Moving to a new location for higher studies, for a new job or for business – is not the most comfortable thing in the world. In fact, it is one of the most intimidating activities for most of us. I don’t know about you, but I definitely do not appreciate the sequence of events associated with a move.
I have been moving from city to city, state to state and country to country for studies and jobs throughout my life. During my school days, I moved to places where local residents didn't speak the same language and didn’t eat the food I was used to eating. It was remarkable!
Life is life a bicycle. To keep you balance you must keep moving. –Albert Einstein [tweet this]
I bring up this topic today based on a question from a LinkedIn friend in New Jersey, Vedavathi Puligilla. She is a Technical Recruiter by profession and would like to start her own blog. Veda has seen her little sister facing the challenges of moving to a new city (due to her job) with a completely different culture than her native place.
Veda suggested that if I could provide some guidance on this topic, it may be helpful for people in such circumstances.
That certainly is a subject that struck a chord with me. I could instantly relate to the topic because I felt it is similar to my story. I’ve faced those challenges myself as I've been moving from one place to another during my career.
What I Will Not Cover Here
I am not going to talk about logistical things in this article related to moving out such as:
- What to pack before moving
- How to pack your stuff and how to load.
- What tools to have with you
- Whether to hire a moving company or not
- How fast or slow can you unpack and settle your stuff in the new place
These things are important. However, there are plenty of resources available on the Internet to help you with that. In fact, I am going to list some of the best articles I’ve found to help you address those details in a very comprehensive manner. Ready? Here they are:
- The Start-to-Finish Guide for Moving to a New Place by Lifehacker
- A Guide For Moving To A New City by Ariavibes
Things like finding a local grocery store, checking directions to your work or school are small challenges today because of Google and the Internet. Having a good knowledge of the travel routes and the timing of public transport services in your new city can be of tremendous help in the beginning.
The Main Challenge – The Fear of the Unknown
When I was moving for the first time for higher studies, I moved from a Hindi speaking small town named Gopal Ganj, Bihar (North India), to Bijapur, Karnataka (South India) where most people didn’t speak Hindi or English. I wasn't fluent in English at the time and it was one of the most terrifying events for me.
The good news is, I had a close relative who was not only living in the same city but also doing his senior year in the same college. That was the only reason why I agreed to go there in the first place when my parents proposed.
I think an emotional level of support makes a huge difference. When you know you’ve got somebody you can rely upon in the new place where you are moving, your confidence suddenly goes up.
On the other hand, when you don’t know anybody in the new place, it sucks out your enthusiasm and fear of the unknown takes over. ‘What if’, ‘Poor me’ type thoughts cloud your mind and moving on becomes a nightmare.
Moving To A New Location Is A Necessary Evil
I had a good job and I was very happy in Bangalore when the opportunity of coming to the United States was offered to me. The only reason I accepted the offer was the fear of losing my job if I said, “No”.
Today, I am glad I accepted the offer and came to the USA. That decision opened a whole new world of opportunities in front of me. Had I not taken that offer, I would have missed the opportunities to associate with so many wonderful people, learn so many wonderful things, and have some really incredible experiences.
None of us like moving to a new location. Yet we move based on our life needs. I like to take moving on as a necessary evil that we need to learn to deal with effectively. We can’t fight it. However, we can deal with it with power!
And now, let’s discuss the steps we can take to reduce the fear and increase the confidence whenever we plan to move to a new location.
Things To Do Before Moving To A New Location
When you know you need to go to a new place, your preparation to move should ideally begin as soon as the decision is made. The more time you have the better.
Here is a list of things I would like to recommend if you are moving to a location to prepare yourself, to reduce fear and to increase your confidence:
Research the New Place Using the Internet
Apart from using Google maps to get to know your new location, it is important to do a little research on the new place to learn about things such as famous places, famous people, local attractions, travel, traffic, etc.
Knowing these things in advance can be very helpful in relating to people when you arrive at your new city.
Use Social Media to Make New Friends
As I shared above, I was comfortable going to a totally strange place with a strange culture where people didn’t even understand my language – simply because I had somebody I could rely upon.
A stranger is just a friend waiting to happen. [tweet this]
During those days, it was merely luck that I found a relative through a relative, got introduced him and built my relationship with him so I could count on him.
But today, thanks to social networking sites, you have more power – to meet more people, to make new friends , to develop trust and to build long distance relationships quickly.
However, you need to use social media wisely to build genuine friendships. Your personal branding plays a vital role in creating a trustworthy community around you. You need to be genuine to attract genuine people to you. You need to be real to attract real people to you.
For example, if you are coming to the United States for graduate studies, you can use social media in following ways:
- Have good, genuine Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts with your real picture and a brief truthful introduction about yourself. The idea is to establish your personal brand so that people see your profile and get to know you a little.
- Search for groups and communities on these networks for topics around your university, around the city's name where you are going, student communities, alumni groups, etc. and join them. This will give you a starting point in new city to start conversations with a few people (future friends).
- Be active on these social networks and participate in the conversations that interest you. Ask a few questions and answer some. That way you will begin to build new friendships. Social networks are great places to make some good real friends who can be of tremendous help when you arrive.
Can you imagine the level of comfort when you know that you have some friends who will be there to help you in the new city when you arrive? I have found this is a very effective method to make friends and have confidence in moving to a new location. I am sure if you do it right, you too will enjoy the power of social media.
People Love To Help – Just Ask!
What I’ve found is, most of us like to go out of our ways to help other people in need. At the same time, it is also true that most of us are very hesitant when it comes to asking when we need some help.
So, if you can leave your hesitation at home while moving to a new location, you may be pleasantly surprised to see the amount of unexpected help you will have. At every new place I went, I always had more people willing to help than I asked.
I can definitely suggest you to just ask for help when you need it. Another side effect of asking for help is you get another opportunity to make a friend.
Things To Do After Arriving At Your New Location
Having done the background work prior to your trip, now is the time to reap the benefits. In fact, you will realize that your confidence level is already high as you arrive at your new location if you did the activities discussed above.
As you arrive, what should you do to settle down quickly and have a good time at the new location?
Meet Your New Friends
Remember you made a handful of new friends using social networking websites? Perhaps a few of them will come to receive you as well, depending on your level of friendship.
Yet, it is a good idea to make an effort to meet all those you interacted online. They will feel great and it will help you adjust to the new location quickly as you meet your new friends at your new place.
Maintain A Positive And Friendly Attitude
This is the biggest of all things you can do. A positive attitude is contagious, a rare characteristic and therefore, you attract people towards you wherever you go if you just have it.
It is easy to feel like a victim. It is easy to get frustrated with the challenges on the way. It is also natural and therefore, most people are that way when they move to a new location.
But, those who can maintain a positive mental attitude, set themselves apart from the average crowd from the beginning. They attract more good things, more opportunities and good people into their life.
How to do that? Read some books on positive mental attitude and just to list a few for your reference, go for these first:
- How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- Winning With People by John Maxwell
It may seem a lot of books to read at the moment. But, if you can just read 15 minutes everyday, you will be amazed how quickly you will be able to read and apply the principles that these amazing books teach.
Network And Build Your Personal Brand
There is no substitute for Personal Branding. To have respect of others, to attract success, to have confidence in general – you need a good personal brand. The better your brand value, the better control you have on your life.
By building a good social networking profile, you already have done a good job of creating a reputation as a genuine, trustworthy person.
You need to continue your efforts to foster your online brand image. You need to continue to network with other influential people in your area and increase your credibility; one step at a time. The more people in your network, the more credibility it brings to you and therefore, the easier it gets for you to get something done.
Create A Community To Help Those In Need
Last but not least, it is also important for you to remember how much help you needed when you moved. Therefore, you may want to build a community around you to help those who are moving into your city from other locations.
You may have struggled during your move. But, isn’t it a good cause to create an environment where others coming to your city don’t have to face the same set of challenges that you faced?
By the way, when you do that, you feel great, you actually add value to yourself by adding value to others. It is amazing how wonderful it feels when you see somebody smiling because of you. Try it!
Over To You – Thoughts, Questions, Suggestions?
When moving to a new location, what are the top 3 things that you do to make sure you have a smooth transition? How do you develop new friendships at new location? What tips you would like to give to those who are moving to a new location for studies and jobs?
Please share your thoughts in the comments by clicking here. Thank you kindly!