Milestone 1: Stress-proof your move across state lines
Whether you want to relocate while maintaining a remote position, move a business across state lines, or continue your education at a new duty station, PCSs can be stressful! Plan ahead, seek support, and prioritize your self-care to help alleviate potential stress.
Strategies to Combat Moving Stress
- Start early. Once you know a move is on the horizon, begin planning! Research your new location, begin building your new network, and give yourself as much time as possible to complete essential tasks. Resource: Plan My Move
- Prioritize self-care. Continue with your self-care and stress-relieving activities. Keep your gear and supplies handy so you can keep up with healthy practices such as running, yoga, and journaling.
- Seek support. Lean on friends, colleagues, and other individual’s offers of help during your move preparation. Talk to a relocation specialty consultant from Military OneSource to help you plan your move.
- Get organized. Clear out clutter, keep important documents and valuables in a safe place, and know what tasks need to be completed before you move. You may find a checklist helpful!
- Get closure. Make time to say goodbye to special people and visit places you’ve enjoyed in your community.
*If you want additional support with move-related stress, know that professionals are available to help you. Seek non-medical counseling from Military OneSource or a Military and Family Life Counselor.
Not surprisingly, research shows that PCS moves impact many military spouses’ careers, and those impacts are a reported source of stress for a majority of military families.
Recent research from a 2017 HOH study shows that 67% of spouses have had to quit their jobs due to a military move.
Another 23% of spouses haven’t experienced this due to being unemployed during PCS timeframes.
This research also demonstrated that it takes 4-6 months for nearly 30% of those spouses to find new employment.
80% of military spouses report that the employment search process has created stress between them and their active duty spouse
Evaluating whether to move with your military service member
Military families may choose to live apart for many reasons, with many reporting benefits such as enhanced career opportunities and their own or their children’s education. This voluntary separation is often referred to as being a geographical bachelor(ette) or geo-baching. Whether geo-baching is right for you may depend on factors such as the costs of maintaining two households and travel expenses, the anticipated duration of the separation, emotional challenges of being apart, and the struggles of added household and child care responsibilities.
1 in 3 say they have chosen to live apart from their spouse – geo-baching – specifically to accommodate their work or education. Higher on average for Officers (39%) as compared to Enlisted (30%). Higher on average for those with a Grad/Professional degree (41%) as compared to those with a 4-year degree or below (28%). Higher on average for those currently pursuing full-time work (43%).
|Chosen to live apart from their spouse (geo-baching) |
specifically to accommodate their work or education
|4-year degree or below||28|
|Currently pursuing full-time work||43|
All done with this step?
Assess whether your current employment can become remote
As technology advances, remote work is becoming a more feasible and acceptable option for many employers. Whether you are considering remote work due to an upcoming PCS or as a solution to allow for a more suitable work-life balance, you can prepare to present a remote option to your employer. It will not always work, but you won’t know if you don’t take the initiative. What do you have to lose?
PITCHING REMOTE WORK TO YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER
If you are presently employed in an office setting and would like to explore the possibility of shifting your role into a remote work position, either fully or partially, there are some considerations you can think through and steps you can take to pitch your case for remote work to your employer. The kind of work you do will factor heavily in considering the feasibility of extending your position into a remote role. Consider your day-to-day tasks, as well as the big picture for the company.
Determine if remote work is right for you or a feasible option
Ask trusted individuals about their experiences with remote work. Read articles online that discuss the pros and cons. (Resource: SECO Telework). If your need to pitch a remote role is driven by a PCS, consider your new location; time zones and overseas moves may make telework more challenging or sometimes impossible due to employment laws and restrictions in some overseas locations. If you feel confident in your personal ability to be successful as a remote employee, you can further develop your pitch with concrete examples to support your abilities, such as your strong time management and organizational skills.
EVALUATE YOUR WORK HISTORY WITH THE ORGANIZATION
Do you exhibit reliable and trustworthy behaviors such as showing up on time and meeting deadlines? Do you produce results, high-quality work, and meet or exceed expectations? Have you established trust with your supervisors and co-workers? If you have proven to be an effective and dependable employee in your workplace, you may be in a good position to support your request to work remotely.
RESEARCH YOUR ORGANIZATION’S ENGAGEMENT WITH OFF-SITE EMPLOYEES OR PARTNERS
Does your company have a formal remote work policy or any current remote employees? Do you communicate and collaborate with any external partners in a remote capacity such as via video-conferencing, cloud storage of documents, or messaging systems? Highlight your successful communication and professional relationships with these individuals and the skills you have gained in effective remote work.
EVALUATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF TELEWORKING TOOLS
Are you familiar with tools, programs, and systems that can aid in your ability to work remotely? Highlight your knowledge and skills related to common remote technology tools to alleviate possible communication and collaboration concerns.
GATHER EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOUR PITCH
Highlight the skills or behaviors you have that would make you an excellent candidate to serve in a remote role, and how your role can continue to support the larger team. Use internal examples of successful remote workers in your organization and explain how you plan to implement some of their practices to ensure you are also successful in a remote role.
RECOMMEND A TRIAL-PERIOD
Suggest a trial period before you leave your current location such as working from home 1 or 2 days a week or a 1-2 week test run, and then propose a 90-day, 6-month, or 1-year reevaluation of your remote status after you relocate. These trial periods can allow you and your employer time to see how this arrangement can be mutually beneficial and uncover areas where more support may be necessary. You can also utilize snow days, closures, and other opportunities to test out your work from home capabilities and further display your ability to work successfully in a remote capacity.
9 Steps to Successfully Move your Business Across State Lines
- Determine the feasibility of doing business at your gaining location. This includes conducting market research to understand the demand for your goods or services. (Resource: SBA Market Research Online Course)
- Understand your monthly cost of doing business (CODB). Know your number, then start saving. Create a savings account with enough money saved to hold you over during a PCS move. This may include 3 months or more of monthly CODB.
- Find a suitable space (if applicable). Arrange for travel to your new location or seek the support of a trusted local individual to help you identify the right location and space.
- Research taxation matters in the new state. Seek professional support and a mentor to assist you (e.g., attorney, accountant, bookkeeper).
- Communicate and coordinate the move with your staff (if applicable).
- Send a message to your customers. Note any anticipated delays in business matters via email, social media, or other type of communication.
- Obtain a business license in your new location. This will vary depending on the type of business you own. Sole proprietorships and partnerships may be easily moved and registered in another state. A C corporation, S corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) may require more formal actions for the relocation process. (Resource: SBA Apply for License and Permits)
- Pack your business-related items. Determine if any of your business-related items can be counted as professional gear (pro-gear) and, therefore, not included in your household goods weight allowance measurement. (Resource: Locate your Local Transportation Office at installations.militaryonesource.mil)
- Make the move. Allow yourself as much time as is needed to reestablish your business in your new location. This is where the CODB savings can benefit you!
All done with this step?
Determining licensure and certification reciprocity
If your profession requires a license or certification, know that many states offer license reciprocity, temporary licenses and extended license requirement timelines to make it possible for military spouses to continue in their careers. You may also be eligible for reimbursement for qualified re-licensing or re-certification fees incurred following a PCS move.
Department of Labor Military Spouses
Use the Military Spouse Interstate License Recognition Options map to find out the rights of a military spouse.
Overview of Licensing Reimbursement
The military services continue to support military spouse employment by offering up to $1,000 in licensure and certification costs resulting from relocations or military moves within the United States or OCONUS to stateside.