29 March, 2006
Tips for Relocating
Taken from the article, Moving On, by Scott Reeves, Forbes.com Moving your family shouldn't be just another entry on your list of things to do. A successful move must involve the family at every level, a basic point many high-level managers overlook when moving to a new city. "Executives are used to making major decisions," says Jacqui Hauser, vice president for consulting services at Cendant Mobility, soon to be known as Cartus, in Danbury, Conn. "Relocation is a family event, and executives shouldn't focus just on the tactical. Children should be involved at age-appropriate levels." That means talking to your kids about the new school, extracurricular activities and making new friends. In general, the younger the child, the easier the move will be. Don't overlook the availability of your children's special interests, such as softball, tennis, riding, swimming, community theater or the poetry club. Showing pictures of the new school and the town to the children is often helpful because it helps make the new seem more familiar. Moving may be almost routine to you, but it may be daunting to high schoolers. If you have young children, it's sometimes helpful to ask them to keep a journal of the move. The journal can include pictures and morph into a scrapbook, or it can be the private meditations of a preteen on the hope and sorrow of moving to a new city and leaving old friends. Don't overlook your spouse. Many companies will help your spouse find a new job, but you may be on your own. If you're flying solo, this is where your extensive network of contacts can help. Talk up your friends, ask around and find some referrals. If you're moving, chances are your spouse understands the opportunity to advance and supports you. Now, it's your turn to support your spouse by helping with the job search. If you're asked to sign a new employment contract, nail down the small details and don't overlook the basics. Moving isn't a back-of-the-envelope operation. Leave plenty of time to sell your current house, find and buy a new one. Setting up in the new town involves more than unpacking boxes, so leave plenty of time to enroll your kids in their new schools. "Know and communicate what your priorities are," says Hauser. "Stating the specific needs of your new community is critical. You don't like to see someone who's weeks into the process and suddenly states that they need a special school for their child or that they really want to live by a lake. Whatever your needs and desires are, make them known early." Make a time line and establish dates when key elements of the move need to be completed, such as hiring a mover and packing the last box. If your company is paying for the move, read the corporate relocation policy--even if you helped draft it. Know what's covered and what's not covered, and pay attention to all deadlines. Top executives often use a relocation service that helps them line up a reputable mover and check out towns and neighborhoods at the new location. This eases the burden, but no move is completed without glitches. Paying attention to the small details can make things easier. If you're moving on your own, establish a relationship with your mover and real estate agent. Consider working with an agent from the same company in both your old and new city. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations and then check out the mover. If you're paying for the move, it can have tax consequences, so talk to your financial adviser and keep accurate records to substantiate your claims. Remember that moving is a family event and packing your household items in boxes is only the first step. If your son is a hockey player and you're moving to Hawaii, you've got some digging to do. If your daughter rides English or Western, finding horseback lessons in a major city probably won't be as difficult as you think. Remember: Showing an active interest in your children's concerns will make the move go a lot easier. And don't forget about your spouse's career. Note from GV : Foreign residents relocating to Suva for work or to live can stay at a two bedroom room home that I have available while they look around for a permanent place to stay. More details on the property, its amenities and photos are available on www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/Suva/8469 or on the links at the right hand side of this blog.