LEARN ABOUT AUSTIN, TEXAS
You may find yourself lodged in a hotel
or temporary housing until your belongings arrive, and that’s a nice opportunity to
become familiar with Austin. Austin Relocation Guide is the perfect place to start learning
about what this wonderful city has to offer.
You can also find additional information at
the Austin Visitor’s Center, hotels/motels,
the airport, and real estate offices (see the
Helpful Websites sidebar on the opposite page).
A walking or bus tour, while fun for the
whole family, actually serves to help you
become acclimated and learn about the city.
You can also visit local points of interest
such as museums, parks and exhibits; enjoy
a concert; and try out restaurants featuring
local cuisine. Check out any services, activities or organizations that are of particular
interest to your family.
One of the biggest challenges of moving is
relocating a “second” career. If you, as a
spouse, are transferring your job to a home
office, then a computer, telephone, e-mail
account and fax machine may be all that
you will need to get started. However, if
your job was not “portable,” you might
consider a new career, part-time or tempo-
rary employment, or perhaps even start
your own business.
Evaluate your skills, accomplishments and
greatest strengths when you are planning
your next endeavor. A few resources to tap
are your spouse’s employer, local organizations, real estate offices with “Partner
Career Assistance Programs,” independent career counselors, your university/
college alma mater and, of course, the
Sunday edition of the local papers. If you
are searching for a job, start networking by
telling those you meet that you are looking.
If you have chosen to take a break from
your career, consider volunteering your
time and talent. Volunteering to a charitable
organization is a wonderful effort as well as
a way to meet new people and learn more
about the community. Volunteer activities
add depth to résumés, but the experience
needs to be documented so that the service
equates to business expertise. Before you
again become fully employed, use any free
time to enjoy your new community. Refer
to the Advice for Volunteers website for
guidance in selecting a volunteer position
and Monster.com for spouse assistance in
the Helpful Websites sidebar.
YOUR SMALLEST MOVERS
The majority of relocating families have
dependent children. If you are moving
with children, you probably researched
schools before moving; however, personal
school visits will transform the unknown
into reality. Visits to new schools to survey
the classrooms and meet teachers will go a
long way to allay your, and your children’s,
worries about the new environment.
Listen carefully to each child’s concerns—
every move can bring new issues to the
surface. Encourage your children to maintain contact with former friends, even while
trying to make new friends. Exchanging
photos, having e-mail access and possibly a
cell phone with a camera feature can help
bridge the gap between old and new friends
during the early weeks in a new location.
DEALING WI TH CHALLENGES
Keep in mind that every stage and every
age can bring new challenges. Children
who sailed through the last move could be
in an entirely different place emotionally
and physically for this move, so parents
cannot assume that a child will ease into
the current move. Routinely share accomplishments and challenges with each other
and talk about ways to overcome difficulties. Children need to know that even
though the parents are responsible for
uprooting them, you both have challenges
to face, and you need to work together as a
family to solve them.
TIPS FOR SETTLING IN
> Write down three or four goals to achieve in your new city.
> Continue all your special family celebrations and traditions.
> Share some of your family’s special recipes and cultural aspects with new acquaintances and neighbors.
> Keep a log of new experiences and accomplishments.
> Give everyone in the family manageable moving chores (taking care of practical matters will take the edge off homesickness).
> Join an athletic or special interest group.
> Get involved in community and religious organizations, especially those that sponsor activities, volunteer efforts and programs for newcomers.
> Learn about the local government, issues and politics.
> Take one day at a time.