Sometimes, you just need a fresh start.
Perhaps it’s the horrible traffic, the office politics, the lousy weather, a rise in crime, or the chronic unemployment that has you considering a new beginning in another city or state. Or, perhaps you are just looking for a new, exciting place to live. And whether you are moving from Tallahassee to Savannah or from Atlanta to San Francisco, the most important factor (especially with today’s job market) is finding a new job.
It isn’t impossible to find a job in another state – it just takes some planning and creativity. The first step is to decide where you want to go. Make a list of the places you are considering then write the pros and cons of each location, keeping in mind the following factors: unemployment rate and the job market, cost of living, availability of housing, crime rate, traffic issues, schools, and quality of life (yes, it may be a great job market but does it have the shops, restaurants, and nightlife you are looking for?). Don’t overlook the activities that are important to you. If you surf every chance you get, for example, a move to a landlocked location such as Des Moines may be fine for a short time, but will you really be happy giving up your favorite pastime? Conversely, if you love the Victorian homes, wide-open spaces, and friendly Midwestern way of life, don’t move to Miami.
After you’ve narrowed it down to one or two locations, start investigating the companies there. The local Chamber of Commerce can be a great resource, and don’t overlook job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder. Once you have a list of potential employers, it’s time to polish up your resume. To find a job in another state, it’s important to make yourself appear as accessible as possible, so don’t include your current address on your resume. Employers may not look past the fact that your address is out-of-state and will pass it up in favor of other candidates. If possible, use an address in the area (when my husband and I moved from Florida to Georgia, we used a relative’s address and phone number on our resumes). Also, don’t include the addresses of the places you worked on your resume. The most important factor is your experience, after all.
Now that your resume is ready to go, get tech-savvy. The internet is a great resource for job hunters – not only for finding employers, but for allowing them to find you. Many job boards will allow you to post a resume for potential employers to find. Another great tool is social boards, such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social site for professionals, where you can post your experience and skills, and co-workers can post recommendations there, making a potential employer’s job that much easier. In fact, many companies are searching such sites for potential new employees, so it’s a great tool — especially if you are moving to another state.
Try to schedule several interviews within the same time frame to cut down on travel time and expenses. While you are there, make a few cold calls – email or call potential employers and ask about career opportunities and inquire about submitting your resume. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish, even if you ask to be kept in mind for any future positions, as you are relocating into the area.
No matter what state you choose to move to, be sure and rent first. You may change your mind, you may choose a different area of town, or you may find a better location has an easier commute. Live in the area for a good amount of time – get to know the shopping areas, find the right schools and daycare centers, figure out which neighborhoods have the best sense of community – then decide where (or if) you want to settle long-term.
Finding a new job in a new location can be interesting and exciting. Make a game of it to keep stress out of the equation. Also read up on the new location while you are waiting for that new opportunity and find out what makes your potential new home so special – where are the festivals? What interesting landmarks are nearby? What new outdoor adventure can you try? What clubs or groups can you join? Moving is always an adventure, so make it fun!