Job Relocation: Tips to Navigate the Process as a Physician
Job relocation can be an exciting but complicated process.
Today, the demand for doctors willing to relocate is higher than ever, especially given the physician shortage. In fact, 85% of healthcare facilities rely on locum tenens.
With so many vacant positions to fill, locum tenens physicians are often on the move in an ever-changing environment. Moving and starting over can be stressful even if you’re relocating for a fresh start or new career opportunity.
Therefore, here are a few ways to navigate the job relocation process.
Look Into Assistance
During the interview process for your new position, your recruiter likely shared the standard benefits of your employer. However, it’s important to enquire about any moving-related benefits and aid especially when relocating for a job.
Many companies offer relocation assistance. This may include reimbursements for moving expenses, temporary housing, or a bonus as an added incentive for your move. If you have deeper roots in your current area, some employers may provide job placement assistance for your spouse. They may even offer a buyout option if your home doesn’t sell prior to your moving date.
If you’re hesitant about relocating for work, ask your recruiter about any additional assistance that may make the transition easier. Especially if you have a job offer on the table, you have enough leverage to ask about relocation assistance and other resources.
Remember, companies want to help you, especially if they think you’ll add value to their team. They understand that job relocation can be an expensive and a stressful process. So, they’ll most likely be flexible depending on your situation – the worst they can say is no! If you’re able to negotiate your physician contract and qualify for any assistance programs, make sure to clarify what is and isn’t covered and document your expenses.
Create a Budget
As we already know, job relocation can be expensive.
Therefore, looking at your current financial situation and planning ahead for future expenses can reduce unexpected surprises and financial strain.
Before starting the moving process, create a budget to monitor your spending and to determine what you can afford. This is great especially if you plan on asking your employer for relocation assistance. Most of the time, they want to see what you need the money for.
In your budget, account for cost of living, housing down payment or deposits, transportation and other moving expenses.
If you’re planning on buying a home instead of renting, getting a mortgage pre-approval can help give you a better sense of what you can afford which can help shape both your relocation and monthly budget. Housing will likely be your biggest expense. Therefore, your mortgage pre-approval will not only give you peace of mind but also set you up for financial success.
If you’re moving out of state, it’s vital to research new requirements necessary to work in your new location.
For instance, physicians and other healthcare providers need state medical licenses to practice. This means you’ll need to pay certain fees and account time for your application to process. Since licensing requirements vary from state to state, do your research before your move to make sure you’re fully prepared to work in your area.
Researching and understanding what’s needed to practice in your new location will reduce extra stress on top of the move. Tip: Verify with your employer these requirements and ask about other deadlines not included.
There are many aspects that go into job relocation, so it’s vital to plan ahead to avoid additional stress.
Being proactive will ensure that you have a successful move. Plus, enough time to relax and get fully acclimated before starting your new job. Don’t forget to get familiar with your area. More specifically, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and more to ease your nerves and feel more “at home”.
One of your top priorities in the planning process should be housing. You already secured a job, so all that’s left is finding a place to live. Research different neighborhoods and houses for sale to find an area that’s best suited for your lifestyle and budget. For instance, do you prefer city life or something more residential? You’ll also want to consider other logistics like commuting time, housing expenses, and cost of living. Given your new salary, are you able to afford the lifestyle change? If you’re moving your entire family, consider good school districts for your children and where your spouse’s job will be.
Create a Realistic Timeline
Once you know you’ll be relocating, you should create a realistic timeline to complete related tasks.
Consider your start date for your new role and plan enough time in between to get everything situated. For instance, how much notice do you need to give your current employer if you need to resign? This is especially important if you already have a concrete start date for your new job.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll also want to plan enough time to find housing and manage appointments with moving companies. Depending on where you’re relocating, it’s smart to plan a trip ahead to visit neighborhoods and explore housing. This will help you determine when’s the earliest you can move in and if there will be any unforeseen delays.
If you’re unable to visit ahead, speak to a realtor or someone who’s lived or visited the area. They will be able to share their perspectives as well as other key insights into the area. You should also dedicate enough time to sell your current home or cancel your lease before moving. Keep that in mind when discussing your start date for your new role.
To keep track of everything, create a detailed checklist with deadlines to ensure you’re fully prepared to move. Take things day by day and split up tasks to make the job relocation process more manageable.
Build Your Network
Moving to a new location can be scary, especially if you’re leaving behind friends and family.
Not knowing anyone in the area can make you feel overwhelmed and isolated.
Prior to moving, ask your friends and family back home if they have contacts in the area. Meeting mutual connections can give you a taste of home and ease any loneliness.
Additionally, make an effort to branch out and meet new people.
Making new friends and even establishing a professional network you can lean on for support is a must. Join local Facebook groups to connect with people in the area. Speak with colleagues beforehand so you’ll see some familiar faces on your first day of work. Consider asking colleagues to lunch or simply connect with them during company events.
Whatever you decide to do, establishing new friendships and building strong connections will help make relocating much more manageable.
Looking for locum tenens staffing? MASC Medical provides risk-free consultations to healthcare providers looking for work and clients looking to hire. To learn more about MASC Medical, its services and how we can help your practice, get in touch.