If you’ve decided to pack your bags and move to a new location, get ready! It might seem scary to move your entire life to a new, unfamiliar area where you don’t know many people, but it can also be an exciting adventure. Even if you haven’t made the leap and are only considering the idea of relocation, it’s best to go in prepared.
Our experts provide great advice for finding a job in a new location and getting connected once you’re there. Some of them even speak from personal experience; read on to discover the best ways to adapt to moving to a new place.
Should I bother applying to other locations?
Rumor has it that many companies won’t hire non-local applicants, especially for entry-level positions. However, this certainly isn’t true for all companies, and if you’re interested, it can’t hurt to apply.
As Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health points out, “It is common for employers to seek local candidates for entry-level positions because there is often not a budget for relocation expenses. I would not let this discourage you from applying to non-local positions. If you are the most qualified applicant for the position, this may increase your chances even if you aren’t local to the area. I would be sure to have a strategy when applying to positions not in your city of residence. You shouldn’t apply to positions all across the United States simply because you want to relocate. You should have a set plan in mind when considering relocating to a different state.” Ref. Link 1
How do I make the move?
Many people won’t want to relocate because the process isn’t easy. It’s easier with a plan. Gigi, a Hiring Expert at ADP, explains that you should “Devise an overall strategy for relocating. Decide approximately when you’ll make the move. Determine whether you’ll be able to make one or more scouting trips to the area before you relocate. The ideal would be to make two trips — one exploratory trip to expand your network, conduct informational interviews, and investigate housing, and a second trip dedicated to job interviews and finalizing details. Knowing that the average job search can take anywhere from three months to a year, ask yourself if you can afford to make the move if you don’t have a new job lined up at moving time. Develop a relocation budget, and don’t forget security deposits, rent, mortgage payments — possibly in both new and old locations — and incidentals, such as postage and long-distance phone costs. Be prepared to discuss some of the details of your relocation (such as timing and your reason for moving) in your cover letters and interviews with employers in the new locale.” Ref. Link 2 Once you’re in the new city (if you don’t already have a job), now’s the time to find one. Gigi explains the best way to do that is to “Determine your job opportunities in your new location, which you can do in several ways. Conduct research to find out which major employers are located in the city to which you wish to move. Find two points of contact in each company. After you’re clear on which companies inspire you, it’s key to find out who handles HR and who your potential boss would be in the company. While HR doesn’t have as much power as the hiring manager (your potential boss), it’s good to be on HR’s radar. This is another great opportunity to use Linkedin— figure out who is in charge, and get comfortable with the advanced search function. Considering 89% of recruiters have hired employees through this tool, it’s also critical that you establish your Linkedin presence and use it to your advantage. Do follow-ups monthly just to connect if anything has changed in the market or if there is a hiring need now at the company you are interested in.”Ref. Link 2
How do I meet new people once I’m there?
If you find a job in a new place, congrats! But there’s more to life than just work. If you’re going to be happy there, you’re probably going to need to develop connections. Stephanie, a Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc. furthers: “It is a great adventure to pick up stakes and move your life somewhere new. There are a couple of factors that truly play a part in being successful in a new job, and finding your spot in a community is one of them. You'll spend time with your new co-workers, you'll become a part of the culture of your office environment, but what about when you head home for the day? Seeking out people with similar interests is a great first step. Do you like to hike, bike, CrossFit? There are easy ways to get involved in athletic pursuits. Do you like to read, make music, see a show? There are excellent ways to seek out cultural pursuits,” you just have to be open to trying them. Ref Link 3
Don’t be afraid to go exploring! Talk with locals at work or in the grocery store and ask about their favorite hangouts. Drive or walk around town and find ‘your place.’ Once you make connections it will be all the easier to adapt to and enjoy your new home.
Relocating for a new job (or even just for a new experience) can be an exciting time in your life! To make the most of it, it’s important to have a plan in place on how to make the move, know your target job market, and be willing to integrate yourself once you’re there.