Sunday 20 October 2013

Moving to the US for work

I eventually made it to the US in September and have started working at Amazon! It was a pretty intense period in the couple of months leading up to leaving Australia. I have compiled a list of things that that helped me and also what I wished I had known before starting the move.

Keep your documents organised

There is a tonne of paperwork needed to make a move like this, from tax documents to housing applications, a lot of which you'll need to send or change multiple times. It's pretty important because of this that you keep everything organised so that you can find everything easily.
The vehicle in which you keep your items organised is up to you, make a good effort to keep it up though. Personally I used Google Drive and its fairly new scan functionality to keep all my documents organised and available on all my devices.

Manage your email

You will receive a huge amount of emails, likely much more than you are used to getting. I found it very useful to try following the Inbox Zero regime and archive any email that doesn't require anymore attention. This way your entire inbox is basically a to-do list and you can go through them each week to clear it out.

Maintain a task list

I used Tasks for Android which hooks into Google Tasks as another way to manage my tasks. Whenever anything needed to be done at a later time, I would put it into Tasks. This meant I could free my head and not have to worry about remembering all these things that I needed to do so I could think about other things.

Time zone issues

Make sure you work out the time difference between your local time and where you will be working. I only had one scheduling issue and it wasn't actually my fault, it was the other party not taking into account daylight savings on my side.
Also remember that North America spans multiple time zones as you may need to take this into account for any teleconferences. I was talking primarily with people on the west coast but needed to make a few calls to people in New York which is 3 hours ahead of the west coast.

Find a time to get some work done

I spent around a month taking a little break in the morning and heading to a park or cafe to fill out forms, tidy up Google Drive, action emails, schedule, etc. I ended up working through my lunch break so I didn't need to stay any later than normal.

Don't forget to relax

Always keep a little time in your schedule to have some fun or you'll go crazy.