Career advice

Minimise the stress of relocating

Moving house and starting a new job are both high up on the list of stressful life events. So how can you cope when your personal circumstances, or a career opportunity, means you do both at the same time?

Moving house and starting a new job are both high up on the list of stressful life events. So how can you cope when your personal circumstances, or a career opportunity, means you do both at the same time?


Planning for change can be stressful, try to focus on each week at a time. Picture: Getty

When it comes to stability, security and routine, your home and your work are vital. When you change the two at once, the stresses multiply.

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution that can take away all the angst associated with this level of change, but careful planning, combined with subtle shifts in your thinking, can make the process less daunting.

Think ahead

Just like any project at work, the success of relocation lies in good planning, so draw on all your organisational and time management skills. As soon as you have the foundations in place, such as knowing where you will be living and working, spend some time brainstorming everything that needs to be done. Make a list of all your priorities and timescales.

Some people find it useful to take a mental journey from where you are now to where you need to be, in your new home and your new post. Try using broad headings, for example 'paperwork required for moving/new role' or 'removal and packing' and drill each one down so that you get a better sense of what it entails.

Next, work out what you will do and when. Use a notepad or spreadsheet and create a page for each week until your relocation date, then go through your list of tasks and allocate some to each week. To stop you feeling overwhelmed, try to trust the process and focus on each week at a time. Be flexible, too: if you don't manage to complete all tasks on a given week, move them to the next one. 

What's motivating you?

As well as having a workable plan, it's important that you keep reminding yourself of what's motivating you to make these changes. Even if some of the choices were originally outside of your control, such as redundancy, if you can focus on the opportunities that lie ahead, you will feel in a more positive frame of mind.

Make some time to explore your new area and plan things you want to do. Similarly, familiarise yourself with your new workplace before you start working there. If time allows, go for an informal visit so that you can meet some of your colleagues.

Leaving behind what's familiar can be scary, but you will never know what is behind the door unless you have the courage to open it. Don't worry if you feel a mixture of sadness and excitement, this is a normal part of planning for any change.


Mandy Day-Calder is a freelance writer and life/health coach

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