Job Search Preparation

Should You Relocate for a Job?

As you’re picturing your ideal job, a key question comes up: WHERE will it be? After all, graduation may be the ideal time to experience a different part of the country. New climate, new people, new job – what more could you possibly need? Actually . . . a little information. That is, before you make a decision to relocate, be sure to research carefully the area you have in mind. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you jump on the plane.

- Adapted from Top Questions to" Ask Yourself Before You Relocate" by Dawn Rosenberg McKay, About.com

Are There Jobs Available in My Field?

While jobs in your field may be plentiful in one city, there may be far fewer employment opportunities in another. Before you pack your bags, see what jobs are available in the new location by looking for local job openings. Try to find people you can talk to who live there, and find out what employment trends the experts predict for the future. Make sure you can find work in your new home.

What is the Cost of Living and How Much Can I Expect to Earn?

The cost of living varies from place to place and with that so do salaries. Find out what salary you can expect by using such websites as salary.com and how the cost of living compares with your current one.

Will the Work Environment be More Stressful?

Let's say you want to move from a small town to a big city. The environment in which you're used to working may be somewhat laid back if you are coming from a small town. Things may move at a faster pace in a big city. Can you handle that? Do you want to?

Will the Work Environment Move at a Slower Pace?

While moving from a small town to a big city can mean a more stressful work environment, doing the opposite can mean one that is much more quiet. While some people may appreciate the calm, you may not be one of them. You will have to decide what type of environment will keep you motivated.

What Will My Daily Commute be Like?

You may be used to driving to work every day, but for some locales that won’t work. You might have to rely on public transportation. Or you might be used to an efficient public transportation system that won't be available to you in your new city.

Will My Work Environment be More or Less Formal?

How formal your work environment is will affect everything from how you dress for work to how you greet clients. Generally speaking, work environments in bigger cities tend to be more formal than those in smaller towns. If you cringe at the idea of wearing a suit to work every day, you should consider this carefully.

Will I Enjoy the Climate?

What's the weather like in the new location? Are you used to the sun? Do you like to ski? Do you like the rain? Know the climate and know what you like.

After research and thought, if the features of the new locale seem favorable, go ahead and take the plunge! Just as a new job is a learning experience, so is living in a different part of the country. Your first full-time job is a perfect time to experience new surroundings. And you can remain secure in the knowledge that in today's job market, nothing is forever.