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If You’re on the Move…

Moving ahead often means moving to a new city, and that always means headaches. Here’s how the Web can make your next move easier.

If you’re in business, then you’re on the move – moving to a new project, a new company, a new career, and probably to a new city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 17% of the U.S. population moves each year. That’s more than 40 million people – 40% of whom, reports the American Movers Council, relocate for business reasons.

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It sounds so glamorous. So why does it feel so arduous? According to the Employee Relocation Council, moving is the third-most-stressful event in most people’s lives – following only death and divorce. You have to find a place to live: Apartment or house? City or suburb? You have to make smart choices for your family: Where are the best schools? Who are the best doctors? And then there are all the logistics: packing up boxes, hiring movers, filling out change-of-address cards.

It’s a wonder that so many of us are so willing to uproot ourselves – an average of 12 times in our lifetime. (Here’s another fun factoid: According to Mayflower Transit, the average shipment of household goods today weighs 7,100 pounds!)

But uprooting yourself doesn’t have to be such a nightmare. The next time you have to get a move on, start by moving to the Web. That’s what Victoria Davies did. She was a project manager with an Internet-service provider in Sydney, Australia. When one of her vendors, based in San Francisco, asked if she’d consider taking a job in the Bay Area, she jumped at the chance – and hopped on the Web. “I wanted to be able to focus on work as soon as I got there,” she says. She used the Web to research apartments, cars, and immigration rules.

Ron Lee didn’t move quite so far – just from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon. His big concern was his kids. What are the safest neighborhoods? Where are the best schools? And his first source of information was the Web – from online crime maps to reports on elementary schools.

“Sure, I could have written away for information on the Portland schools,” he says. “And I could have called the Portland police department for crime data. But what are the odds that I’d really do that?”

This edition of @Work is designed to make your next move smarter, cheaper, and easier. We’ve created the ultimate To Do list for movers – sites where you can get sound advice, find useful resources, rent trucks, or get a mortgage. We’ve reviewed six of the leading online city guides – places to turn to discover what’s happening where in your new city. So put down your packing tape and boot up your PC! It’s time for you to move to the Web.