Easy Rider: Moving To a New Job
October 1, 2013
Change is never easy and these days there is a lot of it going on in all circles of business. Taking on a career in radio can mean a life of coming and going within a town or moving to another state. I just heard a story from an inexperienced air personality who recently took a new job in another city and all things she never thought about or checked on. The conversation reminded me to share my job transition experience, especially since I seem to hear stories like hers all too frequently.
First Comes the Job Offer
- Find out when they need an answer and answer before the deadline.
- Ask for a copy of the offer and benefits package.
- If you have questions about the benefits package, do not hesitate to ask.
- If you accept the offer, what is the start date?
- Is the salary negotiable?
- What will be your hours?
- Who will you report to?
- Will the company pay for or help with moving expenses?
- Find out about rating bonuses
- What are sick, vacation and personal day policies?
- If they do not give out contracts get a letter of agreement spelling out everything
- If they are paying for your move - Find out how many estimates you need. Word of advice: Mayflower is the only one that gives an exact price. All the others are estimates subject to change up or down. With the exception of the driver, independents are hired at both ends for loading and unloading. Pack your own things because the cost of allowing them to do it is pretty high and they are not always as careful with your things as they should be.
- If you use a moving company and drive to your new destination, see if you can get expensed for your gas, food and lodging.
- Ask for suggestions on where to live
- Find out how often you will be paid; twice a month on the 1st and the 15th or every week. Ask if there is direct deposit.
- Is there a ratings bonus structure?
- How does the health insurance work? Does the company contribute or pay for it all?
- If you have kids, call the Chamber of Commerce and check on schools
Always find out which banks are in the town you are moving to; if you don't already do so, I suggest opening an account with national financial institution (i.e., Bank of America, Wells Fargo). Check to make sure they have a branch in the town you are moving to. Any checks you write would be treated as local and save you the hassle of any waiting period. When you do move, do not tell the bank or the money in your account will be frozen until an entire banking cycle has passed and all checks have cleared. Just wait until you get to your new city and deposit a check emptying your previous account into your new one. By the way, all Citizen Banks are not connected; I learned that the hard way over the years.
License, Registration, and Car Insurance
Use Google or Bing and do a search for the DMV in the state you are moving to and find out what is required for you to become a resident of the city and state. If your license plate or plates expire in the month of your move, get it renewed before you leave so you will have time to get whatever is needed to be recognized in your new location for residency.
When moving to Dallas, I never thought to renew my Missouri plate as it was going to expire at the end of the month. I had things to do, find a place to live, meet my staff, learn the town, and prepare for an upcoming rating period. The only people I knew in Dallas were the ones who hired me and I did not feel comfortable dragging them to the County Tax Assessor's Office to sign a document vouching for my new residency so I could pay the property taxes on my car and get plates. I had an out-of-state license and did not have time to wait and find a place to live and get a utility bill to prove I really was a resident of the state. Thinking quickly, I looked at the Texas accepted forms of verification and found out I could use a car insurance invoice bill to get a driver's license and then use the license with my new address on it to pay the taxes to get Texas plates without having to wait.
My other option would have been to fly back to Missouri and just renew, but I did not want to spend the money. First I went to UPS and got a mail box, unlike a U.S Mail PO Box, mail is sent to an actual address and the box number can be used as an apartment number. The DMV does not accept a U.S Mail PO Box for residency verification. I called E-surance, gave them my new address, and they sent me an invoice indicating my new address. I took it along with all the other usual stuff required in every state (social security card, birth certificate and proof of insurance), got the driver's license, paid the vehicle property tax, and got my plates. A lot of stuff varies from state to state, for example vehicle emission tests are required.
One of my favorite definitions of change comes from Frederic M. Hudson, founder of the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, "The Continuous Change Rule - Navigating the journey is more important than the destination, since all arrivals are temporary. There are no static resting places, only continuous change throughout all the years of our lives."
Sounds like many of our radio colleagues.