Warning: long post
I have been planning to relocate for some time now; I even tried to relocate a few years back but failed and had to move back to New York.
My last attempt was while I had a job that I could leave and come back to if I had to (which I did), but now I'm working for the city and, as I'm sure you could guess, they don't offer the same flexibility.
In a way that may be a good thing, as it forces me to be more certain of my plans. On the other hand, I don't want to be complacent and find myself in the same place, with the same frustrations, in 10 years.
A little history of fmoore200:
I'm single, 30 years old with no kids. I've been working in the transportation industry (mostly passenger service, but some light truck experience) for 9 years.
I have a strong work history, including safe driving awards and more than one supervisor willing to give a good recommendation. I have relative longevity in both companies I have worked for with solid attendance and performance records.
I have in the past thought to change career paths - using that to fuel my planned relocation; I have even enrolled in college/university on a number of occasions (50 or so credits). But then I started thinking: I've put a large portion of time and energy into the career I currently have, and even if I were to finish school in (best case scenario) 2 - 1/2 years, I would then be entering my mid thirties and leaving an industry where I would have almost 12 years invested to be an entry level employee - if I could find a job - with a bunch of 21 year olds as my competition.
So, getting back to the reason for this post (if you've stuck in this long you probably deserve an award :D ). I am planning on relocating, but working in the same industry. If possible, I would prefer to get out of passenger service, but I will be leaving all my options open.
I don't have a *specific* question, but I'm looking for advice about how I could put myself in the best position possible. How should I construct my resume? When should I start submitting? Networking is important, but how do I begin when I obviously don't live in the area I am looking to work? I know I want to be remembered by the people making hiring decisions, but I don't want to be a pest, how do I accomplish that?
Any other thoughts or comments you may have would be appreciated. I know there are some members here that have relocated, and there are some HR guys and small business owners. I would appreciate all the different perspectives I can get.
Thanks in advance.
I kind of did what you're looking to do. A few years ago I moved coast to coast, keeping my career path intact. Here's my opinion / how I "did it".
First, have an area in mind that you want to end up. I knew I wanted Seattle/Portland type area - this also worked out as I had a couple of friends in these areas, so networking based off of that was a jumping point. Do you have an area in mind, and do you know anyone there? Even someone you graduated high school with that you haven't talked to since?
Next - update that resume, pronto. Research current practices for resumes and cover letters in your industry. Talk to a few recruiters to get their feel for your presentation, skillset and marketability.
If you haven't already - sign up for LinkedIn. Fill out as much information as you're comfortable doing (though, opt out of it obtaining your email address book), and start networking. Find recruiters in the area you want to end up. Find professionals in your industry in that area. Join some of the groups on LinkedIn as well. While networking, do not use the canned message that is sent. Spend a minute on each one, personalize it, and make an actual, useful connection. Keep that connection alive with frequent communication. Don't outright ask for a job or interview, but make mention that you're looking to relocate to the area, and if they have any suggestions. You could open things up with something like "I'm looking to move to Seattle area, but wanted you opinion on living in Bellevue?" - or something similar.
Research companies on sites such as GlassDoor.com. This gives you employee level insight into the company - their interview process, sometimes pay information, worker churn/turnover etc.
After that, start applying to jobs that you have leads on. Recruiters will be a good resource that can help you get in the door, as will your LinkedIn connections. Cold applying to jobs is still viable, though I've had less luck with that personally.
Going back to school may or may not be a good idea. See what your industry is doing, how current your skillset is, and what your potential competition is doing. If you have an associates, but everyone else has masters, you may have a little more difficult time. For me, education (Engineering Physics and Aerospace Engineering have little to do with IT type work) hasn't been a stumbling block due to my skill set and work history/accomplishments.
I can't tell you how soon to start, as I don't know how soon you want to move. For me, I started looking and about 3 week later was interviewing, about 2 months after that I was living in a new city.
How to stand out? Well, making a personal connection will do that. Also, be different - but better different - than anyone else. My present job came down to two candidates that they liked. They liked me a little more, but what really sealed the deal was the fact that I wore a suit and tie to my interviews, where as the other guy wore typical business casual. The dress code here is a relaxed business casual, so he was in line with that, but I "stood out" as it were by up dressing a little bit.
That's me, my opnion and what worked for me, within the industry I'm presently in. Take it for what it's worth :)
Thanks for the advice. :)
I do know some people where I'm trying to relocate, but not in the industry I'm working in, so I don't know how to parlay that into any career contacts.
I don't have a specific date I'm looking to move on, even though I feel the sooner the better.
I was thinking next time I visit the area, I could stop by some offices in the hr dept of various potential employers and drop off a resume and introduce myself. Maybe that's a foot in the door?
I'd also try to meet some people who work in that industry the next time you are in the area. Talk to them, get a feel for how the job works in that area, the company they work for, etc. Sometimes the folks doing the job have a good feel for who is and isn't hiring around town. They may also be able to drop a few names to contact. Having the name of someone to ask for and who sent you could be another foot in the door.
Sounds good, thanks Mike! I hoped you would chime in seeing how you relocated before
Yes sir, we sure did. It was scary leaving the life I knew for nearly 30 years, but I was ready to start over and challenge myself. As Nike says, just do it. We did.
Make yourself memorable to the people who can influence the decision makers as well. When you have employees suggesting that you be hired, that can increase your chances.
That's interesting. I never thought to make connections with employees at potential employers. I figured I would try to connect with people that make the hiring decisions, you know, introduce myself tell that I'm interested in working for their company and here's my resume, and occasionally call (to wish happy holidays, for example) so my name is never too far from their mind. And whenever I visit, make a personal visit to them.
Now I have to write my first resume since I was in my early twenties :eek:
Anybody have any resume writing tips? I could've sworn there was a thread about it, but couldn't find it when I searched. :atoz:
Glass door is an excellent offers a look inside companies.
Good luck with the move. I moved across country (Canada) when I was 30. The first move is a challenge. Subsequent moves get easier as you more or less know what to expect.
I'll definitely take a look :cool:
The first time I tried the move it failed from a combination of lack of preparation and lack of patience. I'm trying to avoid both of those
I'd suggest having a job in hand before moving. While I don't know your situation, and you may be able to float by for a bit without gainful employment, the stress level will be way down if you have something waiting for you to get where ever you're headed. I've found quite a lot of places are willing to do telephone interviews, and if they're really serious about you, will fly you out to their place for final interview.
Even if your friends are not in your industry, still talk to them. They have other friends and colleagues they should be able to tap into as well. Use every contact you have, and make new ones. Take a week off and spend it in the area you want to end up, visiting possible living places as well as getting names and faces.
GlassDoor rocks. I used them with my most recent job hunt and figured out what salary range I could expect, how good/bad the companies are I was interviewing for from an employee standpoint as well as a host of other useful information. You can research potential employers, as well as find others that you may not think of. Then you can leverage LinkedIn to try to make an insider contact as well.
Don't be afraid to finish school. I changed careers at 35. It was the best thing I ever did.
While I doubt any relocation costs will be shouldered by the prospective company, I do have a house and a pretty supportive *personal* network over there (I specifically said 'personal' so there would be no confusion - these are friends, not colleagues), so the missing piece is only employment :crying:
The sucky thing about the transportation industry is how old school it is. There aren't many job listing websites, it's mostly personal networking - which makes my task of finding a job from afar more difficult.
To each his own, so don't take this as me dumping on your accomplish - I actually admire your dedication - it's just the tradeoffs don't match up positively for me in my circumstance. I'd rather focus my energy on relocating instead of putting that on the back burner while in school. Hope that makes sense. :)
I met my wife in New York, and after a few years, we just flat uprooted and moved to Seattle. I enrolled in the University of Washington for a degree, and that provided what amounted to a soft landing. Sure, there were loans and the other issues, but it was the best thing we ever did. That was 25 years ago when I was almost 30, and we are still here. It was the best thing we ever did.
But if you were enrolled in school, how were the bills met? Did your wife have full time employment before the move? I can't make a big move without having something steady (already did that with fallout I'm still feeling several years later), although now that it's just me and every day in NYC is unbearable, who knows? :o
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