What to Do When Planning to Move Across the Country for Work

by Lisa McQuerrey

Moving across the country to pursue a professional opportunity can be exciting. It also can be stressful. Changing a job and changing your home base simultaneously requires a good deal of thought and planning to go smoothly. Talk to your employer about what kind of relocation assistance your company offers. Having a helping hand with packing, moving and finding a new home can ease the transition.

Finalize Work Plans

Before you pick up and move across the country, make sure your new work transition is formal and final. You don't want to sell your house and move thousands of miles away only to have a job fall through. Knowing exactly when you will start your new position will help you plan the timing of your move and allow you to give adequate notice, if necessary. Tie up all loose ends in your current work location by completing projects, transferring clients to other representatives of the company and saying farewell to friends and colleagues.

Existing Housing

If you have a house to sell, get it on the market as soon as possible. If your job requires that you move right away, consider renting your house over the short-term, or find out if your company has a plan to subsidize your mortgage payments until your property sells. A knowledgeable real estate agent or property management company can help you determine your best options.


Moving across the country can be a costly endeavor, particularly if you’re footing the bill. If your company doesn't offer relocation expense coverage, consider downsizing your possessions and selling or donating household items that you don't need or that would be more cost-effective to replace in your new location. Even if you have the assistance of a moving company, pack and transport small, delicate or expensive items yourself to ensure safe handling.

New Housing

It can take awhile to get acclimated to a new city and figure out which neighborhoods you like, so you might consider transitional housing before buying something permanent. If you want to get settled right away, you may have to make arrangements to put some of your belongings in storage while you wait for a new house to be built or an existing home sale to close. Scout out storage options in advance to make the process easier.

Personal Matters

Collect your medical records from your doctor, dentist and optometrist, get your pet’s records from the vet and, if you have children, get copies of health records and educational transcripts so you can enroll them in a new school. Close personal bank accounts or transfer to a branch location in your new city. Once you get settled, find health care providers or you and your family so you'll be covered in the event of an emergency.

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