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.
Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity. ~Henry Hartman [tweet this]
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!
Great post. I could see myself in your story. I stay away from home for college. This is very helpful to me. Thank you.
You are again very welcome Uday.
From a business standpoint, there are a couple of things one can do when moving to a new location.
Connect with an organization, such as the Rotary Club. They are worldwide, and it's an easy connect. Another is a local branch of the Better Business Bureau. Whether you're a member of these organizations or not, they are the perfect place to find out who the captains of industry are in your new community, to connect with them and make new friends.
We moved half-way across the country 2 years ago. I would like to suggest that your readers treat the move as a NEW ADVENTURE. That's what life is anyway. It helps keep the attitude positive and the interest level high.
Kind Regards, Bill
That’s the essence of life. It is an adventure and as you rightly said, when we treat it that way, life is beautiful and so is the move. Thank you for your value addition.
It seems to me that you made Moving easy.Very well written.This short guide will definitely guides any mover in details without going any further. Again thank you so much for sharing this pearls from the ocean of your mind:).
Thank you Atit. I’ve just tried to be helpful based on my experience. Glad you found it useful.
Once again, thank you for a very informative and wonderful post. Indeed, these are very helpful for those who just transferred or still on the process of adjusting on their new environment. As an expat here in Tripoli, Libya for almost a year, I could say a positive mental attitude is the big difference maker. In addition to that, you can also try http://www.internations.org, it is expatriate communities in more than 300 cities across all countries of the world. You will have the chance to meet like-minded people of your common interest.
With Kind Regards,
Geraldine, Thank you for sharing about internations.org and also thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Make an interaction with your new neighbours. You will get a lot of help from them. They know much about the palce and you can any required information from them about the place.
Good points, James. Thank you!
Moving companies may charge extra if they have to help pack last minute items. Pack it yourself and have everything ready to go. If you have furniture that needs to be disassembled, ask the moving company when they provide the estimate if this service is included. Sometimes it is and other times it shows up on your bill as an extra fee.
To avoid any kind of extra fee, it is always a better option to make everything clear before starting the work. Looking at an extra bill or additional bill can create some problem between the customer and mover.
I had this experienced when I moved to a foreign country and it’s my first time there. It’s difficult for me staying in the first 3 months or so. But miraculously, thanks for networking and knowing the rules there, I was able to get along with the country’s culture later on.
I learnt these tricks couple of years back, before visiting new location socialize with people from that place, meet them when you reach there & get started with them in the business 😉
This is great information. Thank you for publishing this.Many
people leave very spammy comments and it can get annoying. Thank
you I really appreciate the article you write.Superior Moving
Very helpful tips when moving to a new place. Logistics also plays an important role. Keep it up!
I think you make a great point of trying to stay positive and happy! It can be really difficult in a new area, when you’re still trying to figure out where everything is, memorizing your address and zip code, etc. On top of all that you are trying to make new friends and meet new people. It always helps to get involved, your church, local schools, libraries, or more all can help you expand your circle of friends. Just hanging in there can make all the difference.
I really think moving to get a new job can be beneficial. In many cases people need to relocate to a new city or even a new state in order to get the appropriate job. If you look at the country as a whole some states have low employment while others have very high employment. Staying in an area with high employment makes it difficult to get ahead and can have long financial consequences .
I see you haven’t talked about end of tenancy cleaning services. I know you said you won’t be talking about moving companies and whether to hire one or not, but this is different. You see, specially for people in London, the cleaning part is incredibly important. Your landlord has the absolute right not to give your deposit back if the place is not cleaned up to his criteria. So many people prefer to book such services. It’s important to give this information and to inform people that they should spare some money for professional cleaners. Or they can do it by themselves. It will take some time, but it can work.
Besides that, the article is really informative and thorough. I like how you have reviewed different aspects.
building a friends network is good thing and i like it very much.when going in new location.it’s a most important thing that you having friends for so much fun.thanks for sharing it’s nice ideas.
Remembered some of your things which you mentioned and learned some new stuff, thank you for your post 🙂
Moving in this age is different from the time when I move many years ago. There is no social networking sites like now. The only possible way of communication is through phone or email. I remembered the first thing I did was to look for an apartment with affordable rent that I can pay while working in different city. Of course, it should be near in my work. Making friends with my neighbors are next step that I did through greeting them whenever I see them outside. So, it is totally different during those times from now.
I agree Ryan. Moving is alot harder than it was years ago. I think it’s because we have many more things!
We moved around a year ago, and hope to never move again! It was stressful and some items were broken. My top tip is to pack valuables very carefully and label the boxes clearly.
Always put in the extra time to ensure all of your belongings are transported safely.
Kuma, Love your website, great content and infomration.
I never thought about Use Social Media to Make New Friends before moving
Thanks for sharing your knowledge
Very well written you have covered almost all the fear a person could face when shifting to a new location. I would suggest to look for a PG (paying guest) when shifting to a new city, it helps in many ways first it reduces the cost and secondly, you are sharing a room with different person, it helps to build relations and you slowly gel with them. It worked for me and hope will help others as well.
A lot of Individuals Moves from 1 location to another for a job or other purposes and all the mentioned things to keep in mind while shifting on other area are genuine and useful for everyone who is thinking to move.