Relocating for Work

Years ago, I was finishing my degree in Vancouver with one co-op term left before graduating. There were some really good positions in Vancouver to choose from, but the one that caught my eye was a one-year term in Victoria with the Government of British Columbia. It had all the work opportunities that I was looking for, so I packed my bags and ferried over to Victoria.

Picking up and moving to a different city was challenging to say the least. Many people have done it and are doing it, but the decision is a big one. Though I was only moving a short distance, there were a lot of considerations I had to take in.

Prepping for a Move

At the time, I was still renting an apartment, so I needed to make sure I gave enough notice to my landlord. Then, I had to pack up my place, prioritize what I wanted to bring and put the rest in storage. If you own your home, you should create a checklist of what you’ll need to do to list your home. It’s a good idea to speak with a Realtor to help arrange the sale of your home. They can help get your property ready to be listed and handle many of the details to alleviate the stress. Trust me; you’ll have enough to worry about with the move already.

Check out a previous guest blog by United VanLines on how to pack for your big move.

Finding a Good Neighbourhood

I had been to Victoria on vacations, but I didn’t know the neighbourhoods well enough to know where I wanted to live. I started my search online to see the location of my new workplace and had decided that I wanted to be within walking distance. From there I looked at the municipality’s website along with other sources. Google Street View is a fantastic way to preview a neighbourhood online. Also, check out our Community Websites, which will give you some insights into different neighbourhoods in Canada.

Again, a local Realtor will be able to give you knowledgeable information about new neighbourhoods and help you find a good location based on your needs.

Financial Costs

For some, the company they work for will pay for their relocation costs. For others, like myself, the cost of moving was strictly on me. I was surprised at the cost to move to Victoria. Moving costs can be high if you have to travel large distances. Do some research on moving companies as they can vary in price. I also found that I had to buy small pieces of new furniture, and accessories like a rug and lamps. It all adds up.

Some costs associated with moving can be deducted on your tax return. Check with an accountant on what those could be and save your receipts.

Starting Fresh

I really had no support system in Victoria when I arrived. People I worked with were much older and I was starting to feel a bit lonely after a month away. Moving to a new city is exciting, but it can also take an emotional toll. I made an effort to try things on my own, like watching a movie in the theatres or eating at a restaurant. I also looked at community centre classes and hobby clubs to join.

Growing Your Network

Being involved in community groups and learning to live on my own really helped me make friends that had similar interests. Through various means, I ended up with some really good friends that I could count on. For me, moving to a new city was an amazing adventure.

Today, I’m back in Vancouver contemplating another move (locally this time). The experiences I gained in previous moves will hopefully translate to a smoother move next time.

Do you have any advice on relocating for work? Share them here in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. Michelle 05/07/2012 at 8:42 AM

    One of the greatest risks of relocating is the possibility of culture shock. The most obvious symptom of this is feelings of lonliness and iscolcation. This blog post about Relocation Frustration explains more about common symptoms of culture shock. The best way to prevent this is to be aware of the symptoms that way you are able to prevent or cure them when they occur. The Welcomehome Relocator ( has many tips to help coping with the symptoms.

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