I’m a manager at Mahoney, a CPA firm in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
My five and a half years with the firm have come with countless opportunities. Through partner retirements, promotions and the pandemic, my clients and colleagues have consistently trusted and challenged me to grow into new skills and embrace the chance to change. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the continued support as I embarked on my latest adventure earlier this year: I moved halfway across the country!
The learning curve has been occasionally steep over the last few months as Mahoney’s first employee outside the Twin Cities, but if you’re considering a similar change in scenery, read on to see what I found most helpful to ready myself for this transition.
When I began to seriously consider the possibility of moving, I found a lot of value in asking myself a very simple question: “Why do I want to move?”
Though everyone’s reasons will be different, the question is supposed to be the starting point of a larger reflection. Relocation can change nearly every piece of your life, all the way from day-to-day social activities through long-term financial goals. Taking the time to work through the broad initial question, and the smaller specific ones that follow, can help you confidently decide whether moving makes sense for you.
In today’s working environment, many employers are setting up plans to accommodate remote employees, and yours may be one of them.
Have a conversation with your current employer if you would like to keep your job when you relocate. The company’s human resources professionals can guide you through general questions as you navigate new working arrangements, and they’re super helpful to facilitate communication about more complicated topics, like effects to your pay or benefits. I also highly recommend planning regular video chats and phone calls with colleagues to help you maintain a sense of connectedness through your big life change.
If you’re planning to find a new job, you should be communicating your relocation plans to potential employers, too. Even though arrangements specific for remote or hybrid candidates have become more commonplace, it’s helpful for companies to be aware of your timeline and evaluate whether or how they are able to accommodate your needs.
There is one universal fact of moving: it’s expensive. Even the most frugal cross-country relocation will be an investment, from hiring professionals or renting your own transportation, to travel expenses like lodging and meals. The expense doesn’t stop there, either. Once you’ve settled in your new location, you’ll probably spend more out socializing as you try new activities and meet new friends.
To start, I recommend comparing the cost of living in your current location with the place you’d like to move. If that change feels feasible, start looking further into how much physically moving will cost. Make a point of visiting and living like a local for a few days, if you can, too. Planning out costs and saving up for your new adventure may not sound glamorous but doing this earlier will make your move smoother in the long run.
I realize this piece of advice comes off a bit biased, but one of the most important people to contact when moving is your CPA. Nearly every U.S. state collects income tax, and some counties and cities do, too. The rules have only become more complex with the rising popularity of remote working arrangements, so the sooner you contact your tax professional, the sooner they’ll be able to answer your questions and help you avoid surprises when you’re ready to file your returns.
Life is an adventure, and transitions will always be easier when they are well-planned!
And if you’re looking for a new position with a great company, Mahoney could be a good fit for you. View our open positions and apply soon.
Additional reading: Megan’s blog on starting a job during the pandemic
10 River Park Plaza, Suite 800
Saint Paul, MN 55107
Fax: (651) 227.9796