Life today has become more mobile.
Not only in a sense that we are constantly engaged with our smartphones J
Did you know that America today moves 33,480, 000 times faster compared too 200 years ago?
And your average person now moves about 11.4 times in a lifetime.
And let’s not forget how the Internet and remote work gave birth to the location-independent cohort of digital nomads, freelancers, free-roaming families and a bunch of other unsettled folks choosing not to have a “home” in a traditional sense.
And finally, there’s another oh-so-common group of movers – the spouses and children, following their bellowed partner to another end of the globe.
That’s exactly what I did a couple of years ago and a bunch of my friends at some point of their lives. Changing your address today is a bit daunting, but relatively simple.
What’s more challenging though is to keep yourself occupied as +1 party in the new country or state. If you’re moving with your children to a new city and you don’t have a job lined up, how do you go about getting a new job?
Do you just wait for the opportunity to come or pitch your CV to anyone mildly interested in hiring your humble transplant persona?
I’ve decided to come up with this short roadmap of getting started with the job hunt at a completely new place. The tips may sound like common sense, but when you are fretting upon your meager job prospects, they may be helpful enough to steer you in the right direction.
Do Your Homework
Learn as much about your new city as you can before you go. That’s simple, right? We all have Google and there’s a bunch of great things you can learn by asking the right questions.
For starters – do some basic digging and try to get a picture of where you will be staying. For example, if you’re moving to California, you would want to have a good sense of the overall geography of the state. You would want to know what neighborhoods are close to the area where you’ll be staying. If you are moving without a car, you should know what public transportation options are available.
Next, get more precise and join the local expat groups/communities. High chances are that most of your questions were already answered there. If not, go on and post them. Next, use those communities to “virtually” meet new people, get your name out there and possibly even score some intros with other folks in the city you’d be interested in connecting with. The go to sites are IVY, Nomad List, MeetUp or pretty much any active local FB group.
It’s also a good idea to find out what the major employers are in the area so you can…
Target Specific Companies
Part of researching your new city should be considering which companies you would want to work for, in a perfect world.
Don’t worry yet about whether or not those companies are hiring; just see who they are, and familiarize yourself with what they do. Find out who the key players are, and understand who you would ideally want to work with.
When you know your dream list of companies in your new city, you can work on connecting with the people you’d want to work with and pitch yourself to them. Contacting them through LinkedIn is often an effective strategy; people are accustomed to being approached with business requests there, and are willing and accessible for those conversations.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be open to new and exciting possibilities. Having specific targets, however, can help you stay focused and create employment goals.
Also, if they don’t have an in-house opening, they may be still interested in working with you on a freelance contract.
Use Your Personal Network
With the widespread nature of American relocation, it follows that many people have a wider range of friends than they used to.
Combine that with the fact that many companies have offices in multiple states, and using your network to try and find a new job is significantly different than it was even a decade ago.
Talk to friends on social media, reach out to friends who work for multi-location companies, and talk about what you’re looking for.
I know this may be a tad bit intimidating at first, but think about this. A lot of cool companies often offer a heading bounty for a new employee…so by referring/introducing your, your friend may also benefit from an intro.
Be Honest About Relocating
If you’re applying for jobs before your move, be honest about what’s going on with your children and coworkers.
Tell the company that you’re just planning on relocating, and give them accurate dates for your move. Yes, it may mean that they’re less interested in you as an overall candidate, but finding out after they’ve invested time and interest on you that you’re lying about something so big will be a disaster. (Like having an interview scheduled for next week at the other end of the world).
Many companies have opted to stop dealing with hiring lower level employees directly. They have turned to temp agencies to manage their low level workforce. This has benefits for the company, which does not need to pay benefits or follow complex processes and rules if they decide that they want to end someone’s assignment. Since the worker is employed by the temp agency, the legal implications of ending the assignment are very different.
Temping doesn’t offer the same security or benefits of working directly for a company, but it can be a way to get noticed within the company hierarchy. It can also pay the bills while you look for a more permanent position.
If you have marketable skills like writing, programming, or graphic design, you may be able to make some money freelancing out of your house. Through various online platforms, companies often hire workers to do these jobs, again without becoming full time employees.
Freelancing on a project basis can also be a way for a company to try out your services without investing time and finances in officially onboarding you. Freelancing can be frustrating in terms of regular income, but it can also be a great way to find out what you really like about a job, as well as sharpening your skills.
If you decide to pursue freelancing, make sure to take a crash course in basic business accounting, and understand the potential tax implications of your work.
And don’t forget – if you go into freelancing, you may not want to search for a regular job ever again :)