Many people still are having difficulty with either finding a job or increasing their current income. Often times, a majority of these seekers feel that they need to move out-of-state to what they perceive are greener pastures. I have talked with quite a few of these individuals who feel this is their only option but I question if this is truly their only option. Have they truly exhausted all of their options through a targeted job search? Did they understand what would be on ‘the other side?’
Moving to another state must be done with great thought and research and methodically done. I have talked to people who have moved and left a good job; some individuals felt they would like to ‘try’ another industry while others moved to be closer to family. However, these moves created more unhappiness than they had in their previous positions. Some found the culture of their new organization difficult to align with, or their new position was not what they thought it would be, or their expenses actually increased. I have known some couples who are having continual arguments as one partner feels the need to move while the other is afraid to go if the move did not work out.
Judging from these real-life examples, you can see why making a move to another state may not be the best solution if you are unhappy in your current job state. It is crucial to explore and to research every option, both in where you are now and in where you think you want to go. Taking the time and doing this work will help you to make a better decision, ease your mind and help you to make a smooth transition. Here are 5 steps to help you if you are thinking of making a move:
1. The Why – you must truly know why you feel that moving is the only option. Perhaps you have secretly wanted to live in a certain state or to move nearer to your family; maybe you want a ‘fresh start’; are there circumstances that may be a factor, such as childcare or ailing parents. It is important to admit that you may have underlying reasons to move and not because you think there are no options where you currently are.
2. The Job Search – metrics are a big factor when conducting a job search; you must know how many applications/resumes you have sent, the responses, how many interviews, number of networking contacts you have made, etc. in order to determine if these activities are useful. Conducting an exhaustive job search takes time and may not yield results right away, mainly due to employers hiring practices. it would be helpful to put out feelers in the area you might want to move to see if you get any responses there, which would help in your decision-making.
3. The Where – begin to conduct a separate job search strategy for the location you might want to move to; list family or friends who can give you information on the state of their job economy, organizations, potential contacts, and information on housing or schools; go to LinkedIn and research companies in the area, as well as posting your intent in your discussion groups. Call the local chamber of commerce or professional associations to gather information – the more info you have the better it will be in helping you decide.
4. The Money – most people move for the money, either for higher wages or lower living expenses. The money should not be a deciding factor if it will not bring the lifestyle or happiness you also want. Determine between your needs and your wants; needs are the bottom-line expenses that you can live with while wants are what you would like to have. The answer should work for your present situation as well as for the potential move.
5. The Decision – if you have truly explored all areas and feel you have exhausted all choices where you are now, then making the decision to move away should be relatively easy. But, considering all the steps that need to be completed before a move, this decision can take time. It would be beneficial to go visit, having either set up some interviews or meetings and to look at housing options; then, begin to apply for jobs and research those companies to ensure a “fit”. If you decide to stay and you are working, see how you could reinvent yourself in your current position by assessing your dissatisfaction and what steps you could take to move up
Before moving, be sure that you have truly exhausted all your possibilities in your current location and have thoroughly researched the area you want to go. Doing so will help you to know that you have made a decision that you can live with.