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How to Relocate for a Job

Sept. 24, 2001 (SmartPros) As you begin your careers, you may face the prospect of moving to another city. Moving can be an expensive, time-consuming and stressful event, but with proper planning it can be an easy transition.

According to the Employee Relocation Council (ERC), a Washington DC-based professional membership organization to which KPMG belongs, current business trends such as downsizing, reorganizations, and family and work issues are prompting many companies to develop relocation policies designed to address a range of issues. Some of these issues--employment for the spouse, elder care, and child care--may not be relevant to you yet, but becoming familiar with what your company offers is helpful.

In a tight job market like today's, companies are also increasingly making relocation policies a part of their recruitment-and retention-efforts. Companies are going the extra mile to make the relocation a smooth and painless process for their employees. Programs are often tailored to target different levels of employees. A senior employee may be entitled to more programs than a new hire. Wherever possible, take advantage of the services available for you to ease your transition into a new job in a new place.

One of the first steps you can take in preparation for your relocation is to educate yourself on the move. This is important even if your company provides extensive information. The Internet has become an extremely useful tool in obtaining information about your new location.

Be aware that moving is a stressful situation even under the best of circumstances. Expect to go through some strain, physically and emotionally. Do not expect too much; allow yourself a transition period. Work on building a social network of peers by joining clubs. Explore groups or organizations offering classes that will enable you to pursue your hobbies. Volunteering is another great way to establish roots in the new place. Most important, communicate with the person or persons in charge of relocating in your company-remember, a concern that is not expressed cannot be addressed.

To help ease into the new city or town, you must begin locating doctors, dentists, and other service providers. Do not wait for a situation to arise before seeking names of providers.

When it comes to selecting a company to move your personal belongings, including household goods, seek the help of your employer. But you may begin the process independently. Comparison shopping for price and services and checking the financial stability of the company are some of the steps you can take to be assured that you receive high-quality service. However, cost should not be the sole consideration in choosing a mover; picking a mover on the basis of price alone may prove to be more costly in the long run.

Finally, on the day of the move, consider these helpful hints to avoid unnecessary stress or chaos:

  • If you cannot be at home, ask a friend to be on hand when the movers arrive in order to answer questions.
  • Accompany the movers as they take inventory of the items to be transported. Make sure that an accurate destination is recorded for each item.
  • Make a final check of the items to check that nothing is left behind.
  • Stay at home until all the items are loaded onto the mover's truck.
  • If it applies to you, provide your neighbors and friends with the address and telephone number or e-mail address of where you can be reached.

Relocating: A Preparation Checklist
___Find out all there is to know about your employer's relocation package(s).
___Research your future residence, from the state to the city to the neighborhood.
___Research doctors, dentists, and other service providers. Prepare or begin to make the transition (phone calls, paperwork, etc.)
___Comparison shop for a moving company, using your employer when applicable.
___Organize the move with the moving company with the help of neighbors and friends.



2000, Smartpros Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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