Making a geographic move to enhance your career should not be a hassle—
If you do some planning before you move.
Here are some steps to consider when mounting a long-distance job search:
Remember, though, that networking is the best way to get a job, so brainstorm ways you might be able to network in your new city.
People often relocate to be with a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend—tap into your significant other’s network, as well.
You should plan to make at least one trip to the new city before your actual relocation.
When you contact prospective employers in your destination city by letter or e-mail, explain that you are relocating and tell them when. If you are relocating for personal reasons, it’s fine to say so. People move all the time, so changing geographic locations should not be an issue.
Whether writing cover letters that respond to ads or cold-contact cover letters to employers in your new city, offer the employers the possibility of conducting a phone interview with you in advance of an in-person meeting.
Is it ever appropriate to request a prospective employer to pay for your airline ticket to an out-of-state interview?
The best employers—and certainly those seeking higher-level executives—will buy your airline ticket, arrange for your transportation from the airport to your hotel, and pay for your hotel stay.
Smaller firms, employers in certain industries, and companies hiring lower-level employees often do not pay for travel.
If you have any questions about who is paying, be sure to ask. It’s better to know beforehand; employers shouldn't be offended by the question.
You can ask for relocation help as part of the negotiation of your compensation package, but don't count on getting your relocation expenses paid. Do remember, however, that relocation expenses for work are tax-deductible.
If the planned date for your move is looming and you still don’t have a job lined up, consider temping in your new city.
Avoid, if you possibly can, accepting a lower-level position just to have a job. You probably won’t be happy, and you may be digging your career grave.
If, after researching your new city or after an unproductive job hunt there, you should decide you want to stay put. Be sure you haven’t burned any bridges in your current city or place of employment!
A long-distance job search can be stressful, but remember that getting a fresh new start can be an exciting and rewarding adventure.