So you’ve been at your job for a while and you think that it’s time to make a move? Not just to another company, but actually relocate. Washington, D.C., Texas, and Florida are all great options but are any of those places right for you? There are a few things that you must consider before quitting your job, packing up the family, and moving to another location.
Research the job market
Make sure that the area has plenty of jobs in your field. You do not want to back yourself into a career corner which will cause you to make another move soon after because of the lack of job opportunity. One huge consideration you should bear in mind is if the area where you are thinking about moving is saturated with colleges it is likely that the job market is also saturated with individuals with degrees. If you do not have a degree it may be a little harder for you to compete in a job market full of degree carrying candidates.
As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who.” In the new world of online job hunting networking is the key to landing a great position. The first step is to find friends and family that are in the area you are targeting because they may be able to introduce you to some new people. Most major markets have networking events which are a great ways to meet people in your field. If you plan to relocate somewhere that is within driving distance it would definitely be worth taking the time to go to a large networking event. Connect with recruiters and HR managers at your target companies prior to moving to give yourself a bit of an advantage. LinkedIn is a great way to connect and learn more about the recruiters and what a company offers before having face-to-face contact.
Secure a job prior to your move
It’s easier to get a job when you have a job so securing a position prior to relocating is a smart idea. It often takes longer than expected to find a good job paying what you want which can be stressful for you and your family. Don’t worry about having to travel back and forth from where you live to where you want to move. In today’s competitive job market a lot of recruiters welcome interviewing candidates via phone, Skype, etc. Take advantage of this and don’t be afraid to suggest doing a Skype or phone interview because of the distance. Some companies pay for all or part of relocation expenses. Keep in mind that if you do have to travel for interviews and, ultimately the move, relocation expenses associated with a new job are tax deductible.
Research the cost of living vs. pay
So you’ve picked your dream city to make your big move? There are tons of jobs in your field of expertise and the average pay rate is more than you make now. Sounds good, right? Not always. Places like Washington, D.C. have higher pay rates in a lot of positions; however, the cost of living is higher as well. The cost of living includes expenses like taxes, housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and even healthcare. CNN.com provides a calculator that compares the cost of living in your current city to where you would like to move. Take into account these factors when looking to relocate.
Research the area
Before you move do your research. Take into account things like the availability of public transportation, average pay rates, and which colleges are in the area if you are considering returning to school. Also, the rating of the public education system is an important factor if you have kids or plan to have children in the future. Crime rates, projected economic growth, cell phone coverage, internet services, and the social scene are other important dynamics to study before making a major move.