You live in New York, but you want a job in California, or maybe even Tokyo. Long-distance job hunting isn’t easy, but it is possible to land the job of your dreams in exactly the location where you want to be.
First, if you need to be working in the area by a particular date, you need to create a strategy and a timeline. Where do you want to work? When do you want to relocate? Do you want to take a trip to the area to scout it out before you start going on interviews? You need to know the answers to all of these questions before beginning your job search.
Ideally, you should schedule at least two trips to your new location. The first one should be used to explore the area, especially if you have never been there before, and make sure that you like the community and then another for the job interview. Do make the most of your second — or perhaps only — trip to your new city, by having as many interviews lined up as possible.
If you are you trying to relocate from a big city to a smaller city, Penelope Trunk, who writes about career changes, says to pitch yourself as a big city catch. “Pitch yourself as having big-city know-how that you can bring to a smaller city,” she writes. “I know from having a company in Madison that when we hear a star performer from a big city is relocating to Madison, we automatically consider interviewing that person. It’s a bias that the competition is so much tougher in big cities that people who have risen to the top are probably worth looking at because we don’t see a lot of those people.”
Before you commit to a long-distance job interview where you need to be there in person, ask if your travel expenses will be reimbursed. If you cannot afford to go on the interview without reimbursement, ask if the interview can be conducted first by phone or by Skype. Do not discuss moving expenses until you are offered a position.
Before you make a final decision, Trunk also recommends considering your family and friends. “Consider that the number one factor for whether or not your next job will improve your happiness is whether you’ll be moving closer to friends and family,” she writes. “Because, you already know this, but money does not buy happiness. And, you might not know this, but a job does not make you happy, either. A job can make you unhappy, but once you have the basics of a good job, it’s your relationships that make you happy.”