Since leaving Oklahoma, I’ve relocated to 5 different states: New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and California. Not once did I ever know a single person in any of the places I moved to. All of this relocating helped me to develop best practices for how to relocate successfully.
1. Don’t move without a job. Unless you have no other option, don’t move to a new city where you have no contacts without a job in place. You’ll lose your current network, and increase the likelihood you’ll be forced to take a job that’s beneath your skill level. Moving without a job is one of the one of the worst pieces of advice I hear family members and friends giving out freely. Consider the source, and don’t do it. I’ve never received this advice from anyone who has moved to a new city without a job.
2. Look for existing connections. Often, we forget when friends or colleagues relocate to other cities — or we miss it altogether. They may have moved away years ago. Check LinkedIn and Facebook for existing connections you have in your new city. Reach out to them, and let them know you’re trying to move. They can often help to plug you in.
3. Start growing your network. Reach out to new people in your new city. An easy place to start is with headhunters. Then, check the local chapters of national organizations you’re associated with in your current city. E-mail their president and other officers to open up new connections.
4. Plan a trip. Visiting your new city will help solidify next steps, and will show how serious you are to your network and potential employers. It will also give you an idea of where you want to live and work, and how much money you’ll need to maintain your current standard of living.
5. Schedule meetings. Before you travel, set up appointments with recruiters and networking contacts. Ideally, schedule 2-4 meetings per day you’re there. It can be tiring, but it’s worth the investment of your time. It’s much easier to connect in person than from thousands of miles away.
6. Attend networking events. Rather than spending your evenings as a tourist (which would be a great idea if you weren’t trying to permanently move there), look up local networking events. Check sites like Meetup.com and EventBrite.com to get the scoop on your new city. When you attend events, take the time to meet new people and exchange business cards. This step may feel scary, but you can do it. Attending an event alone is an excellent way to meet new people.
7. Follow up. When you return home, take the time to follow up with your connections – new and old. Reminding your new network of who you are, and what you’re looking for. Attach your resume, so they can easily forward it on to others.
Whatever you do, understand that a successful move is a process that takes time. This is especially true if you want to relocate to a popular city with a more competitive job market. Following these steps will not only ensure you land a job in your new city, but it will also create a network of contacts who’ll be there to greet you when you arrive.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.