How to Handle Relocating with a Partner
The first thing you have to do is deal with the range of emotions sure to take hold once you hear the news that a relocation is in your immediate future. Emotions will range from excitement, especially if it’s a promotion, to anger if you’re doing well in your own career. Be willing to accept the fact that the initial elation may change quickly once you begin to think about all of the factors involved. The primary question is usually, "why should your career take second place?" Once you’ve decided to make the move, however, it’s time to kick the job search into high gear. The ideal situation would be to know exactly how much time you have to regroup, but since the move is inevitable, don’t waste time wallowing – take action.
If you’re moving because your partner is being transferred, ask if your partner’s company offers any type of job seekers assistance for relocating spouses. While it seems far-fetched, you never know until you ask. Larger companies will sometimes offer assistance, even if it’s a contact for relocation assistance in the new location. Some organizations will only offer if asked. Keep in mind, however, the organization’s priority is to the employee, not the partner.
Next, research the job market as soon as possible. You may find that your current career is not even an option in the new location. For example, if you’re in retail you may find that there is little opportunity for retail management in the new location. You need to know what you’re facing as soon as possible.
Reach out to your network. Most people know someone who knows someone else. While your family and friends may not live in the area, they may know people who do. Now is not the time to be shy, start making calls to make connections.
Finally, make sure you leave your job on good terms. If at all possible, enlist a support network that may allow you to remain where you are a little bit longer if the timing could affect your reputation in the field. If you do not need to be at the new location at the same time as your partner, consider staying put a little longer to wrap up any loose ends for your current employer. You never want to burn a bridge.
Worst case scenario, you may not find a job right away. Hopefully you will have carefully planned your finances so that your budget can take the temporary hit. Consider working part-time or even volunteering to gain a foothold in the new community.
Either way don’t give up; relocating for your partner is not the end of the world. Keep a positive attitude; a whole new world of opportunities waits.
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