Job relocation is a reality. Whether you’re a recent college graduate still looking for that first job or an experienced professional ready for a career change, there are countless reasons why someone might want to change your address for your job. If you are in the middle of a relocation yourself or are contemplating a big move, you can help ensure a smooth shift with the following tips.
Before you up and move, make sure that you've done good research on not only your new city, but also on the city's state, region, and/or country.
Even if you are moving to a comparable urban area, it is still worth investigating the cost-of-living rate in your target city or region to see how much more (or less) you can expect to spend on housing, utilities, groceries, and other living expenses in your new city.
Just because you have a good sense of your professional value in your current role and city doesn't mean that the same metrics will translate in your new place of residence. While some industries may pay a certain rate no matter where you are geographically, most salaries will coincide with the cost of living in the region. Salaries in expensive, urban areas (such as New York City or Washington, D.C.) will almost always be a bit above the national market average just because it is more expensive to live in those cities. By comparison, cities in more rural or less expensive cities may afford lower salaries (i.e., $60,000 in San Francisco, CA may be comparable to $40,000 in Little Rock, Arkansas). Know your "new" market value and the salary ranges you should be looking for and expecting for a new position.
While this probably goes without saying, first impressions of a place (whether positive or negative) are often deceiving. If you visited a city and fell in love with it, chances are that building a life and routine in your new city is going to be vastly different from what you would see on a two or three day vacation. If possible, it is always a good idea to physically visit your target city and explore the neighborhoods beyond the main tourist areas, especially those neighborhoods that have housing options in your price range where you are most likely to live. While the "culture" of a city may be more or less important for different people, the worst possible scenario is that you uproot your current life and routine to move to a city that you ultimately end up hating, so do your best to ensure that you could actually see yourself living in your new city before you make the big move.
Once you’ve decided to move, it’s a good idea to alert people to your plans, as you never know what kinds of connections your friends, family members, or colleagues may have in your target city. Your network may then be able to help connect you to job opportunities in your target city or to new individuals who can help you get settled or become part of your support network.
There are two spots on LinkedIn where you might want to advertise your desire or intention to relocate. The first is in your profile headline and introductory paragraph, although this may not be a feasible option if you are currently employed and looking to keep your job search hidden from a current boss or current colleagues. The second place is under your "Career Interests" section (https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/career-interests), where you can not only open up your profile to recruiters, but you can also specify specific cities or areas where you are seeking employment. Once you turn your profile "on" to recruiters, LinkedIn will also give you space to briefly describe what you are looking for in a new role, and you can reiterate that you are actively seeking employment in a particular place in this paragraph. Do remember that while LinkedIn takes measures to ensure that your current employer cannot see that you are open to recruiters, it cannot guarantee complete privacy.
If you believe the organization might be willing to relocate you to your target city or region, it is worth considering a discussion with your current employer about your desire to move. You never know what opportunities exist until unless you ask about them! Alternatively, if you've already decided to leave your current job and are on good terms with your boss, he or she may have some network connections that he or she might be willing to connect you with in your new city.
If you are applying for jobs before you move to an area, it is essential that you highlight your desire and/or intention to move on both your résumé and cover letters. While an out-of-state address is not necessarily a "dealbreaker," hiring managers will likely consider local applicants first, since they can be easily brought in for in-person interviews, are likely going to be able to start a new position sooner, and almost certainly will not ask for relocation compensation. Given this, you should take every opportunity you can to indicate to a new employer that you will be an easy applicant to work with even with the distance between you.
Again, you never know who your friends, family members, and other professional contacts might know in your new city. Even if your own connections are unable to connect you with anyone else, it never hurts to have a support network in place when making a big life change!
If you are proactively applying for jobs before you relocate or you need a job first before making a big move, be prepared for many rounds of phone and video interviews. While some employers may be willing to fly you out for an in-person interview or request that you find a way to show-up for a last-round, in-person meeting, the reality is that most if not all of your interviews will be taking place remotely or virtually. Also be prepared to answer questions related to your relocation plans.
Determine a realistic moving plan based on your finances and a realistic moving timeline based on your current life situation. Make sure that you consider the following questions and pieces of advice before you make any big plans or changes.
Good luck with the move!
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse on September 24, 2017