With chronic unemployment still a major problem in the United States, it might give someone facing the same issue a challenge in wanting to stay in their home city. If you’re facing a similar problem of filling out literally hundreds of applications without gaining a single interview, it might be time to consider what your fortunes could be elsewhere. But that isn’t any easy decision, especially if you’re strongly rooted in your home base through networking and other personal connections. Is it really a good idea to try a different city, particularly if you’ve heard hiring is better there?
If you do decide to move, you have some things to do first so you’re not a fish out of water when you arrive.
Researching Your New City or Town Online
Your new city or town can be researched right off the Internet in the immediate term. Despite finding nearly everything online, though, the city’s official website won’t necessarily tell you about the people or what’s really going on in job search. You have to find that out by talking directly to people who live there. Before moving, you can find people on social media who live in the area and talk to them directly. Sometimes all it takes is searching a hashtag of the city on Twitter and you can gab to individuals there about things you want to know.
Also visit online job boards in the city to see what kind of jobs are available and what kind of experience they require.
Having a Network Base Ready to Go
Those online contacts might be good sources in networking if you’ve linked with them through a particular career field. In that regard, LinkedIn would be a good source for networking based on location. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should network strictly through online contacts. It’s a good idea to visit your prospective city or town in person several times and try to link up with professionals. That process can work easier if you already know someone living in the area who can act as a six degrees of separation person.
The important thing is to have all the contacts you need already established before you move. When you do, you won’t feel lost or have to waste valuable time building professional connections that could lead to a job.
Consider Volunteer Work or Temp Work if Still Not Hired
If you’re looking for a job in your new city that isn’t overly in demand, it could still take you a while before you land anything. Regardless, in order to expand your local networking, consider volunteering in organizations you care about. This can give you experience if you’ve been chronically unemployed for more than two years. It’s also a chance to connect with even more people in the area who could give you an employment break.
You shouldn’t count out the possibility of temp work either. In that scenario, it can give you a temporary income in the immediate term so you can pay your expenses. The American Staffing Association recently put out data that said U.S. staffing agencies employed 2.95 million people in temp work during the last quarter of 2012. While that might seem depressing for permanent employment, it can keep you going while you gain new footing in your new city.
Working Out Your Budget for the Worse Case Scenario
Before you move, be sure you have enough money in your budget to keep you going there for six months. There’s always the chance that you may not find any gainful employment in your new city for quite a while. Even if you don’t right away, it was still worth an effort to change the scenery and try something different.
If it ultimately goes bust and you want to leave, be sure to keep all your employment contacts active from your previous city. You may even find contacts in yet another city that could give you something better than what you thought possible.
In a new era of facing chronic unemployment, sometimes being itinerant is the only way to get ahead without ending up in a rut.