With so many cities suffering from too few job opportunities, many professionals are finding themselves having to widen their job search. Looking for jobs further from home opens you to more career possibilities, but it also presents its own challenges. It takes more than finding the right position to actually relocate somewhere new, and there are a lot of things to consider before you start packing your things.

If you’ve never relocated before for a job, it can be understandably intimidating. You might be going somewhere where you don’t know anyone, and that means leaving friends and family behind. With a new job will come a new place to live and new friends, but these things take time. Here’s a guide to relocating for your new job with confidence.

Before you relocate

It’s not a smart idea to take off to a new destination before you have a job offer. Instead, take your time finding the right company. Research companies the same way you would where you currently live. Also incorporate research into the job market in these new areas, including median salaries.

Think about what’s important to you about where you live. While the job market should be a top priority, it doesn’t have to be your only priority. What type of things do you like to do outside of work? What kind of climate can you tolerate? Do you prefer urban living or suburban life? These are questions that should lead you to the regions for your search.

After applying for a few jobs and receiving interviews, it’s time to visit the area. You never want to blindly move somewhere new without visiting first, so this trip is a great way to get a feel for the place. This is also the best opportunity to network with employers and shows them you’re serious about relocating. Most employers need some kind of assurance that you know why you’re moving to this new area. While you might be relocating for a job, make it clear to future employers that you’re looking forward to a new lifestyle or a better climate.

Talk to your employer

Once you’ve accepted a job, it’s time to get this show on the road. Your first line of defense is to communicate with your employer. Most companies will have a timeline in which they expect you to start your new job, and that means you might have to move quickly. Talk to your employer about any relocation assistant programs they might have.

Always follow-up with your employer about final decisions. Thank those who have helped you during this process, and make sure they’re in the loop about your moving plans. Even if you’re relocating within your current company, these steps are important.

Avoid long-term commitments

It’s probably not a good idea to buy a new house when you’re in a new city for the first time. Renting is the best way to settle into a neighborhood that you might not know just yet. If possible, opt for a short-term lease that you can extend if needed.

It’s hard to make an informed housing decision when you don’t know the difference between different parts of the city. No matter how much research you do, you might not like the amount of traffic driving past your new apartment, or you might even decide this job isn’t for you. The worst thing that could happen is you find yourself trapped in a long-term lease or even a mortgage in a place you don’t want to stay.

Create a moving plan

Moving is always stressful whether you’re moving down the block or you’re relocating across the country. When you have the added pressure of a new job, things become even tenser. Creating a moving plan will help you stay organized when finding your footing in a new city.

If you’re in a time crunch, it’s a smart idea to hire professional movers that can do the heavy lifting (literally) for you. To avoid the hassle of driving cross country, consider shipping your car. How long does it take to ship a car? This depends on the distance and your schedule, but it’s less frustrating than running into a problem on the side of the road in a new place.

Keep to-do lists for both leaving your current home and settling into the next one. If you’ve changed states, you might need to register your car, fill out new tax forms, and deal with other tedious tasks. A to-do list will keep you organized every step of the way.

Settling into your new job with confidence

Relocating for a new job can open you to new opportunities for career growth. Now’s the time to explore a new part of the country or even the world while finding the right position for your experience. Once you’ve actually relocated, it’s time to settle into your new job.

Take advantage of any resources your new company offers that can help you adjust. Establishing a social network in your new place will keep you feeling grounded and content, which will boost your career performance.

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