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The promotion you wanted will now take you halfway across the country. Or maybe you’ve decided to embark on a career opportunity in another country. Moving to a new environment presents a number of challenges: How will your children adjust to the school system? What is the corporate culture like in your new location? How might your banking options or tax obligations change?
According to Amy Kahn, president of Phoenix-based diversity consulting firm Young & Kahn Associates, “80% of international assignments failed from lack of understanding and support from the family [of the person moving].” She also notes that while international HR directors cover the expenses of cultural training, cross-cultural communication, and diversity training, they tend to overlook some of the complexities of domestic multicultural moving. There are ways to ease the transition.
Suzanne Miles, who moved to Detroit last year to work as a judicial law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals, began talking to people who’d lived in Detroit or had friends there. “It just so happens, as you talk to more and more people, someone’s going to know someone in that new city,” says the 30-year-old former New York resident.
Miles’ moving costs averaged between $3,000 and $4,000, which included scouting for apartments to actually moving and settling in. According to Steven Kuller, vice president of operations for Worldwide Relocations (www.wwrelocations.com), an overseas move, depending on the circumstances, can range from $4,000 to $27,000. And that does not include port charges, which can vary around the world from $50 to $100. He suggests securing three bids from a moving company and making sure they have outlined all costs involved.
Most companies will pay relocation costs or provide an advance for moving expenses, but you should check the maximum your company will pay to assist in your relocation. Also, find out what insurance your company offers and make a detailed inventory list of your possessions, including photographs of valuables.
Miles found information about housing options on Websites like www.rent.com, www.citysearch.com, www.homestore.com, and from the local chamber of commerce, which can offer a wide range of business, social, and lifestyle information in domestic moves. Here are other resources:
1. Household Goods Forwarders Association of America Inc. (www.hhgfaa.org) is a global association with more than 1,800 members in 160 countries that offers information on a range of issues from weather to insurance needs.
2. Moveandstay.com is an online service that caters to executives by offering information on housing searches and expatriate communities, as well as business and etiquette tips.