How To Move To A New City

By Ryan Morris - Apr. 7, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

It can be freeing and exhilarating to pick up your life and move somewhere new. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the more expensive and stressful experiences of your life.

There’s a lot involved with moving to a new city, and if you want to avoid a nightmare situation, it’s going to take a lot of planning and being proactive on your part.

But what exactly needs to be done before you take off? And how do you ensure yourself a smooth transition once you get where you’re going?

Fortunately, your friends here at Zippia have put together a guide to help you figure out exactly that.

Things to Do Before Moving to a New City

Moving to a new city isn’t as simple as romantic comedies and inspirational blog posts make it out to be. There’s a reason that plenty of people would like to move, but rarely are able to do so.

It takes money, time, and lots of resources to move yourself to somewhere new, and not doing the necessary prep work beforehand can lead to you having a bad time in your new digs.

Here are some things you should do to prepare yourself for your big move:

  • Visit the place you plan on moving to. If you’ve only spent a couple of hours or days in the city you’re planning to move to, it’s a good idea to spend a little more time there to make sure it’s a place you’re comfortable being.

  • Get a job there first. If you don’t have a job lined up before you move to a new city, you’re living on the edge. At the very least, you should have sent out a few applications and have at least one good interview lined up, but even that is a bit of an unnecessary risk.

  • Make sure you understand how transportation will work for you. How’s public transportation in your new city? Is it the kind of place where you’ll need a car? If so, do you already have one that will work based on your new city’s weather?

How to Move to a New City

Even if you do all the preparation work, that doesn’t mean things are going to be easy for you. There are a lot of moving parts to the moving process itself, and you need to have a good plan in place if you expect things to go smoothly.

Sure, you can just throw everything you own in a truck, start driving, and hope for the best. But the odds are you won’t have the best time.

Here are some things to do while you move that can help alleviate some of the worst parts of moving:

  • If you can afford it, get professional movers. It’ll save you plenty of headache during the moving process if you just foist all of your moving responsibilities onto someone else. Plus, then you can save asking your friends for help until you really need them, once all the boxes are already inside your house.

  • Label everything. You’re going to want to be able to move every box into the appropriate room before you open them and to do that, you’re going to need names on every single box.

  • Plan your layout before you dig in. To make unpacking as painless as possible, have a method to which boxes you open first and the order in which you move your furniture around. Unpack each discrete box one at a time to keep from becoming overwhelmed.

  • Pack like you’re going on vacation. It might take you some time to put everything away, and during that time you’re going to need a few essentials. The last thing you want is to have to dig through all of your crap just to find your toothbrush or a pair of socks.

Things to Do After Moving to a New City

Of course, the story’s not over yet. Even after you’ve already prepared to move and then made the move itself, there’s still more work to be done.

Unless you have extraordinarily few belongings, there’s just no way you’re going to all moved in after just one day. Getting totally moved into a new place is a long-term process.

Here are some things you should definitely do after you move to a new city:

  • First thing’s first: make your bed. This should really be the first thing you do once you move into a new place. That way even if the process of putting away all of your stuff ends up taking a lot of time, at least you’ve got a place to crash when you get tired.

  • Set up your utilities. It’s hard moving your furniture around in the dark, and having to go to sleep without Wifi might as well be illegal. Make sure you’ve got the utilities in your name as soon as possible.

  • Find out about your new neighborhood. Write down all the best takeout restaurants within a few miles of your place, either that are familiar or that you plan on checking out.

    Locate all the places where you get your basic services from — grocery stores, DMVs, car repair persons, dentists, and all that other junk you don’t realize you need until you need it.

Why Get a Job Before Moving to a New City

We mentioned that getting a job before you move to a new city is paramount. The benefits of arriving in town with a job already arranged are numerous:

  • Peace of mind. Relocating to a new city is stressful, but having a job lined up can dispel some of that stress. You’ll have a purpose from day one and you’ll have one less thing to worry about as you explore this new and exciting chapter of your life.

  • Saves money. Moving is expensive, and getting set up somewhere new has a bunch of hidden costs that you have to deal with as they come. When you have a job ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about paying out the nose while simultaneously having no income coming in.

    You might still have to dip into your savings, but at least you can feel secure that the money will soon be replenished.

  • Makes it easier to find a home. Many rental, housing, and condo associations won’t allow you to move in without proof of income. And, for the most part, they want to see that you’ll be able to continue earning an income once you move in (which means your current job won’t cut it).

    Having a job offer and a company contact that can confirm your position will make securing accommodation much less painful.

  • Gives you a better plan. When you know where your workplace will be, you can plan your housing decisions much more strategically. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to live near the hip downtown area of the new city, but your new employer is on the outskirts of the city.

    If you had just gone with your first instinct for housing, you may have inadvertently locked yourself into an hour’s hellish commute each way. Getting a job before getting housing clears up this issue entirely.

How to Get a Job in a New City

You’re sold on the benefits of landing a job before moving, but just how do you do it? Follow the strategies below for landing a job in a new city:

  1. Research. You’ve probably already got a city in mind, but you should start narrowing down your search even more. Think about what neighborhood you want to live in or near, where the business district is, and where your potential employers are centered.

    Then, start looking into the various companies that are hiring and the positions they’re hiring for. The age of online applications has made it easier than ever to conduct a long-distance job search.

  2. Remove your location from resumes. When you’re applying for jobs, remove your city and state from your resume. Many hiring managers and recruiters will see that information and immediately weed you out from the candidate pool because they’re worried about the logistical headache that hiring you will come with.

  3. Explain relocation in your cover letter. Now, chances are that if an employer is reading your cover letter, they liked your resume enough to give you the time of day. This is a good time to explain your relocation in terms of how drawn you are to work for the company. It shouldn’t seem like the new city is your primary goal and the job a secondary one.

    Still, it should be clear that you’re relocating no matter what, which will make the employer feel more comfortable giving you a chance.

  4. Request a transfer. Perhaps you really love your company and role and you just need a change of scenery. If you work for a large enough company that has a location in the city you hope to move to, approach HR about a possible transfer.

    Even if the company doesn’t have an office in your new city, they may be willing to allow you to continue working remotely full-time. If you can move to a new city while maintaining continuity with your current employer, your life will be a whole lot easier — you’ll just be coping with a new city rather than a new city and a new job at the same time.

  5. Practice your remote interviewing skills. Unless you plan on hopping on a plane for an hour-long conversation with an interviewer, you can expect your interviews for jobs in a new city to be entirely done through video chat. Practice working with this technology and following best practice for video interviews.

    Also, prepare a spiel about why you’re relocating. Make sure that this sounds confident and enthusiastic — interviewers may be a bit skittish if they think you’re moving to the new city without a long-term plan or 100% confidence.

  6. Get a seasonal or temporary job. If you really just want to move first and figure out the long-term plan after, you can still set yourself up for some financial security by arranging a temporary or seasonal job for your arrival. That way, there will be far fewer hurdles to getting hired and you can start a low-stakes job from day one.

    You’ll still have money coming in and a sense of purpose, but without having to stress about your career. Then, once you feel secure in the new city and you’ve built up some new connections for your network, you can try to land a satisfying, long-term gig.

  7. Stay flexible. Just because most job applications are online these days, doesn’t mean it’s simple to land a job in a place halfway across the country. Be flexible throughout your job search process and be willing to take a job that you’re not 100% sure of.

    Like a seasonal or temporary job, this will give you financial security and a place to start, without necessarily locking yourself into anything long-term.

Final Thoughts

That’s all for this one! Just keep in mind: When it comes to moving to a new place, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that it will take you a little bit to settle in.

So if you’re feeling miserable in your new place and don’t understand why you made the move in the first place, give it a few months. And make sure that during that time, you’re really giving it your all.

That means looking for clubs, taking community center classes, going to big events — if you plan on having a good time in a new place, you have to put yourself out there.

Otherwise, you’ll look around one day and realize all the people you hoped would be potential new friends are just more strangers for you to deal with.

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Ryan Morris

Ryan Morris was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog who tried to make the job process a little more entertaining for all those involved. He obtained his BA and Masters from Appalachian State University.

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