Relocation, also known as moving, is the process of vacating a fixed location (such as a residence or business) and settling in a different one. A move can be to a nearby location within the same neighborhood, a much farther location in a different city, or sometimes a different country.
JACQUELYN SMITH, FORBES STAFF
If you were offered a job in another city—or your current employer asked you to relocate—would you make the move?
Some would say yes in a heartbeat, while others might struggle with the uncertainty that accompanies such a big change…….
………Ask yourself what you have to gain and to lose by relocating, and keep in mind that if it doesn’t work out, you can always move back.
“The more questions you ask yourself, the more you understand what’s important to you in a job and a place you live, and the better choice you will make,” Brown-Volkman says. “Sometimes people say ‘oh it will be fine, I will work it out when I get there,’ and then they are miserable because they don’t like the people in their new neighborhood or they don’t get along with their co-workers.”
To avoid problems like this, ask yourself the following questions before you relocate for a job:
- Will I love my new job?
- Where will I live?
- Who will pay for relocation expenses?
- What is the cost of living like in this new city? Can I afford to live in the new city and still save some money?
- What does the future of this company or position look like?
- Is the job one in which I can definitely envision myself learning and advancing my career?
- Is the culture of the new company and new city a good match for me and my family?
- Will we make friends easily?
- Will living and working in the new city provide me with better opportunities than my current situation?
- What are the benefits of relocating for this job? Do they outweigh the obstacles?
- Is my significant other on board and where will he or she work?
- What is there to do in the new city besides work?
- What am I leaving behind?
- Do I do well with change?
- Where will my kids go to school? Does the school system have a good reputation?
- What is the neighborhood like?
- What is the weather like?
- What’s my backup plan if things don’t work out?
- Will my family be happy in this new place?
- Will I be happy?
PETER VOGT, MONSTER SENIOR CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Job hunting becomes harder than usual when you have to confine your search geographically. But you can find a job under such constraints with the right strategy.
Start Sooner Rather Than Later, Especially If You’re Moving
After graduating from Brown University in 2004, Stephanie Harris looked for a job long distance for about four months, “doing interviews over the phone and squeezing them in during one trip out to California to visit my fiance.” She used Monster Job Search Agents to monitor listings for publishing positions in Orange County, California — a strategy that resulted in a few solid nibbles but no offers.
Still, by the time she moved early that August, she already had a pretty good sense of the types of publishing companies and jobs there. So in November, when she saw a Monster job ad from Entrepreneur Media, she suspected the position and organization would be a good fit.
“The job description just happened to match perfectly with my duties at an internship the previous summer, and so I applied online,” says Harris. “I got the job [marketing associate for Entrepreneur Press, the company’s book publishing division], and I’m very happy with it.”
Tap Local Job Search Resources
Many communities offer some job search resources. For starters, every state has a government department devoted to labor and workforce issues. Most of these agencies offer Web sites that list local job opportunities. You can also search by state and city Monster.
But don’t just search on the Web, stresses Liz Ryan, CEO of WorldWIT, a free online network for professional women in business and technology.
“Find all the local job search resources you can,” Ryan says. “Purchase a copy of [your target city’s local business publication’s] annual ‘Top Local Employers’ list. This list is invaluable for learning a lot about the top employers in your city.”
Network Using a Variety of Methods
Networking is vital to your success in finding a job in a limited geographic area, says Marcia Merrill, president of eCareerCorner.com and a former career counselor at Loyola College. You can begin by attending local chamber of commerce events, Merrill says, or by asking your school’s career center to help you get in touch with alums in your target city.
You can also add a bit more creativity to your networking strategy. “[A former student] went to a company’s Web site, found bios of several employees and saw that one of them lived near his hometown,” Merrill says. “So he called that person, and the guy was so impressed, he brought [the student] in for an interview.” Four days and three more interviews later, the student was hired.
“Networking is the best way to get a job anywhere, but even more so when your geography is limited,” says Robert Zuckman, president of publishing company Zenergy Interactive.
Ryan stresses the importance of telling everyone about your job search, “from the people at your gym to the people at church,” not to mention the people you might meet through organizations like WorldWIT and the local chapters of industry professional associations.
If you follow this advice, your geographic limitations will eventually give way to interview invitations and the job you really want — where you want it.
Articles in This Feature:
- Negotiate Your Relocation home
- Job Search Geography
- Job Search Strategies for Starting Over in a New Location
- Moving Without a Job? Try These Five Strategies
- Can You Relocate If Your Mortgage Is Underwater?
- 10 To-Dos Before You Move for Work
- Make the Most of a Short-Term Relocation