Moving for a Job: Advice from HR Professionals

Moving for a Job Advice

For most people, moving is about their jobs. Whether someone is moving for an industry, an opportunity, or a necessity in their career, many of the conditions remain the same: they have to bid their old city and networks goodbye, while adjusting to a new city trying to establish themselves. Incorporate the normal troubles of the moving process and you begin to realize the stress of the situation, especially for anyone with dependents or significant ties to their old region. HR professionals deal with these employees in flux constantly; while they’re not dealing with that same stress, they’ve gotten to learn about the process and how employees can best adapt to it. With all that in mind, we talked to 4 HR industry professionals about their own career moving experiences, and what they would recommend to professionals who are thinking about moving for a career or are potentially facing an employment relocation.

 

What they learned from their own experiences moving for a job

Robby Carre

Robby Carre, Talent Acquisition Specialist in eCommerce

“When I first thought relocating to Seattle for a job may become reality, I started researching the logistics that were unknown to me. I read about different neighborhoods, I researched apartments online through resources like Craigslist and Zillow, and I sought out blogs from others who were in a similar situation and learned from their experiences. I have personally kept my own blog through this transition in hopes that others may learn from my experience or see that it's possible to relocate and establish a life in an unfamiliar location.  I was able to piece together what life would be like in Seattle, and made the move seem less daunting.”

 

Joel Peterson Goshow architects and communications

 

Joel Peterson, Director of Human Resources at Goshow Architects & Communications Director for the New York State Council of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)

“I moved from Seattle for an opportunity in New York City 13 years ago [note: not a career] and left a good job. I got rid of almost everything - the only things I brought fit into four suitcases. I left a lot of boxes behind. The opportunity that inspires your move may not be what sustains your move. I learned to be open to the possibilities of a new opportunity and took every networking opportunity possible. If something isn’t working out, see the opportunities you have to pivot. Everyone transitions - lean in!”

 

 Christine Howe Oz Moving and Storage
Christine Howe, Recruiter at Oz Moving & Storage

“Establishing connections is very important. [While trying to move and find a new opportunity] I wanted to be very strategic about my networking. At times it’s a numbers game, but a strategic one. I tried to have a plan of intent on what I was going to do, and could be more direct with employers.”

 

Advice for job hunters in a new market

Robby Carre

“One piece of advice I'd give, or something that stands out to me as a recruiter, is when candidates reach out to me over LinkedIn, or find my contact information online, and send me a personal note about the role they've applied for and express their interest in the position and why they're excited about relocating for the opportunity.”

 

Lauren Boyd, Seer Interactive

 
Lauren Boyd, People Operations + Success Associate at Seer Interactive

The biggest hurdle [on moving in a career context] is probably being removed from your professional and personal network. For example, you might have a strong understanding of all the key-players in the Boston market and you probably have a ton of professional connections. When you relocate for a job, you lose that market familiarity so, you'll have to establish more relationships and strengthen your new network.

 

Christine Howe

“Do your homework on the job market and know your expectations. Be realistic. Assess what your priorities are, and show you have a plan. I told employers when I would be in town to schedule an interview. I tried to visit frequently and even used a temporary accommodation as my address on my resume - oftentimes, address can be an indicator. Resumes can be read quickly, and sometimes it’s about those intangibles that come out in the interview.”

 

Joel Peterson

“Be available to meet people who do what you do. Learn from networking and other practical experience. Reading is great, but doing is where the learning comes from. In my experience, people respond positively to you when you ask questions and admit that you don’t always know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Richard Branson says, ‘Opportunity favors the bold. If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!’

[In terms of applying for specific opportunities] “Make sure your resume lines up with the position. You might have the most perfect resume - but you still need to cater it to the position you are applying for. Potential employees also need to know about the company, and show how they’d be a good culture fit. I hire for skills and I hire for culture. I’ve hired people from Skype interviews, phone interviews - I don’t necessarily care a lot about your address. If you show you’re a good fit, and even note specific things about the company that really appeal to you, you can stand out.

 

Advice On Moving for a Job and Adjusting to a New City

Dana Dimitri Seer Interactive

 

Dana Dimitri, ‎People Operations + Success Manager at Seer Interactive

“Look into connections you can make with folks on your new team before you even move. Maybe someone in HR could facilitate an introduction—having someone on your team you can reach out to for questions, recommendations or simply to get to know someone on your team before you get there can ease a bit of the stress of moving and starting a new job. Take advantage of meetups.com - both professionally and socially. They offer a wide variety of interest-based groups which can be an incredible resource for meeting people and getting involved in your new city.

 
Joel Peterson

“An opportunity in a new city is a chance to reinvent yourself spiritually and psychologically. The big question is, does your current lifestyle translate to that new opportunity? Also, you have to establish new relationships and networks. Think of this as an opportunity, not just an obstacle. Take advantage of your surroundings. Learn from everyone. Now, We have 4 generations of people in the workforce now - that’s a goldmine of perspectives to learn from... However, I also tell people not to be surprised if you discover (upon taking an opportunity) that it isn’t the right fit for you after all. Everybody makes transitions. Regardless of whether they are dramatic shifts or a simple pivot, change is always an opportunity not an obstacle..

 

Robby Carre

“If you're moving for a job, make sure you are excited about the opportunity and the company. If you find that the job isn't fulfilling or that you're uninterested in the work, it can bleed into your personal life and create resentment for your new location.”

 

Christine Howe

Take advantage of all the strategic networking opportunities that you can. Use your industry or your college as a starting point. LinkedIn is really useful...Ask your employer about packages that might include relocation expenses or housing covered. Know what you should expect about the new city too, and be realistic.”

 

Lauren Boyd

Do.your.research. Don't blindly move to a new city without fully understanding all the factors at play. One important thing to keep in mind is where you'll be living so that you aren't moving into an unsafe neighborhood. Also, don't just pack up and move to a new city without looking into the cost of living adjustment.   For example, it wouldn't be financially prudent to leave a job in Idaho just to get a 10K pay bump in NYC.

Push yourself to branch out: When you're new in a city, it's important to insert yourself into social situations and make new friends. Even if you're not a social butterfly, you should check out some local events through CitySocializer, and Meet Ups

Tell people you're new: The easiest way to get help is to ask for it! Tell your new coworkers that you're new to the city and open to meeting new people. Ask your colleagues to lunch and ask them to take you to their favorite spot. It will help you get the lay of the land and will help make a new work friend. Also, try to attend as many work happy hours and social functions as possible. Work is the easiest place to start!

Don't think of it as temporary: Even if you're relocating for a set amount of time, it's beneficial to view your move as permanent. If you think of your move as temporary, that perspective can hinder your ability to establish connections and really immerse yourself in the city. Even silly things like decorating your apartment can make you feel more at home in a new place.”

  

Thanks again to Dana, Lauren, Joel, Robby and Christine for participating in this post!

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