There are many reasons why people choose to relocate. You may want to be closer to family and friends. Possibly you have dreamed of a warmer climate or a place where you can go skiing every weekend. Regardless of what your reasons are, finding a job in a new city has its own share of challenges.
The first thing you should do is research. Relocating can be challenging. Different locations have their own unique culture. You want to ensure that you will be happy in your new ‘home.’ Visit the location – and do this more than once. Get a feel for the climate, people, and overall setting. Visiting the local Chamber of Commerce will likely yield some interesting findings. If you know people who live in the area or have previously resided there, conduct your own set of interviews. The information you learn will enable you to make a well-informed decision. Of course this is assuming that you are relocating for your own reasons. If your employer is asking you to relocate, research is still an important part of the equation, as you have a decision to make: do you or do you not want to go?
Create a solid list of potential targets that would be a good fit for your expertise. While you are at it, make a separate list of area and national recruiters who may be of help. Before contacting potential employers in the area, be sure to polish up your résumé and create a compelling cover letter that briefly explains your reason for making a move.
If you are in a high demand profession and your skills are hard to come by in the region, larger firms may pay your airfare to the interview and provide you with a relocation package. It is certainly a negotiation point during the interview process. That said, if you are set on relocating, relocation assistance is obviously not a ‘must have.’
Here are some additional tips to help you with your move:
- Read local business journals and review industry associations to determine opportunities and / or possible avenues to facilitate your networking efforts. I recommend checking out the local newspaper to learn about local happenings and things taking place in the community.
- Go to LinkedIn groups. Run a search to see if there is a local group in the city you seek. Send a request to the group leader to see if he/she will allow you to join. You can then ask questions and engage people to advance your search and research efforts.
- Identify local chapters of professional organizations and contact the area president, vice president, treasurer, etc. They can provide you with a different perspective and further enhance your understanding of things going on in the area, in addition to companies that might be hiring.
- Using the list you made, identify C-level hiring managers from both national and local area companies; reach out the them to let them know you are in the market. You might be able to set up some informational interviews.
- Be prepared to go back and forth several times to coordinate everything and find a place to live. If you are set on your new location you might need to relocate first and then identify a position that meets your needs.
Don’t risk resigning, especially if you have key responsibilities that necessitate your sustaining your current salary. You might want to continue to develop some relationships in the new location and make several interviewing trips to enable you to identify and ultimately accept a new role that meets with your personal and professional goals.
While relocating can be a challenge, if it is something you really want, you will ultimately find your way. With due diligence and some extra leg work, it may be just the thing you need to do to take your career to the next level.