For a variety of reasons we sometimes find ourselves in a position of launching a job search in a city other than where we currently live. We need to relocate. Perhaps the city we live in is simply too small to produce good career opportunities or we want to live closer to certain family members. The reasons to relocate to another geography are as varied as we are.
The idea of conducting a job search in another city is kind of daunting, especially if you’re not too familiar with the city itself. Even if you are more than a casual visitor to another city, more than likely you paid more attention to the entertainment venues than employers. Now you have to look at this place in a whole new way; and there are some automatic challenges you will face.
Let’s first examine the challenges with relocation:
No network. You don’t know anyone or know very few people. Our network is generally the most developed where we live. This constitutes neighbors, co-workers, friends and maybe relatives. Chances are high that your network in the new city will be sparse to nonexistent.
No relocation assistance. Most companies have eliminated relocation support. You may have all the intent of paying to move yourself, but in this economic environment, it may be a show stopper with a hiring company. Relocation was one of the first benefits to be cut in this economy and let’s face it, when a potential employer catches on that you don’t live there, it can be a reason to cut you out of consideration. They may see relocation as a barrier.
You aren’t there. Sometimes you simply need to be there physically. You will have to eventually interview in person, so you’ve got travel expenses to consider. You will also discover that your ability to connect and get good insider information through events and connections will only happen if you are there in person.
You don’t know the town. You can research, and you should, but you really won’t “know” the town, until you live there. This means you may not know the employers or their history, where things are located and how that dynamic plays into your decisions. It’s like a recent article on salaries indicated the best salaries on are on the west coast. Well, yes, but that’s because housing is stunningly high, even after the deflation caused by the economy. It’s those kinds of details you miss out on that you really want to know.
Here are some tips for relocating to help minimize the challenges:
Create a target list. You need to do your homework to create a list of 30-40 companies in your new city. Everything you do from this point should be aimed at getting connected to people in those companies.
Be a social media fanatic. Even if you are already on Linked In with a great profile and have other things going on online, you need to take it to a whole new level. You need to get into groups with your target companies and connect like a crazy person.
Consider moving. If you can keep your work going from home as a telecommuter, get yourself moved to your new city. Reputable moving companies like Mayflower movers can help you move with little to no hassle.
Consider “city days”. This works well if the new city is within a few hours’ drive. If your current work schedule will allow, consider carving out days to literally be there in the city. Try to coordinate it with important events where you can connect with people. You may want to reverse telecommute by relocating and then driving back to where your existing job is until you land something else. Obviously, if the drive is too long, that won’t work.
Consider a temporary position. Work with temp agencies in your new city to obtain positions that will help anchor you in the new city. Only consider those where the assignment will be long enough to make sense for your budget.
Get a “home” address. If you have a friend or relative in the new city, use that address as your mailing address. Make sure that any mail you receive gets forwarded to you on a timely basis. This will eliminate any concerns a hiring manager may have of hiring someone they might have to help relocate or wait to move. If you can’t make those arrangements, get a post office box in your new city.
Don’t just move. Even in this economy, I know of people who have moved across the country without jobs or prospects of jobs. It is a risky action to take and usually doesn’t go well. It will cost money to move and your ramp up time to really get things going will take you longer than you expect.
Set your expectations. This will take longer than the average job search. That’s just a fact. Pace yourself for a marathon and not a sprint. This means you will have to keep your feet planted firmly where you are and avoid a short-timer attitude. You will also have to do some serious time management to ensure you are spending an adequate amount of time every week on your job search.
You can relocate in this economy. It will just take more effort, more time and the grooming of new people to make it happen. The good news is: You can find a job somewhere else.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to the Career Makeover Newsletter AND eWorkbook “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – both dedicated to Your career success, when you visit http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is a Career Coach and expert on helping her clients achieve their goals. Her programs cover: Career growth and enhancement, Career Change, Retirement Alternatives and Job Search Strategy. Want to discover specific career change strategies that get results? Discover how by claiming your FREE gift, Career Makeover Toolkit at: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com