Relocating for a new job is accompanied by so many transitions and changes. While exciting, relocating can also become overwhelming, especially if you aren’t prepared or don’t know what to expect. Luckily, there are several measures you can take to make the process of relocating as streamlined and smooth as possible. When you set aside time to prepare for your big move and learn about the ins and outs of relocating, you’ll ultimately have a better experience with far fewer unwanted surprises along the way.
Thoroughly Review Your Contract
Before you take any logistical steps to relocate, the most important task is ensuring that you read your contract thoroughly and that you are clear on your contractual and clinical obligations. Familiarize yourself with the termination notice requirements for your new role as well as any restrictions that may be included. One example of a potential restriction is a non-compete clause that could stop you from practicing in a certain location for a set amount of time once your contract has been terminated.
Educate Yourself About Relocation Assistance
When doctors are offered opportunities to relocate for a new role, they are typically given some type of relocation package to make the deal more enticing and to make the transition smoother. Doctors who find their new roles through recruiters will likely be informed of benefits available to them through their employer, but relocation assistance may not always be offered up front. If you want relocation assistance or reimbursement, you may need to ask. Asking is often the key to unlocking any sort of moving bonus. The amount of relocation assistance available to you may influence your decision to relocate and for which role.
Furthermore, the first offer you receive from a potential employer regarding relocation assistance may not be the final offer. There is typically room for negotiation and finding a solution that works on both sides. Remember that bonuses given by your employer for relocation expenses are considered taxable income, so you’ll want to touch base with your accountant to understand how this may impact your income taxes.
Learn About Licensing Requirements
Licensing is key to a doctor’s ability to practice, the requirements for licensing vary, sometimes quite a bit, from state to state. Allocate time to researching the licensing requirements in the areas to which you are interested in relocating. When you feel like you’re serious about relocating to a particular state, it is worthwhile to begin the application process for obtaining a medical license in that state. Once you’re clear on the licensing requirements within that state, you’ll want to take the extra step of understanding the requirements of your potential employer. Ask for clarification regarding any licensing deadline requirements that may be included within your contract, especially if your employment is conditional upon meeting them.
Schedule Time To Plan Your Move
Even without all that comes along with relocating to a new state, moving is often quite stressful. It’s vital, especially for doctors with busy and tight schedules, to schedule time to focus on planning your transition. You’ll want to allocate time to research vendors, like movers or a travel agent, as well as your new state, city, and neighborhood. Perhaps even more importantly, you’ll want to be diligent about scheduling downtime to rest both mentally and physically.
Ultimately what makes relocating smooth for physicians is being proactive, thinking the transition through step by step. It’s unlikely that you’ll go through your move without issues arising, but planning ahead helps keep bumps in the road to a minimum. If you have the opportunity, you may want to consider visiting your new neighborhood for a few days in order to get acquainted with the area.
Some physicians may choose to work with doctor relocation specialists, who are an expert when it comes to helping doctors execute the logistics of relocation. Working with a specialist can be a major time-saver and stress-reducer, but may result in additional cost that may or may not be reimbursable depending on the terms of your contract.
Perhaps most importantly, schedule several days or a week after your move before you begin your new position if possible to give yourself the chance to adjust to your new hometown.