Top Tips to Settling into a New Location

When you finish your time at the academy and get deployed on your first placement, you are starting a very exciting period of your life. For many, this will be your first ‘proper’ job after university, or it might be a completely different career you have just started, regardless its important you the make the most of it.

Whilst moving is very exciting, it can also be a nervous time as you are most likely moving to a new city. Here are a few tips we found useful for settling into your placement and feeling right at home.


Explore your new home

When you’ve got your basics and you are all set up in your home, its time to venture out and properly explore. While googling for information about your city/town can be useful for getting a general lay of the land, spending some time to travelling around the city/town is crucial.

If you can, try getting around using public transport and walking for a proper feel of the place and the people.


Explore together

Usually when first deployed after the academy, you will be deployed with some of your fellow QA consultants. This is a massive boost as you’ll already have a friend or two in your new city. Make the most of this and explore the city/town together. It’s always easiest to try new things with friends as you’ll feel much more relaxed.

It’s also a good idea to make the most out of the relationships you built at QA when you start work at your placement, not only with the consultants you’ve been deployed with, but also the rest of your friends at the academy.

When we first moved to Edinburgh, we spoke regularly with our friends still at the academy and our friends who had been deployed elsewhere. This can be quite comforting to hear from people who are going through the same things you are, and to see how they are managing the different aspects.

Just because you’ve left the academy, its important and extremely useful to maintain those relationships you’ve built at QA.


Be social

The academy offers a great chance to not only learn the technical skills you need, but also develop your social skills. While at the academy, we decided to organise weekly 5 a-side football with anyone who wanted to join from the academy. This was super successful and we built some great relationships. When I arrived in Edinburgh, I decided to join the local football team and this has given me a great social outlet outside of work and I’ve made some awesome friends.

It doesn’t have to be football, it could be anything, but putting the effort in to join social groups that you can meet up with regularly is one of the best ways to settle into a new location.

If you can’t find a group that shares your interests, then make one! There will always be like minded people who would be interested in hanging out, but they might be waiting for someone else to organise the group. Be that person and soon you’ll have a great group of like minded friends!


Don’t worry about distance

If your placement happens to be quite far from your home and your family, don’t worry too much. We can speak to this first hand as we are from Manchester and Devon and we both got deployed up here in Edinburgh, which is about as far away as possible! This was a concern but tools like Skype mean you can call and see your family and friends regularly.

Video calls are excellent, but they aren’t quite the same as seeing someone face to face but the good news is, even though you might seem physically far apart, you are never further than four hours away on train or plane. Don’t be afraid to take a couple days of your holiday to visit home. Or your family could come and see you and you can show them round your new city/town!


Keep yourself busy

It can be easy once you’ve moved in, to lock yourself in your house, but this is the last thing you should do! Taking everything we’ve said already into account; force yourself to get out the house.

Explore your new city/town, join some social clubs, make some new friends and overall, keep yourself busy. These helped us settle and we are sure they will help you also.

Authors: Luca Chisholm and Samuel Brown

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