There is a chance that if you are in the consulting business for long enough, you will get at least one request to relocate to a different city. This is typical if you are on a long term project, or are needed on a long term project. It may seem daunting to completely uproot yourself, but after it is all said and done, it is a very rewarding experience. In May of 2014, I moved to Seattle, Washington from Atlanta, Georgia. Below is my story.
My client is a major wireless provider. I have been working with them since August of 2013. In January, I got a promotion and in February, I got a call from the Engagement Manager. He asked me if I was willing to take a management position of a team. However, accepting this role would require that I move to Seattle, Washington.
Even though I had traveled to Seattle for almost 2 years on another client, and I really liked the city, I still had some reservations. Professionally, I knew my current role well and what was expected of me. I would be trading that in for a new role that was very challenging and demanding. But personally, there was the dread of leaving a place where I had a steady foundation. I was born and bred in Atlanta, so on top of knowing which back roads to take during rush hour, I have great group of friends, a loving family, and a routine that I really enjoyed.
However, I did see the growth potential of taking on this role. It would expose me to higher levels of management, both at Capgemini and at the Client site. It would expose me to management and a better understanding the client’s IT architecture. And it would allow me to use what I had learned in previous projects to help a team that had been struggling over the past few months.
Also I realized that moving to a new city is similar to why I joined consulting in the first place—to get out of my comfort zone and to grow at a quicker pace. So to me, those opportunities for both professional and personal growth were the reasons why I accepted.
While I was excited about moving to Seattle, it did not come without some challenges. It was difficult to find a moving company for my stuff and my car, plus, finding an apartment in Seattle was very tough, and so was saying good bye to family and friends and packing; all while being on-boarded in my new role and team.
However, Capgemini helped me through it. My managers were flexible with my travel schedule, on setting a move date, and with me taking time off to prepare to move.
I ended up renting a moving truck, hitched my car behind it, got a good friend and we drove across the country. While that may not be the way some people want to move, it was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. On top of spending time with my friend, we both got to see parts of the country that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Seeing how diverse and big this country truly was is a very humbling experience.
As of right now, I have lived in Seattle for almost 6 moths and I love it! And while there is still a lot for me to learn about living on the west coast, I am very happy that I made the move; both personally and professionally.
So when you get the call, and you have the ability, give it a shot!