If you could move anywhere, where would you go?
The thought of moving to a new city can be one of the most energizing and most scary thoughts. Especially once you’ve settled down in a place for a few years, how do you pick a new city? How do you decide where to go? And furthermore, how do you get there?
Here are a few tips on choosing and successfully moving to a new city:
- Start with a broad list of cities that seem interesting. Write the cities down that you come up with.
- Create a list of things that are important to you. When you pick a new city to move to, it’s often based on lifestyle choices. Your list might include things like the quality of the public schools, the cost of living, the crime rate, and more. Decide what’s the most important to you and look up the stats for each city. You can find these things on the Census Bureau website, or on local government sites.
- Narrow your list of cities and start visiting them. Nothing can help you to decide where to move, and where NOT to move than by visiting the cities on your list. But, don’t make the mistake of being a tourist. Stay at a place you find on AirBnB.com, so you’ll live with the locals. Go to local events that you would attend if you were back home. Try things like networking events, yoga classes, dance lessons, or cooking classes.
- Once you have decided on a target city, research the companies there. Create a list of the companies you want to target.
- Now that you have your target list of companies, go again. But, this time, setup networking meetings with local hiring managers. Even if you don’t know them personally, reach out on LinkedIn. Explain that you’ll only be in town for a week, but that you’d love to take them out for a coffee to learn more about their business. Not everyone will respond, but those who do have the potential to turn into real connections.
Moving can be tough. Above all, don’t apply online and expect for things to just work out. If you’re not local, you’re not known. Companies prefer to hire local candidates if they can. They can find them through their existing network, they don’t have to pay relocation, and the candidate can start working sooner.
And, speaking of relocation — Decide how important paid relocation is to you. If you don’t want relocation costs to make or break an offer, start saving now. Get a quote from a local moving company so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect.
Going in person can set you apart from other candidates. It can make you more than just a resume. It can sometimes be just enough to get the hiring manager to hire you before they hire someone else.
And, one last note: If it’s your dream to move abroad, learn the rules. Different countries are easier or harder to immigrate to. They may have rules about the kind of work you can do, the age you must be, etc. From my experience, it seems to be easier to relocate from the U.S. to Australia than to Europe, for example — but, only if you are under a certain age.
Bottom line: Do your homework and take the extra steps you need to in order to turn your moving dream into a reality.
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Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.