Career Corner: A Monthly Executive Search Firm News Article Series.
Relocating: Taking a New Job Hundreds of Miles Away
December 1st, 2011
Many people want a change in scenery and a fresh start. Deciding to relocate is a major decision and can be a long process, but by taking the right steps, you may find yourself where the grass really is greener. With strategic planning and the necessary research, you can save yourself from a great deal of frustration, both mentally and financially.
The key to landing any job is to conduct proper quality research. Learn about the city you want to relocate to in order to confirm if it is really the place where you want to start your new job or career. Gather preliminary information on the social scene, job market, cultural diversity, climate, and cost of living. There are numerous websites and articles dedicated to helping you find your way around different cities.
There is a plethora of resources available to job-seekers, but unfortunately, they are often over-looked and under-utilized. Most candidates use one type of search, such as Internet job boards or newspaper classifieds only. In order to stand out as a candidate, use as many avenues as you are able manage. Do this so you can get your name and resume out in the market.
One way to start is to check out job sites focusing in the area where you wish to relocate. This will allow you to get an idea of what type of positions are most prevalent in the near future so that you may tailor your resume to adjust to the market. Internet sites like Craigslist, Monster, and CareerBuilder are wonderful at organizing their sites by geographical location and city in order to make searches more simplistic. Because of the convenience these sites bring, they are understandably overused. In a sea of online resumes, you may find it difficult to get yours to stand out. These next steps are how you can set yourself apart and get ahead in the game.
If you are insistent that the Internet is the way to go, then make use of your social media networks. LinkedIn is the best tool for professionals in any industry, and recruiters often peruse this site for top candidates. Facebook and Twitter are also great resources to build relationships with people and business contacts. If you look hard enough, you’ll find job opportunities listed everyday by a growing number of companies. If you are a recent grad, searching through online college career centers in the local area can be extremely valuable in finding opportunities and learning new tips. Join your alumni association to connect with past graduates who might be located in the area you want to work. Networking is critical to the job hunt. Especially in a tight economy where everyone is holding onto their jobs and advertised opportunities are limited, knowing someone who also knows someone will be your key in the door. Many times, larger companies have satellite offices throughout the country, so speaking with your human resources representative may reveal new information.
Many industries also have trade organizations, which hold networking events or career fairs. Make note of when they come to town, so you can assemble new lists of contacts. If you join the association, you can usually receive membership directories and early job announcements, plus you will be able to get insider information on the industry. Headhunters, staffing/temping agencies, and executive-search firms will have exclusive jobs, so register with them in the new city.
After collecting all of your information, make a master plan to lay out the whole relocation process. Try to be as precise as possible and set goals as to when you want to move, where you would like to live, what week you can schedule interviews. Most of all, it is important to realize how much you can afford with your budget. Remember, it may take months to find a job, especially in a down market and it can turn out to be very costly. Your relocation budget should include rent payments and security deposits or mortgages, lease termination fees for your old home, utilities, new transportation costs, difference in cost-of-living and moving costs. Moving costs take into account flights, mail shipping fees, the purchase of new furniture and transportation of the old,
Having sent out your resumes, contacted old supervisors, and established a rapport with new contacts, you need to devise a trip strategy. It is a good idea to visit your desired destination at least a couple of times. Create a schedule to organize all that you need to accomplish. You will probably have limited time when travelling due to budget constraints or current jobs, so you want to stay on task. Try to line up all of your interviews during one time period so that your first visit can hit them all. If you have not been able to land enough interviews, contact employers for informational interviews, which will at least allow you to network and learn about the company.
Scope out the area. Take public transportation, walk around different neighborhoods, and get a feel for the culture. Look at places where you would like to live. You might consider renting first to get comfortable in the area, and then you can find your perfect house as you become more familiar with your surroundings. If you are a parent, you might want to tour local schools and find out which are best. It is a fantastic idea to get involved in the social scene, time permitting. Go to a local bar, restaurant, or café and you could even chance upon an employer looking to hire. While relocating will, inevitably, be a stressful pursuit, a stimulating job in a different environment can lead to an exciting and worthwhile new start.