Making the Long-Distance Job Search Feel Closer to Home

Sometimes life circumstances or the lure of a different climate can create the need to relocate to another city. While the adventure of a move may sound exciting, the prospects of conducting a long-distance job search may feel overwhelming.

One strategy is to wait until you move to begin your search, but unless you have saved several months of your previous salary or you have a dual career earner in your family, delaying your job search may not be feasible. A better approach is to establish a relocation plan and make connections before you actually move.

Today’s technology enables people to utilize similar job search techniques that are conducted in a local search. You still need to target companies and opportunities, and you still need to identify people to network with. The difference between a local and long-distance search is really about the level of research and planning.

Before considering a career relocation, you first need to research potential destinations and rate them against the following criteria:

  1. Cost of Living – What will your new living expenses be, and how much will your new income need to be to cover them? To help figure this out, check out CNN Money’s Cost of Living Calculator at http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/.
  2. Schools – The quality of schools is important to people with young families, but whether you have children or not, the eventual resale value of your home will be impacted by schools.
  3. Life Style – How congested is the destination, and how will that impact your commute? What can you expect of the culture regarding politics, religious views, or recreational opportunities?
  4. Economy – How much is the job market growing? Are there diverse economies that are more likely to offer multiple opportunities? Who are the professionals you will need to network with?

The Internet offers a wealth of online job search resources that you can utilize to conduct most of your job search before you relocate. Don’t just rely on online job boards – other online resources like business journals, regional chambers of commerce, and industry directories can expand your opportunities. Building your network is also easier by using resources like LinkedIn. Don’t forget to use your alma mater’s university career center as they will most likely have databases for establishing connections with alumni in your targeted region. Alumni at the University of Richmond can visit alumni.richmond.edu for more information. Finally, companies that utilize video conferencing may enable you to interview without having to leave your current home.

Once you have conducted your research, it is time to formulate your plan. Think about your ideal timeline to relocate, and work your way backwards to the present. It may take several months to develop long-distance network connections, and if you own your home, you have to plan for the time it may take to sell it and find another place of residence. Considering a career relocation can expand your career opportunities, and some extra planning and preparation can make the long-distance job search feel much closer to home.

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