Most people are familiar with the saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I have learned that this adage is a true sentiment, and at any stage of life, we are required to make do with what we have. For the last eight months, I have enjoyed my relocation to Memphis, Tennessee. I have worked to incorporate all of the lemons that were given to me during this transition, when it comes to my personal, professional, academic, social, financial and spiritual life. Through it all, I managed to use my organizational and transformational leadership skills to squeeze the lemons and use them to my advantage.

In retrospect, all of the pressures that came with a relocation and a new job were necessary and allowed me to truly appreciate the blessings given to me. After learning about what it takes to relocate to another city, I garnered many valuable tools and lessons that I can now share with others. One, be sure the location you choose has ample job opportunities in the market, and never chose the first place that offers you work unless you have fully vetted and researched the city and company. Two, ensure you are financially prepared to relocate, as it can get rather pricey given moving expenses, a down payment on housing, and start-up funds to get you settled. Three, spend time vetting out a diverse range of social events and activities within the city, and make sure you challenge yourself to do more than you did in your previous location. Finally, spend time creating a list of pros and cons to help aid you with such a life-altering experience.

Gary Damon Jr., Ed.D., is Executive Director of the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act with Southwest Human Resources Agency. Dr. Damon earned his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and English from Niagara University, his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College, and his Doctorate of Education in Transformational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. Read more…