How to Have a Stress-free Relocation For A New Job

Moving for work is a bit different from regular moving as the timeline involved is usually much shorter. After all, you’ll have to find a new place to live AND move all your stuff before you start your new job. Some companies might give you a few months to get situated while others might only give you a few weeks. Of course, uprooting your life and relocating can be overwhelming, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your life a bit easier when relocating for a new job.

Ask About Relocation Assistance

Many people are hesitant to ask for relocation assistance from their new employer as they’re worried it might make them appear greedy or demanding. However, if you’ve already been offered the position, there’s no harm in asking. Simply ask the HR rep if they provide reimbursement for some moving expenses. If they say no, then all you need to do is thank them and move on. It won’t reflect poorly on you and your job offer won’t be rescinded.

Depending on the company’s budget, and whether it’s even willing to consider paying for relocation costs, you may get a signing bonus, a specific reimbursement amount, or a padded offer. Even if the company only provides a small reimbursement amount, it can go a long way in reducing your overall moving budget, especially if you’re hiring professional movers. If you’re worried about bringing up relocation assistance, consider asking after you’ve already received the job offer.

Create a Realistic Timeline

If you’re looking for a job out-of-state or 2+ hours away from your current home, chances are the recruiter or manager will want to know when you would be able to start your new job. Don’t just provide an answer offhand! Before you take the interview, take time to consider how long it will actually take you to find a new place, pack everything, provide notice to your old job, and get settled in your new home. You might think you only need 2-3 weeks for relocation, but chances are you’ll probably need more, especially if you’re looking to buy a new home.

You should try to give yourself at least a month for your moving timeline. This should hopefully give you enough time to pack up and find a temporary place to live in your new area. Much like asking about relocation assistance, don’t be afraid to ask HR for the amount of time you need to be successful. You don’t want to start your new job already stressed out!

Create a Budget

Even if you don’t receive any relocation assistance from your new job, you should still create a reasonable budget for your moving needs. Even if you’re not a numbers person, this is a crucial step as moving costs can add up quickly! When creating your budget, include everything you can think of. This includes:

  • Professional movers
  • Startup cable and internet costs
  • Meals
  • Accommodations if you’re making a cross-country move
  • Gas if you are driving a car
  • Replacing essentials such as food, paper towels, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • New furniture (if needed)

Of course, in order for the budget to be useful, you need to track your spending. Keep all of your receipts related to moving expenses, this includes takeout food while packing, and put it all in a spreadsheet and subtract all your expenses from your estimated budget. If you have a small budget, you’ll need to get creative with how you can reduce your expenses.

While moving isn’t cheap, you can get around certain costs. For example, instead of purchasing new boxes, see if you can get used boxes from friends, family members, your office, grocery stores, and so on. You should also pack everything yourself. Not only will it save money, you also will be able to organize your boxes in a way that will make unpacking easier when you move into your new place.

Create a To-Do List

Organization is important to every move, but even more so if you’re moving for a new job. You won’t have a lot of time to settle in before you start working at your new place, so you want to make sure everything is in place beforehand. Even if you have an amazing memory, writing down everything you need to get done and checking it off the list will keep you motivated. And it will free up brain space to impress your new boss and employees.

In addition to lists, spreadsheets are a great way to keep track of everything. You can create entire spreadsheets on focused parts of the move like who to notify of a change of address, things you need to purchase at your new home, when to notify your current utility provider to turn off service at your old home, and so on. Make sure you’re also making notes of things you will need your first week at your new place such as:

  • Toiletries
  • Medication
  • Important paperwork (especially what you would need for your first day of work)
  • Work clothes
  • Pajamas or at-home clothes
  • Chargers

Meet New People

Moving to a new area is exciting, but it also means you’re probably leaving a lot of your friends behind. Even if you have some acquaintances in your new town, you might not want to insert yourself into their busy schedules. Besides, it’s a good idea to build your own network of friends who enjoy your hobbies.

While it might be intimidating, the best way to make friends is to put yourself out there. Depending on the size of the town or city you’re moving to, you can probably find a variety of activities to join. Do you like art? See if there’s a Paint Night nearby where you can create some simple paintings while having a cocktail. If you’re more sporty, see if there are some recreational leagues you can join.

When you start a new job, you should be as social as possible in the beginning. Try to say ‘yes’ as much as possible if your coworkers invite you out for drinks or coffee. Sure, you might feel awkward because you don’t know anyone, but hanging out in a more casual setting is a great way to get to know who you work with and make professional connections. Even if you’re introverted, make the effort to accept invitations.

Book All Necessary Appointments As Soon As Possible

Chances are you have a lot of moving-related tasks that might keep you away from your desk during the early days of your relocation. Do your best to arrange all appointments as soon as possible. Hopefully when you gave your timeline to the HR rep, you carved out some time to take care of all these appointments before you start your new job.

Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Maybe you didn’t realize you needed to go to the DMV to change your address on your license or perhaps the cable guy never showed up on the expected date. As with anything in life, things don’t always go as planned. In these cases, try to schedule as much as possible all at once so you can let your manager know of any impending absences. If you need more flexibility, speak to your boss about your circumstances so they’re aware you might need to be out on short notice. The more upfront you are, the easier it will be to request time off.

Prepare for Your Relocation

Moving for a new job involves a lot of planning and organization, especially since you want to make sure you put your best foot forward the first week at your new job. By planning ahead and being honest about your timeline you can save yourself a lot of stress in the long run. One of the best ways to save time is to hire professional movers, like Great Movers! We will work with you to create a custom moving plan that works for your budget and needs.


Should I look for a new job first or a place to live?

It depends! Usually, it’s better to look for a place to live so you have enough time to find your dream place. However, you might find your dream job before that. In those cases, you should look for temporary housing as soon as possible.

My house hasn't sold yet, but I need to start my new job, what do I do?

That’s what real estate agents are for. They will handle all aspects of closing and will get in touch with you once there’s a bid so you can accept/reject the offer and finalize all the paperwork.

I had to move into a smaller apartment and there’s not enough space for everything I own. What can I do?

If you’re working with professional movers, ask if they offer short or long-term storage solutions and make sure they know what will go into storage. The movers will then bring your belongings to a secure facility. Once you’ve moved into your permanent place, call up the movers and they will bring the rest of your stuff to you at additional charge!