If you told 2010 me that 2015 me would be happy living in Australia’s biggest city I would have called you bonkers (amongst other things). Moving to a new city that much different from moving to a new suburb within your current city you just have to be prepared. To be fair, I moved from Canberra to Sydney but it did mean uprooting many things and starting again. So why would I love it now? 70% because I did my research and 30% luck.
Self-Motivation: What it is you’re looking for. It could be a new social circle, warmer weather or you want to learn a new language and embrace a new culture, marry a local and start a business there. Spend some time with yourself thinking about what it is you truly want understanding this is the first obstacle, make sure the relocation moves you closer towards your goals. If you have a partner, don’t leave them out of the equation. Ask them how they feel about moving to a new city, state your reasons and decide if the journey would be better with or without them and how it is going to work from here.
Income: The biggest external factor. What are you going to do once you get there? Do you have enough cash to last after the move? Some organisations should be willing to provide flexible options for teleworking, or transferring to another office in your new city. If you’re self employed there might be even more of a reason to move, you might have exhausted all of your options and networks in your current city and a move means exposure to a whole new collection of potential clients. Make sure you can still manage the previous workload as well.
Whatever your income source, consider the move to be ‘expensive’ no matter what. But try and think about the ROI, will you be happier with the move? Will the move bring in more cash in the short and/or long term? For me, I moved at a time which I knew it would take a massive chunk of my savings to get settled but I’m already starting to see the ROI after 12 months. Where I sit in the potential employee pool is much better than where I was sitting in my old city and I have made many more connections with fellow entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. Sure you have to push yourself more to succeed, but if you’re happy in your comfort zone you might want to reconsider. Try to plan where you want to be in career in 5, 10 & 20 years. If your current city doesn’t allow for the progression, think about your next move.
Advance Networking: Try to build your network up before you get there, jump onto forums, ask your friends, spend a week in the city first meeting new people a couple of weeks before the move. People in your network will come and go all the time. The benefits they have and can have in the future are what make them worthy of staying in your network. Maintaining your ‘current’ network when you leave a city is the hard part. Stay in touch with people, don’t be annoyed if they don’t contact you first all the time (you’re the one that moved and they may be feeling stuck) and also people get busy. Combing these two networks can also be tricky, don’t try and force your old friends to be amigos with your new friends, they’re different and that’s okay.
Be Ready: It’s important to be ready for anything. Literally anything that is different from your current city can make you question the whole reason you moved. It might be that you don’t understand the public transport, find that you miss your old favourite Thai place, whatever it is don’t let it feed on the fact you moved. Instead, embrace the new things, try a cuisine you never tried; join a new sports team, start that new hobby that your old friends might have thought is a bit weird. Whatever it is, be ready for it to consume you.
Be Ready To Leave: There will be times when you may actually need to move back, job didn’t come through, family need you back home, you’re almost out of money. Make sure you have an exit strategy; enough cash to get home, a good relationship with your old boss, something to take with you from your new city. It’s not a bad thing to move back, and it’s definitely not a bad thing to move away again.
Roll The Dice: Only you will know if the move is the best decision. You might be moving to Shenzhen to move closer to your factory, you might be moving to the coast because you love the beach, you might be moving to America because you believe the dream is still alive. Wherever you’re moving from and wherever you’re moving to – you’re going to have to roll the dice and hope for the best.
And remember to roll your clothes when packing, they’ll take up less space.