The biggest challenge is the impact the relocation has on your personal relationships. However, you can mitigate this by making a concerted effort to regularly stay in touch with friends and family back home.
When relocating with your partner, for the relocation to be successful, you both have to be successful. Often, a relocation occurs because one of you has secured a new job. That involves a lot of uprooting for your partner, and it is actually more stressful for them as a result of the numerous unknowns.
Whatever you can do to help your partner succeed – be it introducing them to your colleagues’ network in the new location, or simply being emotional support when things are not working out as expected – will pay dividends.
The physical relocation process isn’t that hard. Granted, it’s a lot of menial tasks, which suck up time and initially seem daunting. I personally find packing a nightmare. However, it’s a good opportunity to figure out what really matters to you and for you to prioritise what’s worth keeping in your life.
What are the major differences between San Francisco and Melbourne?
There’s a greater mix of people in Melbourne than in San Francisco, whether that’s people working in different industries, from different backgrounds or past experiences.
It’s nice to meet people who do something entirely different to you. I think that is also a contributing factor to why I find the quality of life to be better in Melbourne than in San Francisco.
How do your working life and other supports help to make you feel at home there?
I work with a great team in Melbourne. The office is such a positive environment that it only seems natural to bring your whole self to work.
Teammates have welcomed me with open arms, allowing me to meet new people and make friends with ease, in and outside of the workplace.
Additionally, my partner has been a great support. There’s always someone you can speak with who knows exactly what you’re going through.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
Melbourne has a relaxed, healthy vibe. Work is not the only thing going on in people’s lives and people make the time to stay fit and mentally balanced. I also like the crazy weather. It can go from 40C to 18C in a few hours.
What advice would you give to others who are planning to relocate for work?
It obviously depends on your personal situation but, if it’s feasible, I say you should jump at the opportunity. Nothing compares to having the experience of working in a new country and adapting to your new surroundings.
When evaluating your offer of employment in a new location, I have found it helpful to look for local salary benchmarks for the role and to speak with any contacts you have in the location to validate how it compares to the market rate.
Additionally, I would also research the cost-of-living indexes and do a simplistic yearly budget based on expected costs in my new location to see how my take-home pay would change as a result of the relocation.
Part of the offer to relocate should include a relocation package. The more you can get from your sponsoring company, the fewer headaches and financial costs for yourself.
In a relocation package, I would aim for full coverage of visa costs (ideally for yourself and your partner), return flights to your new location, tax preparation services for at least your first year in the new location, a relocation allowance to cover shipping costs or packing services, and assistance with finding a new home upon your arrival. I would expect this package to multiply if relocating with children.
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