If only we lived in a world where promising employment opportunities were situated on every block and public transportation systems were established in every size city. Unfortunately, that’s just not reality. Many of you live in small towns and have exhausted all employment opportunities in your area, or at least ones that pay a living wage. Public transportation is pivotal for maintaining employment as a person who is blind or visually impaired, and maybe in your city it is absent or minimal at best. Remember when I suggested it could be time to relocate to find employment? Well, I have yet to change my position.
Consider a move to the nearest sizable city in order to utilize public transportation, a move across the country to accept a new position in your field, or a move across the globe to accept a lateral career change or higher level position. Read the following suggestions in preparation for your possible upcoming journey.
Before you move…
- Find a job in the new city.While you can opt to find a job after you move, that is risky and costly. I recommend planning to move on a particular date and writing your move date on your resume or cover letter.
- Plan ahead.Research moving companies, renting a U-Haul, options for selling furniture, areas of the new town with good public transportation, safe communities to live, possible new homes or apartment complexes, etc.
- Save money. You’ll need to fund relocation costs such as packing and/or moving companies, food and hotels in route, a down payment on a new home or a few months of rent plus a deposit, transportation costs, cleaning fees, emergencies, etc.
- Ask the Human Resource department of your new company if they are willing to help with relocation fees. They may be willing to cover a portion of or all of the relocation costs.
- Network. Look through your LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends to search for acquaintances or future colleagues who can help you connect to your new area. Make friends, get advice, and gather referrals for services such as realtors, doctors, hair dressers, and technicians.
- Search for a local agency for the blind and visually impaired. If needed, seek Orientation and Mobility services for your new neighborhood, public transportation system, and workplace. Gain assistive technology advice or instruction necessary for your new worksite, as well as any other instruction related to your visual impairment.
- Visit your new city before you move. If possible, check out the city and possible homes before you move. It could save you the cost of moving and realizing you despise the new area.
Is it stressful to move? Absolutely! I’m currently smack-dab in the middle of the moving process, currently sitting in a hotel room and waiting 2 days until we fly from Japan to America. It’s more emotional and overwhelming than I thought possible, as I leave what will stay behind (supportive friends, a home I know, etc.), and venture to unchartered territory. However, I know this relocation for my husband’s job will be the introduction to the next exciting life chapter. We’ll gain a new support system, get plugged into a new church, and explore a new culture.
Weigh the cost and benefits. Press through the discomfort to choose what is best for your immediate family. If that means relocating for a new job, move on, my friend!