Moving to a new city for a job can be overwhelming. If you’re choosing from multiple locations or jobs, the list of things you’ll want to consider includes lifestyle, cost of living, school districts, transportation/commute to the office, the weather… at a minimum.
Once you’ve found the right job, you’ll want to know the best way to go about your relocation, from selling the house and dealing with movers, to acclimating to a new environment and (re)building a routine.
We sat down with newly transplanted Sherif Sabry to learn more about his experience relocating from Orlando, Florida, to TEECOM’s headquarters city of Oakland, California, to find out what tips he has, and what he loves about his new digs.
Sherif’s experience lies in infrastructure design for corporate buildings and mission critical projects, so he began his search for new opportunities in big technology companies along the Pacific Coast. He was familiar with Portland and Seattle, but found a position matching his exact expertise at TEECOM. During his first trip to California for the job interview, he realized it was a perfect fit.
TEECOM’s HQ, located above the downtown Oakland BART station, is central to a multitude of East Bay cities varying in size and charm, San Francisco’s microclimatic, eclectic neighborhoods, and the North Bay’s wide open spaces. To help Sherif decide where in the Bay Area to live, TEECOM’s recruiting team sent him some suggestions, prices ranges, and tips, similar to a Why Relocate to the Bay Area brochure we provide for candidates. This, combined with his own research, led him to choose a home in sunny, family-centric Walnut Creek. Starting off, Sherif says the move was stressful no doubt, but would have been even more stressful without planning. Here’s what he learned along the way:
Tip #1: Go with bigger moving companies and check their reviews. Don’t go for anything below a four-star rating. They might seem more expensive than the smaller companies upfront, but with the smaller companies’ hidden expenses and middle men involved, you’ll break even.
Sherif wanted to ensure the house was fully set up for his wife and two-year-old son, so he made the initial trip out alone on the road and they followed about two weeks later by plane.
Tip #2: If you’re driving, look hotels up ahead of time and plan your stops. The last thing you want after an entire day of driving is a questionable place to sleep.
Why not also make an experience out of it? To capture all the sightseeing and stateline crossings, Sherif’s brother put a camera on his car to make a memorable video of all the roadside adventures from his own cross-country move.
Once You’re There
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: it’s not cheap to live here. But you can’t beat California weather, so everyone has their own way to make it work. Here are some of Sherif’s:
Tip #3: Cook most of your meals at home. Food can be your biggest expense or the most efficient area to strategically cut back on.
Although the Bay Area is home to some remarkable eateries, there’s also an abundance of great markets full of local produce and quality groceries. Sherif and his family say shopping local and experimenting at home is twice the fun and doesn’t break the bank. California’s plastic bag ban was also something new to him, so they’ve learned the importance of remembering reusable bags.
When they do go out for a treat, Sherif noticed two things: the taxes on eating out are lower in comparison to Florida and there is a multitude of ethnic and fusion restaurants in the Bay Area (Orlando primarily consists of southern and latin food). He also underwent a California rite of passage and tried his first of many big burritos.
Tip #4: Keep your bills lower by knowing when to use appliances. Sherif and his wife try and keep the electricity bill low with conscious living and plan laundry around peak hours to save on water expenses. Escaping Florida’s humidity was a big motivator for Sherif’s move to the west coast, so he’s also grateful to avoid a high air conditioning bill.
In Walnut Creek, the Sabrys enjoy something that was difficult to do in Florida’s heat: walking. They walk all over: to the park, downtown, hiking – anywhere to get out of house. Their home is located across the street from the Walnut Creek BART station, so Sherif’s commute is three stops, or twenty-five minutes. Sherif says the benefit of the Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC) FlexSystem Plan at TEECOM has been a huge saver as he’s able to set aside tax-deductible funds for transit.
Tip #5: Plan parking. What Sherif saved on gas and car maintenance using BART for his commute went to parking tickets and garages during those San Francisco Sunday excursions. So again, planning takes practice and practice make perfect. How far is parking from where you want to be? How much do they charge? Do they validate? Understanding where everything is and what it costs ahead of time helps alleviate the challenges of city outings, so you can focus on what you came there for: people watching, clam chowder, and a cocktail.
Now for the Fun!
In Orlando, Sherif took his son Benedict to Universal Studios often. And it was great, but that’s all there was. Now, they scope out new spots in downtown Walnut Creek, make plans for Pier 39 tourism, holiday shopping in San Francisco, picnics at Ocean or Baker Beach, hikes in Mount Diablo, and Benedict’s first trip to see real snow.
Sherif is one of many with relocation stories, not only from city to city. We’ve had people come to the office after working remotely, move from Oakland to work in the Portland office, and go from our HQ to working from home. We recognize talent and know that one city or office doesn’t fit all, so we’ll provide the tools for you to be successful wherever that makes the most sense for the job and you and your family. TEECOM has Open Positions in our Portland, Dallas, and Brighton (UK) office and future Seattle and Los Angeles hubs.