When a job seeker is having a hard time finding a job in a difficult market, I often recommend they go look in another place. That being said, searching for a job in one city while you live in another can be a challenge.
In a new city, your professional network is probably fairly weak. You won’t have the same number of friends or contacts you can ask for referrals. When you get an interview, it can be hard to get to the company in person. The entire process can be frustrating, leaving you to wonder if you should just stay put.
If you’re interested in moving to a new city, follow these three steps to find a new job. They’ll make the entire process easier and faster.
1. Research Every City You’re Interested In
Think about the qualities that matter to you. For example, you may want to live in a city with a certain size population. Perhaps you want to be within driving distance of the mountains, the beach, or your aging parents. Cost of living may matter to you, or maybe the quality of the nearby schools does. Whatever qualities you select, create a spreadsheet where you can track how each city ranks. Narrow your list down to your top 1-3 cities.
2. Visit Your Top Choices
Don’t go as a tourist. Plan a business networking trip. Have lunch with friends in the area and meet recruiters. Attend networking events and job fairs. Look for any opportunity to build connections and learn more about the local market. Not only will your knowledge grow, but people will take your interest in their city more seriously if they meet you. You’ll transform from a name on a resume into a real person.
3. Save for Unexpected Expenses
Some employers pay for relocation, but not all do. After landing a job in a new city, there’s a chance you may need to pay some or all of your moving expenses. If you’re moving to a more expensive market, you may also need a little extra money to make the transition seamless. Start saving now.
Moving to a new city shouldn’t be taken lightly. Making the right move requires research, work, and time. It also takes honesty. Very often, job seekers ask me whether or not it’s okay to use a friend’s address on their resume and job application. Don’t be lured into this trap. You will forfeit any potential relocation the company would have paid, and you’ll have to make up a story about why you’re not available to come in for an interview on short notice. When the company realizes you’re being dishonest, it will put a serious strain on the relationship.
If you are interested in moving, take the time to save and plan. Your search will take time and possibly money, but you’ll secure a new place for yourself and your future.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.