Move to a new area – how do I find a job?

Monday, September 1st, 2008 - Job Application, job hunting

Kate asks: My husband and I live in the Pacific Northwest and in the next year we want to move to Minneapolis/St Paul. I am a web developer with lots of experience in multiple environments and my husband is a Microsoft Systems Administrator with lots of experience with managing large number of users. What is the best approach with jobs for contracting in the new location?

In answer:
A task many have undertaken before, but a few key thoughts on how to do this.

Many just move and then find work, where as your approach is similar to those who need an income to facilitate the move and sustain their desired lifestyle. The problem here is the fear of the employer as to if and when asked you actually will move, and this is all not a desired/dream over a driven plan. Secondly, in recognising where there is and is not flexibility in your own plans.

You have to firstly remove the fear of any employer or recruiter by removing words like “plan” or “want” with “we are…” and focusing every word on the presumption that you area living in the desired area, while stating clearly when asked where you actually are living at the time of the question. The follow up to this will be “how long have you been planning this move” to which the answer is not too long – its hence best to set a date for the move, and not let it go on too long.

Secondly, your skills are more portable than your husbands – you could take home work or set up your own business, where as without a network your husbands skill set is less flexible. I would hence focus on a strategy which focuses on his employment as an essential of moving, and yours on a “as long as its within X months of getting there” assumption.

There are many recruiters in the desired area – its a metropolis, so no problems there. Have his resume re-written/polished, and make contact to check their views of availability of work/pay scales in the desired destination area. You may need to be a bit flexible at present in the final location of work, but there should be something in the desired range of skills/pay/location. Once registered, there should be a reasonable flow of opportunity.

I think the other key in this plan is not to underestimate the scale of moving over 1000miles. The reason to recognise the flexibility in your skill set is that it means when you first move he is dedicated to securing his post from trial, and not the two of you trying to cope with new schools and neighbourhoods and the issues those bring. Allow at least the first month for settling in issues, which would include you registering then with agencies who are looking at your skills sets.

Good Luck!

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