition of moving to your new city will be. 

4. Don’t forget the small things!

To better prepare yourself for moving, make sure you tie up any loose ends before you leave your current city. Make a list of what you need to get done before moving day. Things such as having your mail forwarded to your new address, scheduling movers and transitioning services like cable and internet are small things that you may not think about until the last minute, but they are completely vital. Planning ahead will save you time and stress come moving day. 

5. Give it time 


During the first few weeks of living in your new city, you’ll be so busy with starting your new job and moving in that you won’t notice whether or not you miss your friends, old city, apartment or job. After a month or so, you’ll finally feel settled (or at least have just finished decorating your apartment, which is settled enough). This is a good thing, but it's also the time when you may start to feel the loneliness setting in—you no longer have the comfort and security you had from the experience of living in your old city. You may feel like you hate your new city, but you have to give it time. Living in a new place is often discomforting at first, but wait to judge your new situation until you give it at least three months—after that you should know whether or not it is a place where you could be happy to live long term.

Sarah, a recent graduate who moved from San Francisco to Boston, says, "It was tough to move to a city where I didn't have a single friend, and after a week I wasn't sure I really wanted to stay. It was tough not having a friend to talk to after a hard day at my new job. I'm glad, though, that I waited and gave it a few months before realizing that Boston is definitely the right city for me right now and I'm glad I made the move. Just give it some time!"

When the move is over and you’re settled in, make sure you say yes to new adventures. If someone you meet at work asks if you want to explore the local farmer’s market on Saturday, go. If someone asks you to a party, go. Take any chance you have to meet new people and go somewhere you haven’t been before. Moving across country is not easy! Fortunately, by following these tips you’ll be prepared for your new city and before you know it, you’ll feel like a true local.