When it makes sense to relocate
If the job search is moving at a snail’s pace, you might want to think about looking outside of your geographic area.
Yes, the choice isn’t always the favorite among job seekers. But given that the housing market is improving, and some markets have a growing employment base, the idea might be worth some consideration.
“Particularly if you have been looking for work for an extended period, moving to another geographic area will greatly expand the number of potential job opportunities,” says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a global outplacement and coaching consultancy in Chicago.
The firm found that the percentage of unemployed managers and executives relocating for new jobs in the first half of 2013 climbed to its highest level since the beginning of the recession. Around 14 percent of managers and executives moved for new jobs compared to 6.7 percent in that same period in 2012.
Starting in 2009, when the relocation rate was 16.3, fewer people have moved, in part, because the housing market has made it difficult for people to sell their homes without taking a loss. The housing situation has improved. In addition, the unemployment rate is improving. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 29 metropolitan area, unemployment rate has fallen below five percent, including Bismarck, North Dakota; Omaha, Iowa City and Des Moines.
Challenger says if you have skills that are in demand in these areas, it is probably worth considering relocation.
Lavie Margolin, a New York-based career coach, said that in a difficult job market, job seekers feel that they should start applying to jobs everywhere.
“Searching for a job outside of your specific geographic location is certainly acceptable, but one must have a plan. If you try to be everywhere at once, it is hard to get anywhere,” he says.
Start your search by narrowing down where you might want to move. Challenger says many people follow former colleagues or friends into companies. Once you identify a place, take the time to visit for one or two weeks.
Study the cost of living and be very cognizant about what a move might cost should the company not offer a relocation package. Make sure that the situation is brighter than where you are, particularly with a family involved.
Try to line up interviews in advance and then make some more appointments while you are in town.
Margolin says you should make sure that you and your family really want to live in a particular area of the country. Ask yourself if you are you willing to balance the potential gain from the new job with the risks inherent in such a major move. Focus on the areas that have the right balance for you and your family.
Other tips from Margolin:
* If you are called for an interview, determine how you will get there. As many have experienced, the interview process in your own geographic area can include multiple steps over the course of several days, weeks or months.
“This will very likely be similar anywhere else in the country. You will be asked to come in for an interview as soon as possible. Can you afford the transportation costs: last minute plan fight, car rental, etc.?” asks Margolin.
If the first interview goes well, will you be able to get out there again for the next steps?
* Assuming the education and experience is equal, a person who lives in the immediate area is more likely to be called. Do you have family or close friends in the area that you can list as an address at the top of your resume? It will probably be clear to the company that you do not currently live in the location but will help to alleviate some concerns when you can show that you have a place to settle into quickly if accepted for the position.
* Try to book interviews for a certain week every month. You can then schedule other interviews in that city for the same week.
* Take advantage of the resources of that city. Certain cities and organizations want professional families to move to town and will offer help in housing incentives and job placement.
© CTW Features