Moving? Start Your Job Search Before You Go.
There are so many reasons you may find yourself looking for a job in a new city. You may be moving closer to family, following a spouse who is being transferred or simply looking for a fresh start. Whatever your reason, starting a job in a new community can breathe new life into your career, but there can be anxiety involved, too.
If you’re moving before you have a job in the new city, you should start preparing before you move.
Here are some ideas that will increase your success of landing great opportunities.
Research your new hometown. Read the local newspaper, visit corporate and community Internet sites, review chamber of commerce and other publications that offer information about the local business market or your field.
Use your local network to link you to contacts in the new area. This can be a fast way to establish and expand contacts quickly. It can be a mistake to focus only on contacts within your industry, so keep an open mind. Your job during the preparation phase is to develop as many contacts as possible in your future home.
Use your local network to link you to contacts in the new area. This can be a way to establish and expand contacts quickly. Don’t disregard potential contacts in industries other than yours. Your job right now during the preparation phase is to develop as many contacts as possible in your new home.
Networking long distance actually can be easier in some ways than networking locally because you are new to the area and focused more on gathering information. Most people like to help, especially if you get a contact from your local network.
Talk with a local real estate agent, even if you’re not going to be buying a home right away. By doing so you will receive an accurate picture of the cost of housing and you can discuss top area employers.
Ask open-ended questions. Start with more general questions when making contacts in the new location, such as the largest employers and the state of the job market in general, then move to specific questions such as who you should talk to so you can move your job search forward.
Looking for a job in a new area tends to make you more focused with your listening skills. The time you spend searching companies will pay off with good discussions with new contacts.
Before moving, make several trips to the area if you can. These trips give you a good reason to touch base with the contacts you’ve been given by meeting them face-to-face.
You can cold-call contacts in the new location. Research professional associations in the area, and contact members for information about employers in your field. One job seeker did this, and he was given the names of several decision-makers. He followed up on the leads, explaining the need to relocate and his desire to learn more about the company and services or products provided. The link was the common membership in the professional association. He developed rapport with five employers, and he received two job offers.
Be sure to offer to help those who have helped you. Ask what you can do to help them; return the favor.
Replace anxiety about relocating with a plan of action. The things you fear most likely will not come to pass, and you will be surprised by the help you get from those you contact.
Be realistic about the new city’s job market. You may need to consider taking a job that doesn’t exactly match the one you’re leaving in order to get your foot in the door. Being too specific with job titles can be a barrier when transitioning to a new community. Focus on your interests and the employers that could benefit from your background, and don’t be too tied to a job title.
Stay in contact with the friends you have left behind. Moving does not equal forgetting – it just means there are more miles between you.
Source: Kim Thompson for the San Francisco Chronicle.