How hard is it to relocate? Is it that easy with my profession? How will I make new connections? These are some of the most common questions everyone asks themselves.
The hospitality industry is vast and broad, offering a myriad of opportunities. Geographic location impacts hospitality businesses on the microscopic level. Culture, location, size, and density will bear influence on the work environment depending on where you go. If you’re being relocated to a new state (or country), or just looking for opportunities in a new place, you will want to consider these necessary housekeeping items as you embark on your new journey.
Moving to a new state can be a great adventure. The experience of immersing yourself in a new culture and work environment can have many rewards, aside from monetary. You will be able to soak in language, tradition, and other nuances that will bolster your knowledge and enrich your life for the better.
But first things first.
1. What state or country should I move to?
If you’re not sure what your move is, you’re not alone. You’ll need to understand a little bit about yourself when investigating a new place to relocate your life. Are you an avid skier who loves winter sports? Are you into high fashion and art? Do you long for new scenery that you’ve never seen before like the plains of Big Sky country or the red rocks and canyons of the south west? Make sure you have a basic understanding of the culture you would thrive in. Start with your strengths, interests, and passions. The hospitality industry in that new place will likely be consistent with the vibe and the values of its surrounding population that you have already vetted to be in line with your own personality.
If you’re up for anything and just want to throw a dart at the map, please pause. Take a breath. And at the very least start with a goal. Whether it’s something like, I want to break $100K this year, learn to speak fluent Spanish, or I want to improve my golf game, it’s important to establish some kind of end goal for yourself. Otherwise, you could find yourself navigating choppy waters without a paddle.
2. Research for moving to a new state
If you’re not a “list person,” it’s suggested that you face that fear. Checklists might come in handy for you with respect to ensuring you’re not only physically, but legally ready to move to and work in a new state (or even country). Time to start tallying up your first-world responsibilities and make sure you’re equipped at your new place of residence.
Assess the landscape: you decide what state or town you live and work in. Now what? Think about where you’re going to live (apartment or house), buy groceries, hit the gym, get gas, do laundry, walk the dog, and even insure your vehicle. Assess the amenities around you to determine how your lifestyle might be affected.
Wikipedia everything: make yourself knowledgeable on the subject of your new location. What’s the population? Diversity? Poverty rate? Average income? School system? History? Energy consumption? Your new place of residence (and hospitality job) is going to be affected by all of these socio-economic factors. For example, if your new town is low-income and not known for tourism, you can expect that to impact your own occupation and income.
Fill up your calendar: think about all the appointments you’ll need to make. A new doctor? Dentist? Babysitter? Landlord? Therapist? Hair stylist? Most of these essential people are only licensed to operate in their own state, which means you’ll need to start from scratch! Will you be prepared to make the transition seamlessly when you move?
Turn the water on: living essentials and utilities should never be ignored! When you are conducting research on your new town or state, you’ll benefit from researching what electricity usage, gas, water, and other utilities cost for the average household. The same goes for fees or maintenance related to apartment, condo, or home living. Don’t forget to shut off utilities at your old residence!
Pay the bills: setting up all your key accounts in your new state should be #1 on your list. But first, update all your creditors, billing, and essentials with your new address. Then determine how you’ll transition accounts like your phone bill, car insurance, renters or homeowners insurance, and any investments you may have. Cancel or transfer any memberships.
Immerse yourself in the culture: prior to departure, you can read up on the place you’re going to live in. Watch movies that were filmed in that state, or research famous people from the area, or learn some new phrases in a second language that’s prevalent, or try some new food that you’re sure to find there.
3. Hospitality industry considerations
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you already work for (or want to work in) the hospitality business: hotel, food/beverage, tourism, travel, spa/leisure, sports, etc. Establishing your new job will be the most important and vital move you make to ensure your relocation is secure and successful! Identifying the things you require from your job is going to be essential.
While you’re at it, use Grit to look around at your job market. See live videos from hospitality professionals in your area, available positions, company culture, and brand. This will give you a flavor for the business environments with opportunities available to you. For example, if you’re a bartender looking for a new gig in South Beach Miami, perusing our employer profiles and posted jobs will provide you with valuable information and context. There are also opportunities to apply and communicate with a hospitality network in that area.
That said, be sure to tally up your occupational basics and feel confident about what you’re getting yourself into.
Yeah, that’s the whole idea right? Income! A living! But how does the hourly wage or tip wage compare to the income of the general population? Or compare to the same job in a different state? How busy is your job likely to be, or how large is the business? Will you be taxed on every penny? What is the cost of living against your living wage? Now is the time to look at all the above research you’ve culminated and put the numbers to the test. Do the math.
Are you going to be in a union? Or offered health or other benefits? What are the job perks? All of these are important questions to ask when you’re fleshing out your new job and living situation. From state to state, workers unions may not be prevalent, or some businesses are required to offer health insurance. Do your homework as to how these legislative rules could impact you directly.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but all too often people forget about the differences in commuting. Some hospitality businesses--particularly large chains--might even offer shuttles or transport to get to you to and from work. Sometimes you need to account for parking as an added cost. If public transportation is your mode, what will you do if it is not available or reliable? What if weather impacts all transportation? Make sure you have this information and always have a Plan B.
Depending on your new place of work, you may have costs associated with moving that could be reimbursed by your company. This tends to be the case for transfers. If not, keep all those receipts because this will certainly impact your tax return situation. Movers, plane tickets, rental cars, first, last and security--all of these things can be accounted for in your taxes and potentially lead to some reimbursement.
4. Tips for moving to a new state
If you haven’t already, you should definitely visit your new place prior to making the move, but sometimes that’s not the case. The most important piece of this whole move is that you have resources at your disposal. Tap into people, expand your network, and get yourself out there.
Call around: talk to people who work for the company you’re interested in working for, and people who work similar jobs for other companies in your new state or town. Ask them what they like and don’t like about their job, as well as the nitty gritty details about lifestyle and finances.
Tap into your homebase: wherever you’re moving from, you’re bound to know someone who knows someone who lives in your new state or area. Get those introductions made. Know your friend’s friends. Even if the people aren’t directly related to your new job.
Get advice: the more you know, the more you can do. If you have anxieties about the lack of laundromats in your new town, or where to find a vegan grocer, ask a townie. You can literally call down the city hall prepared with your questions and ask a human being what they recommend you do. If they don’t have the answer, we bet they know someone who does.
Polish yourself up: go prepared with your manifesto, clean resume, and starched collar all ready to go. Freshening up your look or wardrobe can help you make the best impression at your new job. And this doesn’t just apply to your appearance in the physical world… Make sure your social networks are looking sharp and professional on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Grit.
So there you have it. General tips for an out-of-state move in the hospitality industry. Make sure you check out your job opportunities on Grit, and get that profile spiffed up and ready to go before you hit the road. Good luck!