They say the three most difficult things that could happen in someone's life include a death in the family, a new job, and moving to another city, says Andrea Oh, marketing specialist and technical writer for wellness device company Performance Health Systems. Take a deep breath because in this article we're going to tackle the last two of those three, and discover what it's like to relocate for a new job.
You've just received the call you've been waiting for: We've reviewed your application, and would love to have you onboard. Pack your bags because you're moving to (insert city here)! After the celebration is over, what do you do next? Lora Poepping has been a recruiter for the last 20 years, working with notable companies like Microsoft and Deloitte, as well as small startups. She now owns and runs her own company, Plum Job Search Strategies.
She offers some advice to those making the move to another city or even country, and insists on conducting the proper research prior to departing. First, I hope they go through a really deep discernment process before making the decision to make the move, says Poepping. You should be thinking in that next job: is it in a part of the country where you feel you can settle in quite well?
Of course, this is the dream job you've always wanted, but will you fit in well on that side of town? Or better yet, in that country? You want to have a connection to the community you're moving to, so if you relocate, what are you going to do to get connected? says Poepping.
Secondly, networking is an important component to the relocation process. That means getting on LinkedIn, making sure you're reaching out to people, asking every friend ÔÇÿdo you know anyone in the city where I'm moving to?' prior to moving. It is a little more dangerous unless you absolutely know that the economy in that city, state, or country is really robust. It is a little of a chance to take to move to a place within at least trying to get networked before you leave.
For Andrea Oh, who studied in Alberta, worked in Toronto, and has moved to US cities like Denver and Chicago for her marketing career in the wellness and fitness industry, the move benefited her career and she's pleased with her decision to relocate. I can be successful and have the type of lifestyle I would like to have as I build into that.
Prep for the culture shock
Adjusting to the differences between Canadian and American culture, according to Oh, was a challenge when she first made the move six years ago. [Relocating was] a little bit scary, but with my personality it was an adventure because with the US it's so not like Canada in any way, shape, or form, she says. It was very different having people make mention of my Canadian-ness, which I totally didn't realize I still had so apparent and evident.
Also, since you're ultimately moving for the job, you want to make sure there'll be a solid work dynamic between you and your managers and colleagues. Really get to know the company you're going to be involved with and how they're going to support you before you do it, says Oh.
Aside from being present at work everyday, Poepping suggests joining non-profits, a young professionals group, or any local organizations to better transition into your new city. There are a lot of different ways to get connected, she says, but you should be thinking about how you engage with your community and be connected to it beyond the job.
Mind the paperwork
Lastly, the most crucial part to relocating to another country, (that is often lost amidst all the excitement), is ensuring that you are legally able to work in the country you are moving to. A lot of people go into it without really thinking it through and don't understand that these are requirements for moving to another country, says Poepping. Really be thoughtful and mindful of where you're moving and make sure that you're legally able to work there.
Oh had her fair share of troubles with work visas when transitioning from Canada to the US. No one can even prepare you for what you'll go through when you're in that process, she says. Even immigration lawyers and people who have been there before'every experience is different, so that's really the frustrating part. If somebody really isn't on it and ready to prepare for it, you may be on probation and in penalty where you're in limbo.
Following your career dreams can lead you into a new city, country, and culture. Just ensure that the move will benefit your overall career, that you make the personal connections, and remember to collect the proper work permits before purchasing that one-way ticket.