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Plan Before You Move for Work or School

Before you move, you’ll want to plan ahead and think about how your move will affect your life, family and career. Check out these suggestions to get started.

Moving to another community for work or school means upending your home and your life. Is it a good idea? Find out if you’re making the right decision, and how to make your move successful.

Think about the big picture

Start by thinking about how the move will fit into the big picture of your life and work.

Think about your career goals. How does this move support the direction you want to go in your career? Is moving the best way to reach your goals?

Consider the impact of the move on your family. Can your partner find work? Will the work match your partner’s existing skills, training and experience? How will the move affect your children’s education and activities? Does the whole family need to move or just one person?

Imagine life in your new community and how it will be different from where you live now. What are the pros and cons? For example, living in a small town may cost less, but you may you may also have fewer services and amenities. Living in a city may offer more opportunities, but you may be farther from your family and community support systems. Have you visited the community you want to move to or researched it online?

Think about how the change will affect your family

A move will introduce you and your family to new people, places and situations. If you feel uneasy or even afraid of these unknowns, think about getting support from your family:

  • Are you still trying to decide if moving is the right thing to do? Talk to your family and the important people in your life. Try to make the decision together.
  • Are you and your family moving away from your support systems? Talk about how you’ll handle problems such as loneliness.
  • Are you moving away on your own? Plan to regularly contact your family online or by phone.

Try to find support and make connections in your new community as well.

Plan ahead if you’re moving for work opportunities

If you have a job offer, make sure your new job is confirmed in writing. At the same time, ask about raises and promotions so you know what to expect.

If you’re moving to find a job, do some research:

  • Does this new community have jobs for someone with your skills, training and experience? What’s the wage rate?
  • Can your spouse find a job there?
  • If you work outside of Alberta in a regulated occupation, have you checked with your professional association or union to make sure you’re certified to work in Alberta?
  • Have you checked with your union to see if you can work out of the local in your new community?
  • Have you used your network to get in touch with people in your new community? How will you meet them once you move?
  • Do you know how to “get your foot in the door and make your own contacts?” Do you know about the hidden job market? About 80% of jobs aren’t advertised.
  • If you are moving with your family, have you and your partner planned how to pay your family’s bills while you look for work? If you’re moving on your own, how will you pay your own bills while you look for work?
  • Can you be flexible and take work that’s not your first choice?
  • Will you stay in contact with your network back home in case you need to move back?
  • If you have no formal training, what can you earn in this community as a non-skilled worker? Will it cover your cost of living?

Plan ahead if you’re moving for school

Going to school is a big step. Moving to go to school makes the step even bigger. See if you can answer these questions:

  • What are the training or education opportunities in the new community?
  • Are the opportunities different or better than those where you now live?
  • What will your education costs be?
  • What are Alberta’s residency requirements for education funding? What funds can you access?

Plan ahead for life in your new community

You’ll feel better about your move if you know what life in your new community looks like. See if you can answer these questions:

  • What are the housing costs and availability?
  • Do you have a place to stay while you look for permanent housing?
  • How will you get to work or school? What will your transportation costs be? Is public transportation available?
  • Where will your children go to school and how will you transfer their paperwork to their new school?
  • Is day care available? What does it cost? Can you qualify for a subsidy if you need it?
  • Can the community meet your family’s specific health and education needs?
  • If you’re moving to Alberta, how do you apply for Alberta health care, obtain an Alberta driver’s license and register your vehicle?
  • If you’re a recent immigrant, do you know what cultural and language supports there are?

Check out these resources for a successful move:

  • Moving to Alberta. Find information about
    • Alberta community profiles
    • buying or renting a home
    • ordering utility hookups
    • changing your address
    • Government of Alberta programs and services.
  • Labour Mobility in Canada. Discover the steps to have your certification recognized in Alberta.
  • Paying for Post-Secondary School. Check out information and resources about financing your education.

Plan ahead to make a good move

Moving can be a challenge. Gather as much information as possible about work, school and life in your new community so you’ll know what to expect and plan for. When you’re well prepared, you can make the change, confident that your move will pay off.

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