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Job Relocation = Life Relocation

I am waiting in my office to meet with an out of town real estate client. Let’s call him Joe to protect his privacy and please note that some of the details have been fictionalized to maintain the confidentiality of my client. A former client of mine, is a Human Resource Executive and part of his pitch was that the company would set him up with a real estate agent to facilitate his new home purchase. I first spoke with Joe in the midst of his decision to accept or reject this new job. Our conversation was less about real estate and more about his considerations, worries, and what he wanted for his children. I knew in that moment, I repped the company he was considering and I was called to support the change he was considering.

 Joe is moving from the Southwest to this area for a job. He is moving his whole family. He has five kids, two dogs, a cat and oh yes a wife. I am always personally amazed and inspired by folks who move their whole lives for a job. It requires a lot of faith in the job, the company, and usually it offers more promise than the current location/situation. Whether it is a personal relationship or a job, I think we reach a point where the thought of staying is worse than the thought of leaving so we brave it forward.

Joe sent me a list of possibilities. His possibilities cover six counties and 33 towns. I just mapped it out in an Excel spreadsheet to make sense of it all. Then it hit me. My job is not to help him figure out where he wants to live but how he wants to set up his life.  What does it mean to have a 1 hour commute each way to work? How does he do kid pick ups and soccer games? Does it matter to him?  I could come up with 101 questions for him but you know what I am going to do?

Wait for him to share where he is in this process and what is he looking for support with? Sometimes, waiting to be invited and asked questions creates space for solutions and clarity.  When was the last time, you waited for someone to ask you a question before you offered up your perspective or jumped in with a comment? Sometimes the answer we want to share is not the question that is being asked.

About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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