What To Do When Work Forces Your Family Into A Location Move

Sometimes, our jobs take us to unexpected places. When we’re young, this is the most exciting thing about embarking on a career. The world is your oyster, and you can uproot without leaving too much destruction behind. Ahh, to be young again.

man looking at the window

But, when you get older, significant changes in your job don’t get your blood pumping in the right way. Instead of seeing a move for your career as exciting, you’ll be bogged down in the logistics. How can you move your family halfway across the world? Do you even want to

The sad fact is, saying no to an opportunity in your career could leave you at a stalemate as far as your company’s concerned. There are laws against sacking someone for refusing a move, but it’ll still be a black mark against your name. Your boss will start to question your commitment, and be hesitant to offer anything else. 

As such, the easiest thing can often be to grin and bear it. This is particularly the case if a pay rise is involved. You want to make the most money possible for your family, right? 

But, to lessen the impact of a long-distance move on your loved ones, it’s worth following these points. 

Look for houses together 

Nothing is as good for getting people excited about a move as a good house hunt. In a situation like this, you can’t afford to be above bribery. Promise your wife the conservatory she’s always wanted, and offer your kids a room with an ensuite. Whatever it takes to get everyone on board.

This joint house search is also a good idea for getting to grips with housing in different countries. While the priority here is on private ownership, the same can’t be said everywhere. In countries like Paris and Germany, the majority opt to rent, rather than buy. And, in areas like Singapore, 80% of the population live in public housing, also known as HDB Flats. Research these things with your family, to ensure that they’re as aware of cultural differences as possible. This is a journey you’re taking together, so make sure you’re all learning at the same pace.

It might also be worth taking the family for viewings. It seems like a lot of expense to fly the whole family abroad, but it’s worth doing to ensure the move is smooth for them. Plus, they’re sure to get excited about all those amazing houses!

Learn about the area 

As mentioned above, you might want to take your whole family to view houses in your new destination. And, while you’re there, it’s worth doing as much exploring of areas as possible. You can walk around and get a feel for favorite restaurants, or shops. You could even take your children for a tour of their new school. All these steps will go a huge way towards helping when the time comes. Plus, you could use this experience to get everyone excited. The sooner you all start visualising your new lives, the better. 

Join a language class as a family

books, language books

Often, a move to a different country will see you all speaking a new language. If you don’t get on top of this before you leave, the culture shock your family experiences on arrival will be a lot worse. The feelings of isolation will be highlighted, and it’ll be much harder to get settled.

So, take this time to join a language class as a family. This can be a lot of fun, and fantastic bonding. Not to mention that it’ll set you on the right footing for your arrival. In all honesty, you probably won’t be fluent before you leave. But, knowing the basic conversation will take you far. You’ll find that the rest will follow once you arrive.

You could either join an evening class or buy a course online. If you know where to look, it’s even possible to learn languages for free. The benefit of doing this from home is that you can fit your learning around your lives. But, bear in mind that you may learn the wrong pronunciations, which could set you all back. In a class, you get the benefit of a teacher who can correct you if you get things wrong. 

Say goodbye with a party 

When children are involved, saying goodbye is important. It’s the best way for them to move on from the past. Otherwise, they may find it difficult to let go of what they’ve lost. To ensure they say goodbye in the right way, it’s worth hosting a farewell party. This is also an opportunity for you and your partner to say goodbye to old friends.

When planning the party, make sure to keep things lighthearted. You want this to be a celebration, so try not to get sentimental about everything you’re leaving. Your positive attitude will rub off on your kids, and keep them happy throughout. Make sure, too, to take contact details for all their friends. Kids often forget these things, but they’ll be glad of all those email addresses once you get where you’re going.

kids, kids painting their faces

Make your new house like your old home 

A move like this is unique, in that you’re leaving because you have to. The chances are that you were all sad to say goodbye to your old home. After all, that wasn’t the problem. So, get to work making your new house like your old one as soon as you can. Unpack fast so that everyone can feel settled. And, arrange your furniture in the same way. It may seem strange, but you’d be amazed how much this will help you all feel more at ease. 

Move a few weeks before you start 

If possible, you should attempt to move a few weeks before you have to work. This will be formative quality time, and you and your family should stick together to start with. You’ll provide each other with comfort and emotional support as you embark on your new lives.

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