4 Ways to Start Adapting After a Big Move

We’re a pretty mobile generation. And it’s because we have to be. As the economy grows and job markets become increasingly competitive, people in the workforce are more willing to move for a new job.

In fact, 77 percent of people said they’d consider relocation to another city or state for a job, according to a Cornerstone OnDemand survey.

Because it’s so common to move for a new job, it’s important to know what to expect when you’re introducing two gargantuan changes to your life at the exact same time.

I’m one of many millennials who have moved for a work opportunity. It wasn’t easy, but there were four things that helped me more than anything else.

1. Find a routine

We’re creatures of habit. Finding a routine will help you find balance, and ultimately lead to a healthier lifestyle. According to Northwestern Medicine, not having a routine can be detrimental to your health, leading to more stress, poor sleeping and eating habits, worsened physical health and ineffective usage of time.

Illustration of man looking confused with question marks around him. Big Move pbs rewireCredit: Adobe
There are going to be ups and downs, even moments when you question if you did the right thing by moving for the job.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but those sound like the last things you want to be dealing with when you’re starting a new job and living in a new place. Taking care of your health by establishing a routine will allow you the opportunity to be more focused at work and empower you to build a personal life for yourself outside of the office.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous from time to time, it just means you shouldn’t push yourself to unhealthy limits.

2. Be nice to other people

In his classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie described what it takes to develop what he calls “a million-dollar personality.” At the core of it are things we’ve been taught our entire lives.

  • Learn names and use them: “A person’s name to him or her is the sweetest and most important sound in any language,” Carnegie wrote.
  • Smile: Research suggests it actually makes you happier.
  • Don’t be unnecessarily argumentative: You don’t want to be wrongly labeled early on by being too forceful with your opinions.
  • Ask lots of questions: “Natural curiosity makes you more of an interesting conversationalist than any witty story or intellectual anecdote you recite ever could,” Carnegie says.

Keeping these basics in mind can help you thrive in a new social scene and allow you to better navigate the politics (and we all know they exist) at a new job.

Jonathan Ubri, a marketing director, relocated to Utah from New York in 2015 for a job opportunity.

“Moving across the country can be extremely stressful for anyone,” he said. “It sure was for me. As soon as I set foot in Utah, I had to lean on what I know — and what I know is how to be a people person and stay true to who I am.”

He leveraged what came naturally to him to make a good first impression at his new job, and to help himself feel more confident.

“I’ve always considered my personality to be one of my biggest assets,” Ubri said. “From day one…, I just started talking to people. I’d chat with them in break rooms and ask what they do for the company. If I liked what someone was wearing, I’d compliment them. … Ultimately, it helped me to feel more comfortable during a stressful time.”

3. Get out and look around

Don’t wear yourself out by pushing yourself to see everything at once, but definitely set goals to explore the culture, history and cool stuff in your area.

You’ll probably be worn out from getting to know your new job and meeting lots of new people. Unwind and get more comfortable with your city by collecting some experiences. Ask locals for their opinions on the best food, hikes, places to shop or whatever it is you’re into. Then try them out.

You’ve got an entirely new area at your fingertips, and it’s more productive to think of that as exciting rather than daunting.

[Read: Forget the Power Pose and Find Real Confidence]

4. Be patient with yourself

Change is hard and personal growth doesn’t happen overnight. There are going to be ups and downs, even moments when you question if you did the right thing by moving for the job.

These are the moments when you have to be patient with yourself.

“Give it time,” said Mike Howell, a recruiter in Utah’s tech industry. “It often takes 90 days for you to establish yourself at a company and have an actual sense for what you’re doing and where you fit in that company.”

Use the first few months at your new job to ask as many questions as you can about your role and the company.

“The growth opportunities can be tremendous for candidates that don’t give up,” he said. “After all, you were probably hired because of your potential, not just your current skill sets, so nobody expects you to know everything from day one. Use that as wind to put in your sails.”

In my experience, something that can help during tough transitional phases and has long-term benefits is positive self-talk.

Our inner monologue can be positive or negative. Get in the habit of talking to yourself in a positive, encouraging way. According to the Mayo Clinic, “positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health,” both mental and physical.

As corny as it sounds, positive thinking can propel you forward. And after all, isn’t that why you tried to get this new job in the first place?

Bobby Macey

Bobby is a full-scale content producer who enjoys writing articles, making videos and posting to his food Instagram account, @bobbyeatsit. He’s been published nationally and writes on a variety of topics. He’s known for his positive attitude and can-do spirit.