Moving is a bear — no matter how close you’re heading, how many kids you do or don’t have, or how many moves you’ve made in the past — it’s not an easy event. There are a few unicorns who love to PCS but for the vast majority of us, that’s just not the case. And that’s ok. We’ll muddle through each move just like the rest of you. 

However, it all gets more complicated when you add in work. Sure, you might be changing jobs and taking some time off. But what if you’re keeping your same job and have deadlines to hit? What if you can’t afford to take time off? What if you don’t really want your boss to know you’re relocating? (Yes, it happens.)

Whatever your situation, you can make the best out of your next PCS. Don’t let your work suffer along the way. Follow these steps in order to create a detailed plan that incorporates your work, not one that avoids it. 

If Possible, Take Time Off

Working through a move is rough. There are no exceptions to this rule. So if at all possible, take some time off. It might mean taking vacation time, unpaid leave, or even working ahead so that you will have made up your hours. Whatever the situation at hand, find a scenario in which you can take several days off of work. It might not be two weeks, but even two days can help. Take travel days off of work, then factor in for some “settling time” to make life easier. 

Remember, there will be things to unpack, plans to make, schools to enroll in, etc. The more you’re able to focus on your family, the better off everyone will be. 

Notify Everyone of What’s Taking Place

Especially if you’re taking time away, you should notify those at work. Bosses, clients, customers, etc. — if you won’t be working directly, create an email signature that gives them your dates and an emergency contact. Those whom you work with on the daily should be given a schedule and a detailed warning. That way no one has to come looking for you as you’re trying to transition to a new military base.

Think of it this way: the more planning you do, the better you will be prepared for the move. Nothing that falls through the cracks, and less stress to feel along the way. (Even if the move is stressful, you’ll know that work is taken care of.) 

Remember, you don’t have to provide the details of why you’ll be away, simply dates and any information they need in the meantime. 

Plan for Work Once You Land

Once you make it to your duty station, work will once again resume. Put it into your equation of how to get settled at your next location. Determine if you need a place to work, what type of hours you’ll be putting in, necessary childcare, etc. 

Accounting for work as you go can ensure that it’s not left off of the table, and instead, have a clear plan of when and how you’ll get caught back up after your PCS. 

Moving is a stressful time, but knowing you have a career when you land can help ease that burden. Put in some extra steps to plan for work in order to set yourself up for success.