By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Career Tips
You’ve been working for XYZ Manufacturing for almost 10 years. You’re respected at work and comfortable with your specific job. Your commute is a brief 15-20 minutes. You’ve made good friends at work as well as in your neighborhood.
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Then one Friday morning your boss calls you into his office. After a few minutes spent praising your work and extolling your value to the company, he drops the bombshell. “Because of your overall expertise, we need to transfer you to….”
You barely hear the words that follow “transfer.” When you snap to, you realize that your decade of value and expertise has earned you a cross-country trip – one way.
The Transfer Will Include a Pay Raise and a Lower Cost of Living
“Of course, there’ll be a pay raise in there soon too, and you’ll have a lower cost of living than here,” the boss adds with a smile, as if he’s handing you a top lottery prize ticket.
“Take the weekend to think about it. Come back on Monday and tell me how soon you can leave,” he says, shaking your trembling hand.
So you spend the weekend discussing the move with your family, juggling the pros and cons of the move.
You Keep Your Perks with an Internal Transfer versus Quitting Your Job
“An internal transfer can have many advantages over quitting your job and leaving the company,” writes Alison Doyle of the The Balance Careers blog. Among those advantages, she cites “the retention of your current pay level, retirement plan, health care coverage, vacation, benefits and perks” and of course maintaining friendships with your co-workers, even if by long distance.
“A work transfer is a way to help an employee gain wide and broader experience within the business,” adds The Balance Careers’ Susan M. Heathfield.
Erin Scanlon can attest to that opportunity. The 31-year-old beverage company executive was transferred from the New York office to a newly opened company facility in Los Angeles. As she told Forbes Senior Contributor Alexandra Tatly, “I had reached my threshold in New York and was feeling restless. The opportunity to move kept me with the company longer but it also re-motivated me to work hard for my company.”
Congenital restlessness and need for motivation aside, millennials are often better equipped to fly off to a new office somewhere in the world than married employees with school-age children and maybe a family pet.
Award-winning author Bernard Malamud turned his emotional move from New York City to the rural Pacific Northwest by writing a novel “A New Life.” The title might apply to many workers who suddenly find themselves on the move.
To help ease the anxiety of relocating for an internal transfer, Moving.com offers a checklist for preparing to move to another state:
1. Pay a visit to your new state and city. If there is time, make at least one visit before you move. That will give you a feeling for the location and its various neighborhoods. Bring a guide book or go online to the local visitors’ center for brochures, maps and recommendations.
2. Research area schools. If you have school-age children or preschoolers, make researching schools in your new city a priority. Determine which neighborhoods are associated with your schools of interest. To find the top-rated schools, check out Moving.com’s School Ratings Tool, which includes ratings and other information.
3. Budget for your move. These days the average cross country move by a professional moving company runs between $5,057 and $8,342. So check out moving companies carefully and get cost estimates.
4. Create a strategic packing plan. Before boxing up your things, come up with a timeline and packing plan. One of the biggest perks of moving is you can get rid of collected junk and old clothes that you can donate to charity. Then pack all non-essentials first. Non-essentials are anything you won’t need in the weeks leading up to the move, including books, home decor items, and electronics.
Pack essentials last. These should include kitchen items, dinnerware and toiletries. Be sure to pack all important documents and records in a separate clearly labeled box. It’s also advisable to pack enough clothing and essentials for two to three days to use when you first arrive.
5. Find a place to live. If you can, try to find a place to live on that first visit or on a subsequent visit before you make the move. If you haven’t done so before, it is advisable to rent a home or apartment for at least six months while you get the feel of the city. Hiring a reputable realtor to show you around is always a good idea.
6. Notify all utilities and the Postal Service. Contact your utility companies to let them know precisely when you are moving. Utilities include cable and internet, water and sewer, gas, electricity, satellite, and security system. If you already have an address in your new city, give the post office your forwarding address and schedule a transfer or installation date for your utilities to be turned on.
7. Once you’re relocated after an internal transfer, get new documents. You’ll need a new driver’s license and auto registration from your new state’s DMV. Be sure to check out requirements, as many states require new residents to obtain their driver’s license and auto tags within a specific time after relocating. Most likely you will need your old driver’s license, proof of vehicle ownership and new residency, your Social Security number and an additional form of identification.
If you move into a neighborhood with many long-time residents, you may have a little trouble joining their group. Give them some time but if they don’t come to you, be proactive. Organize an open house and invite all your new neighbors. The invitation will serve two purposes: 1) It will break the ice with your neighbors, and 2) they will satisfy their curiosity about what your home looks like.
These and other steps that you’ll find on your own will allow you to step into your new office on Day One ready – and happy – to go to work.
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