Even if you’re excited about nabbing your dream job, relocating for a job will be stressful. Most people dislike moving, and you’re probably among them. That’s why you’re looking for ways to make job relocation less stressful.
Why Is Job Relocation So Stressful?
Your upcoming move introduces uncertainty into your life.
Job relocation is extra stressful because it combines the stress of moving with the stress of starting a new job.
You may not know if you’re going to like your new job. It might seem like a good fit, but you can’t really be certain until you get in there and start working.
Add this to the uncertainty inherent in moving to a new town, city, or state, and everything will feel like a gamble. No matter how carefully you plan, unknown factors could still complicate your life.
Although you have positive feelings about advancing your career, you can’t entirely escape concerns about:
- Will I fit in?
- Will I perform well?
- Was I misled about the job?
- What if I get fired?
Any move, even independent of a job change, stresses people because you’ll think about things like:
- What if my stuff gets broken or lost in transit?
- What if I can’t break my lease or sell my house?
- What if I miss my old life too much?
- What if I have trouble finding a new place to live?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), people’s tolerance of uncertainty varies. Lower tolerance for uncertainty translates into more negative feelings and anxiety.
As you embark on your move, think about how well you tolerate uncertainty. An honest assessment will help you prepare yourself to recognize problems and find ways to cope. The good news is that you must be moderately tolerant of risk to even undertake this big life change, especially if you’re taking a new job in a new state
1. Identify Your Pain Points
Some aspects of moving will bother you more than others. As you figure out what’s bothering you the most, give yourself an internal pep talk to reframe the issue in a positive light.
Here are some examples of coping with pain points:
You’re afraid that you’ll miss your current residence too much – Remind yourself why you sought a job elsewhere. Even if your financial situation was the sole source of your motivation, think about how good it is to earn a living and feel good about the future.
You feel bad about how your family views this move – Talk to them and acknowledge their misgivings and disappointments. Ask them to be supportive and focus on everyone working together for a better future.
2. Ask Your New Employer for Advice About Moving There
A new employer who offers relocation assistance will ease your stress. You may get some expenses paid for, and some companies will connect you with a realtor who can navigate the housing market in your new location. Other employers arrange for a moving company to pack and transport your possessions, which would reduce your physical stress by quite a bit.
Don’t be shy about asking your new co-workers for tips about good neighborhoods, good schools, where to buy things, and where to have fun. Locals will clue you into the scene and help you settle in.
3. Use Moving Checklists to Keep You on Track
Moving your household is a complex task, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Moving checklists itemize your tasks and suggest a timeline for getting them done. They are excellent tools for breaking down this huge undertaking into small steps.
Moving checklist with 8-week timeline prior to moving day and a 2-week timeline of tasks after your arrive.
Rocket Mortgage has prepared a detailed checklist to help you take care of everything.
The moving company, Mayflower, also provides a free moving checklist to help make your move less stressful.
4. Give Yourself Time to Complete Tasks
Everything will take longer than you think. Banish procrastination from your life. Tackle something on your checklist every day.
5. Prepare a Mobile Life Kit
Think of your mobile life kit like you’re preparing to go camping. Assemble what you need to survive and relax whether you’re on the road or standing exhausted in a new house surrounded by boxes.
You’re going to be in flux for a few days. You won’t know where everything is in boxes or have it handy. Pack a kit that will help you be comfortable during the transition.
Some basic items:
- Change of clothes
- Good snacks,
- Tablet with downloaded shows/movies,
- Folding chairs
- Phone charger
- Sleeping bag
This kit will reduce your stress because you can have some comforting items on hand. Keep in mind that your movers might run behind schedule, and you’ll have to wait a day or two for your possessions to arrive.
6. Delegate Tasks If You Can
Assign small tasks to different family members. For example, tweens and teens can go through their bedrooms and discard unwanted items and put most of their stuff in boxes.
If you’re moving by yourself, you could still have friends or family in your hometown help with things before you leave, like dropping off things at the thrift store, helping you pack, and cleaning the old apartment or house.
7. Hire Professional Movers
If your budget allows, you can avoid a lot of muscle strain by hiring a moving company. There will be some work involved to select a moving company. You’ll need to get quotes and investigate the integrity of the mover.
A reputable moving company will include valuation protection for your possessions in case of an accident or other loss. If you have high-value items, find out how much liability the company can take on in case of damage.
8. Accept That Life Will Be Disrupted for a While
Acceptance is a mental process that can shed a few links from the chain of stress hanging around your neck.
The loss of a regular daily routine causes the bulk of your stress. Although you will settle into a new routine eventually, the intermediate period robs you of the chance to wake up and know that the day will unfold predictably. While moving, every day will require you to make decisions, deal with unexpected problems, and not have access to everything that you normally use.
If you can accept this, it will help you stop dwelling on your pain points. Remind yourself to take pleasure in completing small tasks toward your goals. Recognize that setting up a new household can be exciting.
And of course, focus on your new job. Let it be a source of stability and structure until you figure out where you packed your air fryer or Halloween decorations.