In this dog fight of an economy, we have to hit the ground running when it comes to earning a living. When I decided to relocate my communications boutique from the Northeast Corridor to the Southwest, it was boots on the ground, right from the get-go.
Along the five-day road trip I checked and answered email. I pulled over to the curb to respond to phone calls. I kept up my three blogs, which are new-business development tools.
As soon as I got the keys to the apartment in Tucson, Arizona I investigated WiFi options. That very day I sent out unsolicited pitch letters to prospects, just the way "What Color Is Your Parachute?" recommends. My little firm has taken off here in the Southwest. Those were all the right moves. If I choose to, I can pony up the cash to buy a condo.
However, other aspects of the relocation I should have taken more slowly. Eaten alive with loneliness, I grabbed at what friendship that was offered to me. There were two rounds of disasters. Those too eager to take you into their networks likely are off. That's not typical in how relationship are built. Last week, after five months here I finally cried uncle and talked to my executive coach about this Emotional Intelligence piece. No surprise, she told me to take it slow. Don't give people what they want. Instead take the time and have the self esteem to also negotiate what you want.
The second thing I should have taken slower were the organizations I wanted to join. Sure, I recognized that I had to shop around. But my expectations were too high. Disappointment brought me down. Currently there seem to be a few groups which meet my needs, at least at this phase of my settling in.
The third error in pacing was anticipating that I would fall in love with everything Southwest. Of course, that didn't happen. Also I wasn't prepared for homesickness. Initially, everyone from the old days rallied around. Then, they wished me well and hoped I would go on with my new life. I held on through snail mail and email. Now, I blush with, well, shame. Had I to do this over again, I would have promised myself, "If business keeps up this way, you can treat yourself to a plane ticket, motel, and rental car for visiting your old haunts."
The reality is that relocation for work after 65 is very very difficult. If the commercial payoff is there, then we simply gotta do it, don't we.