USA Today offers a great article on people to have to move for a new job. 15% of executives and managers had to move to take a new position. The article attributes this situation to two factors: an improving economy and job seekers’ willingness to move. Many of my clients can’t move because of family commitments. Those who can expand the market for their services. In a job market where salaries are still tight, moving to another city can be a way to earn more money. Relocation should be an option in a good career management strategy.
Bloomberg recently surveyed economists regarding career advice for new college graduates. I highly recommend that you read this article if you’re a new graduate or someone who cares about one. Every point is well made. I want to focus on two of them.
Be willing and able to relocate: The economy is better than it was in 2009, but it’s still not great. To have the wide range of opportunities and the best chance for an optimal salary, be open to moving. Study the industry you want to work in and identify where it is strongest. I’d recommend looking at 3-5 cities. Find ones you would want to live in where there are opportunities in your field.
“Don’t be a lifer”: Loyalty is a virtue. However, it can kill a career. Staying with the same company for 10 or 20 years sounds like a good thing, but it often limits your earning potential and chances for advancement. As the article demonstrates in a graph, loyalty makes sense for people between the ages of 45-70. It is easier to change jobs and industries early in one’s career. Explore the options that work for you and be open to relocating for new career opportunities.
If you learn to manage your career early rather than just looking for a job, you will earn more money and have more control over your destiny. Again, this article in Bloomberg is a good starting point
I’m working with a recent MBA graduate in her late 20s. She loves Chicago, but has no ties to the city. Her family is spread across the country, and she is single with no children. Most importantly, she is open to relocation, which gives her a big advantage in a job search. Rather than having to find a job in one city, she can go anywhere to find the job she wants. I recommend that clients in this position choose two or three cites where they would like to live.
The next step isn’t to hit the job boards. Instead, the best first step is to learn about the business climate and companies in those cities. Try to find the kind of companies you want to work for before you go back to the job board. Go to the websites of your preferred companies to learn more about them and explore open positions. Use LinkedIn to see if you have any networking ties in those cities.
Finding a job – like sales – is a numbers game, but the game is best played if you have a strategy. If you’re able to relocate, find a place you want to live and then test your ability to find a job and build a career in that city. Moving might be the first step in finding your ideal job.
A client met me today. At first, I thought she lived in Chicago, and I was confident that she could find the kind of job she was looking for. Then she told me she was living in Tennessee with her husband, who is in the military. That made me stop. There are rural and urban areas of Tennessee, and where she was living could impact her job search. When I asked her about her current location, she threw a curve ball: “We’re moving to Hawaii in two weeks.” I love Hawaii, but it has a unique economy and culture. What we expect on the mainland is not always the same. Moreover, each island is different. I counseled my client on the importance of doing good research to know what kind of jobs are available that meet her skills. The bottom line is that where we live has a big impact on the kind of work we can do. Know where you live and what you can do there. That’s a big factor in career management.
One of my clients wants to get out of Chicago. She’s looking for a warmer climate and asked me how to find a job in a new city. I gave her this advice: Act like you live in that city.
Learn about the companies in that city that need your skills. Find local professional associations and groups that will help you identify potential employers. It’s not enough to use the same old job boards like Indeed, Monster, or CareerBuilder. The more you learn about the place where you want to live, the better you will be able to manage a career transition.