The Ins and Outs of Relocation12 December 2015
Relocation is both an exciting, stressful and scary time, alongside the excitement of moving to a new place, a career adventure and countless lifestyle possibilities, there is at least a million and one things to do. Your company may have enlisted the help of a professional relocation service, in which case, many questions may have been answered and loose ends tied up. Still, for those using a professional service for such a transition, or those going it alone, there are a few key things to contemplate which could make the whole process of relocating simpler and clearer.
Culture and lifestyle
Just like every office has their own way of doing things, every country and city has their own way of running an office. Whilst you may be more than clued up on the general culture and customs of your new home; religion, education, currency etc. what about the day to day differences? For example, in the cosmopolitan city of Berlin, there is not really such a thing as a ‘rush hour,’ at least not one that Londoners can relate too. Despite the country running on a generic 9 – 5, Monday to Friday schedule, a phenomenal public transport infrastructure and positive approach to cycling has all but banished any manic Monday morning panic for the tube. And if you’re relocating to Dubai, you’re new weekend will be Friday and Saturday, and the majority of companies uphold this even in the most expat-centric offices. Even if your relocation isn’t that far, do you understand the customs of your new place? Is everyday dress-down Friday, and what will commuting be like in a small town?
Little things like this are easy to get used to, and are all part of the allure and appeal of relocating, but some can be minor shocks if not expected. It’s time to get yourself on community websites and forums to really get a feel of what living in your new area will truly be like.
Everyone has a different approach to education and varying education systems are in place across the world. If relocating with family it is imperative to fully comprehend the local system. In the UK, children start school as young as four, with many being in pre-school facilities from a much younger age. However, a compulsory school age of five is considered rather young across the rest of the world. If your children won’t be in full time education is it going to put pressure on parents, what is the local child-minding procedure; nannies, pre-school, nurseries? Will your employer help you with costs and will your partner be able to work? It’s also a great time now to look into school options; are the good schools local to you, will you be looking at a bi lingual or foreign language school? It’s important to understand all your options to make an informed decision.
Whilst on the subject of education, is your relocation taking you to a foreign place with a new language? Even if your company, local region and colleagues speak in English, now is the perfect time to pick up essential phrases in the local language, as you never know when it might come in useful. Will your employer help with language classes or are you able to find and fund your own?
As stated previously, these may seem like niggling, minor issues, but whilst we are keen to organise major points such as accommodation, employment, packing and removals, often these little things are left to last, or forgotten, making that initial transition after a relocation the most difficult as you take extra time to adjust to new concepts and systems. Preparing yourself means you can embrace and enjoy such phenomena as you settle in to your new home.