Recently, I’ve watched a lot of people move into my area without first surveying the job market. The comments I read on social media and in the emails these people send me, as well as what I hear when I meet with them, tell me they did not do their homework.

If you’re looking to relocate, you must have a job search strategy in place before you move. You must do your homework to see if the town or city to which you’re moving supports your industry or career choice.

Before you move, do these three things:

  1. Conduct an online search or contact the local chamber of commerce to see what industries thrive in the area. Go to your favorite job board and search for jobs in your new zip code. See who companies are hiring and the qualifications they desire in new employees.
  2. Decide how far you are willing to commute. A newly relocated young lady recently contacted me for help finding a job. Guess what? The area she moved from is the only area within a 2.5-hour radius that employs people in her career field!
  3. Look at the cost of living and the salaries being offered in the area. Be realistic about the salary you can expect in your new home. Budget before you move to decide if you can live on the salary you’re likely to get when you move.

Things to Keep in Mind When You Relocate

Employers make hires and pay salaries based on supply and demand. If they do not need your skill set, they’re not going to hire you — and if they do, they won’t pay you much. Don’t take your frustrations out on social media, ranting about how all the “idiot” hiring managers are choosing less qualified candidates over you. Hiring managers and recruiters will be keeping tabs on your social profiles. If you’re bashing local businesses, you won’t get hired.

Flexibility is key to getting a job in a new area. Know in advance how flexible you are willing to be with work hours, commute, and salary. Explore working remotely or virtually. If no one is hiring or there are no jobs in your area of expertise, you must be willing to invest in yourself. You may have to go back to school and/or start at the bottom to work your way up in a new industry.

Remember: Moving expenses aren’t the only cost associated with relocation. When you do your homework before making a move, you will save yourself a lot of heartache and stress. Know the job market before you arrive.

Jaynine Howard is a military veteran whose work as a career strategist and reinvention specialist has been recognized by professional organizations throughout the nation.

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