The Fine Art of Relocation

I never planned to move around so much. I’m not in the military, I guess I just have itchy feet. I started out on the east coast as a kid, then I was dragged to Arizona kicking and screaming where I spent my teen and college years. In my 20s I was off to Southern California. Then I did my tour of Denver, San Diego, Cajun Country, back to Colorado, and back to Arizona. It’s as if I’ve come full circle.

Thankfully, I own a business I can take with me, since I operate online and 99% of my clientele is long distance (most found me from cities where I used to live.) I learned a lot about moving and the job search throughout all these relocations that I thought I’d share, just in case you need to move for a job.

First, employers are skeptical about hiring people without roots. I know, because my own resume would scare anyone. Truth is, you really don’t know if you like a town until you’ve been there at least 6 months. And let’s face it, if you don’t like your new surroundings, chances are you’ll be gone within a year leaving the employer in a lurch to replace you, and that costs them money. Anything can cause you to hate your new surroundings, whether it’s the weather, the political atmosphere, stupid residents, the economy, cost of living, ugly landscape, or lack of things to do. For me it was bad roller rinks, or no roller rinks.

The second thing I learned is study everything you can about the place before deciding to move. Not only can you read local newspapers online (I peruse the letters to the editor) but city-data.com gives excellent insight on demographic breakdowns, weather patterns, housing, schools, major employers, etc. And they offer a forum where you can ask questions and post opinions about a certain locale. After all, one thing you can’t find on realtor.com is how noisy an area of town is (train whistles at 4 am?) or if there’s a seasonal weird odor such as sugar cane burning. Arizona allergies make me miserable every year between Easter and Mother’s Day. And in some parts of the country, the wind blows non-stop during the winter months.

The third thing I learned is to maintain an account with a major bank. It’s far easier to change an address than it is to open a new account. Other things to keep in mind: you’ll need to find new service providers for things you can’t accomplish on line. That means finding a new mechanic you can trust, a dentist you like, a veterinarian for your pets, a favorite grocery store, and of course restaurants. Chipotle and In and Out Burger have not made it to every city yet. Oh, and finding your way around and pronouncing local names can also be a challenge. My number one priority is a nice indoor roller rink, and that’s the reason behind most of my moves as of late. They keep shutting down.

In a future blog, I’ll tell you some secrets of moving cross-country with pets, especially if you’re transporting more than one vehicle.

–Susan Geary, CERW / 1st Rate Resumes

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