Moving On Up: How To Relocate For Work Successfully

Moving house, getting a new job, starting afresh. These are some of life’s most stressful life events. So to combine them, by moving for work, can be pretty overwhelming.

There’s the excitement and nerves. The astonishment at how much stuff you own. The fear of your enormous to-do list.

But moving is a marathon, not a sprint. The trick is to break it all down into something easier.

Before the move: project planning

 The key to a successful move is to start it right. While there will always be surprises in life, planning provides a solid foundation to begin with.

Much like a work projects, you want to work out a project plan. Whether it’s an Agile Scrum sticky note masterpiece on the living room wall, or a Google Doc spreadsheet, you need to find a system that works, and stick with it. Divide up all the things you need to do into individual tasks, assign them to members of the family, and set deadlines. Work out which tasks rely on something else happening, and prioritise accordingly.

Whilst the key to a successful project is planning, you have to be realistic. This isn’t work after all – this is your life. You’ve got other commitments, and you’ve still got a job to do. Be sure to schedule in some buffer time, for tasks that take too long, and some time off. You still want to be speaking with your family once you arrive!

During the move: risk management

You’ve planned hard, but the execution phase often brings up the most problems. Don’t be proud – accept any offers of help you get. Repaying the favour is an excuse to come back and visit the friends and family you’ve left behind.

If your plan was thorough enough, there will be provisions should certain things go wrong, but life is unpredictable. Try to have at least a weeks worth of clothes, food and essentials in your car, just in case any moving vans get waylaid. Whilst its important to make a good impression at work, and join in the new social life of your new town, give it some time. You never get a second chance at a first impression, or a total house unpack. That invite to Friday dinner can wait a week.

After the move: performance analysis

Once the dust has finally settled, and you’ve finally had time to breathe, stop a minute. Take stock. Just like a work project, analyse what went well – and what could be improved. This may be a job for life, or the stepping stone to your next job move. You’ll want to take to heart the lessons you’ve learnt for next time.