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Rediff.com  » Getahead » 'Moving on your own to a new city can be daunting'

'Moving on your own to a new city can be daunting'

August 05, 2009 15:41 IST

Are you young, single and moving to a new city for professional reasons?

As part of a series commencing today, we'll be posting readers' experiences and advice when it comes to moving out on your own. Here, Rachita Awasthi shares her story of moving from Delhi to Mumbai following a job transfer:

I am 27 and have been working with an online media company for the last four years. I recently took an internal transfer from Delhi to our Mumbai office; I had many doubts when deciding to relocate, including whether it was a good career move, apart from the expected lifestyle change.

Like many others, I am also dealing with the initial transitional challenges. Leaving your comfort zone is never easy, be it personal or professional. Staying alone made me realise how easily I had taken so many things for granted, from family to friends to a life made comfortable by the people around me. While the emotional and social changes can take some time getting used to, here are my tips for a smooth physical move to a new city:

1. Start planning early: It is important to start planning at least 6-8 weeks in advance, as there will be lots of tasks which you need to do. The best way is make a list and divide them in categories. Moving involves a plethora of activities from finding a new house to arranging for various utilities, moving things from your previous city and buying new things. Also, moving can involve a one-off but heavy financial burden. One must also be prepared for all the hidden costs that comes up when you move to a new place. Also, do not forget to inform your current vendors in time for disconnection of services, as many companies tend to take a month's notice.

2. Research well: A lot of time can be saved if you research well in advance. A lot of information is available on the Internet and you can speak to friends and colleagues to get a better understanding of the new city you are moving to. It is always a good idea to visit the new city at least once for 2-3 days to get an idea beforehand .While looking for a house consider factors like security, proximity to workplace, market, public transport, hospitals and schools etc

3. Prioritise: When looking for a new house, always make sure you understand your priorities and stick to them .For eg, if you are not used to public transport or do not fancy driving for long hours then maybe you need to trade off between space and proximity while looking for houses (as was the case with me). Similarly, if you have kids or older parents joining you, as sometimes is the case, it is important to keep their needs in mind while looking for a house too.

4. It's worth spending money for convenience: Make sure you do not cut corners while choosing your vendors .It is worth spending money on a decent mover and packer who will ensure that all the things you love are transported in one piece. If your mover does not offer insurance for goods in transit, make sure you get it done separately.

5. Try and actively build a social network: It can be very difficult to move into a city of strangers and one can feel quite lonely. I think rebuilding your social network is the biggest challenge one deals with. A good way to start is by getting involved in your society's activities to meet people. Often, your friends from your previous city might have friends in the new city and it can be a good idea to build a network through them.

6. Look at the bright side: While the initial moving challenges can be quite daunting, moving to a new city can also bring a refreshing change. Look at the positive side, maybe this move has given you a chance to grow professionally or gain a different exposure and experience. Spend your initial few months exploring the city or even planning weekend trips to places you have probably not seen before.

Aside from the practical angle, there are pros and cons to any move you make in life. I've listed a few that may help you make your decision:

Pros:

  • Growth opportunity: Change in work and location can help in breaking the monotony of your life and mostly offer good growth prospects professionally.
  • Expanding your network: Moving to a new place brings along loads of new people, colleagues and maybe some very good friends.
  • Better lifestyle: Sometimes a move, especially to a smaller town, can provide you with a better lifestyle and work-life balance.
    • Cons:

    • Expenses: Even though, most companies pay for all relocation-related expenses like transportation, vehicle registration, deposits and disturbance allowance, these reimbursements may take time to come, leading to an immediate need for funds
    • Value of salary: The value of your salary may vary from city to city, depending on the cost of living. Keep this in mind while negotiating
    • Managing the house: If you are moving away from family then taking care of groceries, cooking, house maintenance and above all your maid's tantrums can be quite challenging after a busy day at work.
      • Taking into consideration all the above factors, your transition, if you decide to make it, will be a relatively smooth one.

        Are you young, single and living on your own in a city away from your hometown? Do you have experiences similar to Rachita's that you'd like to share with us

        If so, share them with us! Simply write in to getahead@rediff.co.in (Subject line: 'Living on my own') and we'll publish the most interesting entries right here on rediff.com

        Rachita Awasthi