By Dan Moran
If you’re like me, then the recent onslaught of wintry misery has ushered in the predictable slew of emails from friends puzzling over our refusal to join them in warmer climes. If that’s the case, then this is probably the best time to discuss relocation.
People are considering relocation … where are they going?
Survey results published by Careerbuilder.com state that 59% of job seekers would relocate to a new city for a new job, while 44% would relocate to a new region or state. In addition, there is a growing group who just want a better quality of life, working environment and, of course, climate. They are flocking to warmer locales and new regions known for happier qualities of living.
According to another survey by Realty Times, the hottest relocation destinations are:
• Washington, D.C.
• Jupiter, FL
• Atlanta, GA
• Dallas, TX
• Raleigh, NC
• Charlotte, NC
• Houston, TX
• Tampa, FL
• New York, NY
The survey continues with the hottest suburban regions. The suburban markets include:
• Fairfax, VA
• Longwood, FL
• Parsippany, NJ
• Bothell, WA
• Overland Park, KS
There has been little change in this list over the past few years, with an unmistakable concentration in warmer climates. As one can imagine, most of us from up north flock south.
Will companies relocate you?
The number of companies willing to pay relocation costs is down significantly. This is generally reserved for either the most senior executive positions or for positions of high demand (healthcare and information technology, to name a few) in larger companies. Smaller and mid-sized companies rarely defray the costs of relocation.
So, if you want to move to Jupiter, Fl, you should meet with your financial planner to map out a strategy, do a careful estimate of your moving costs and plan to finance the move on your own.
Ready to go?
How do you look for a new job in another area when you are in the Capital Region?
Thanks to new job search technology, this is much easier than before, but you must be careful in what you do and how you approach employers.
Do your research—As I mentioned, take the time necessary to get to know your new target area: the neighborhoods, traffic patterns and companies that are in the area. You will learn about “reverse commuting”, the good places to live (and not), what others think about an area or community, etc. Get to know where the high growth areas are and look at apartment and real-estate ads so you know what expenses you are facing. Some years back, my wife and I moved to Boston for a career opportunity. We didn’t do the research we should have and ended up in a community without “personality” that was very removed from downtown Boston, which we loved. Two years later, we were back in the Capital Region (and we love it here).
It is important to supplement your research with a visit—and this should not be one day in and out. Spend a few days driving the area, visiting businesses and experiencing first-hand how those who live there exist. Get as much information as you can utilizing the web for research and your own direct contacts. A great resource is Sperling’s www.bestplaces.net for all types of community information. It is critical to make an informed decision on something this significant in your life (and that of your family). I have met clients who, without doing research, followed friends and family to a new area, only to find out later that they didn’t fit in or like where they were.
Do plan – carefully – Planning to move to a new area requires a budget, timeline schedule and contingency plan. Secure moving company quotes (if you do not plan to do this on your own – quite possibly with PODS and other you-pack services), housing costs and other related expenses. If you do plan to move first and then find a job (which some people do or are forced to do), develop a contingency budget of what you will need to get by before you get your first paycheck (at least three month’s is recommended).
Do establish a “home” address if possible – Perhaps you can use a friend or family member’s address to establish the appearance of being in the area. Unfortunately, many employers will just trash your resume or not even look at your job posting if you have a long distance address. Use your cell phone number and email address for direct contact in this situation.
Cleary communicate your intention of relocating in the first line of your resume and letter. Do the same in any resume posting site you plan to use, right in the keyword line.
Do utilize the job boards—Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Hotjobs.com and others allow you to select a region you have an interest in, as well as the type of job you want. Research the target area for other job board sites that could include:
• Colleges & universities
• Fraternal organizations
Do network – Networking is still, by far, the most effective way to land a job. With social networking technology like LinkedIn, you can find friends, colleagues and others in the new target area that might be able to help you. If you’re a college graduate, find out where the alumni group is in your new target area and make contacts that way.
Relocating to a new area and conducting a long-distance job search certainly isn’t easy, but the rewards are many. Good luck—and please send me a postcard!
Dan Moran is president & founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. He specializes in helping people make career choices and seek new jobs. He is also a Certified Facilitator for Get Hired Now! and Get Clients Now! Programs, which help those in career transition and companies get results. He mentors managers & executives as they navigate their careers and achievements. You can reach him at 641.8968 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.next-act.com.