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How to adjust after relocating for a job

Uprooting your life and starting a new job is overwhelming. Here are a few steps to make the transition easier.

How to adjust after relocating for a job
[Photo: Josh Edgoose/Unsplash]

Starting a new job is stressful enough, but add moving to a new city on top of it, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Relocating for work is a huge adjustment both personally and professionally. Not only are you getting a new set of coworkers and a new corporate culture, you’re also getting a new commute, a new home, and if you’re moving with a family, you’re faced with a host of other challenges, including navigating a new school system and finding childcare.

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Here are some tips to help you get through the change.

Be a tourist in your new city

If you’re relocating strictly for a job, it’s likely that you don’t know a whole lot about the place you’re moving to. While you can find out a lot about your new city online before moving, spend some time once there to explore like a tourist. Take a walk around your neighborhood to find the best local cafés, and explore local landmarks. Then get used to the local life, locating your nearest grocery store and getting familiar with your route to and from work. The more familiar you become with your new physical environment, the more comfortable you’ll begin to feel in your new home.

Keep your life simple

Getting to know your new colleagues and your new corporate culture takes a lot of energy. Add that to getting to know your new city, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. “Simple things like figuring out how to navigate the subway system or deciding which supermarket you want to shop at can zap your energy very quickly,” says career change and business coach Avery Roth. She recommends simplifying your life for a few months while you get your bearings. Avoid overloading your schedule with social events or commitments while you focus on establishing a work-life routine in your new city.

Maintain your familiar routine

Maintaining familiar aspects of your routine from your home city can help you adjust to your new surroundings. If you’re used to going to a yoga class twice a week, finding a new studio and keeping up with this routine can help you balance out the big changes you’re experiencing.

Say yes to new opportunities

Moving to a new city and being surrounded by people who don’t know you means you have a unique opportunity to reinvent yourself, or to discover who you are as a person who lives in your new town. You may be invited to try things you didn’t have the opportunity to do before. Saying yes to these opportunities can help you branch out and discover who you are as a resident of your new city.

Find your social and professional network

Meeting new people can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve moved alone. Your new workplace is a great place to build your network. Ask your new coworkers about your new city and where they like to spend time. Look for local social clubs to join that match your interests. If you’re an athlete, joining a social sports group is a great way to make new friends.

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Ask colleagues what professional groups they’re members of, then try to attend one professional networking event per month. Connect with your new acquaintances on LinkedIn, but don’t push the relationship. Let it develop gradually and naturally. “These relationships cannot be built overnight, they grow with time and trust,” says Roth.

Although you may be excited to establish a new network, Roth recommends keeping social commitments minimal for the first few months to allow yourself adequate time to settle into your new job and your new surroundings.

Invest in slow time

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose your sense of grounding. Be sure to schedule some “slow time” into your schedule. “Simple activities like cooking a nourishing dinner or relaxing on the sofa gives your brain and body the space they need to process the changes occurring in your outside world without you needing to think about them actively,” says Roth. Allowing yourself this slow time gives you the space you need to breathe and adjust to your new life.

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About the author

Lisa Evans is a freelance writer from Toronto who covers topics related to mental and physical health. She strives to help readers make small changes to their daily habits that have a profound and lasting impact on their productivity and overall job satisfaction

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