Author Topic: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!  (Read 1507 times)

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« on: May 15, 2018, 10:15:10 AM »
I am hoping the hive mind will help me think through possible pitfalls or things to think through before pulling the trigger on a major life decision!

Background: 40yo attorney working in public interest. Paid of private student loans last year (35K), but working towards PSLF for the remaining 90K. I have 32 months to go before I qualify for forgiveness. My current job is rewarding but office politics make coming to work more and more difficult. Turnover has been high, people are visibly depressed, those of us who remain are all looking to get out. My salary is around 85K. I have about 170K saved for retirement. 17K in an emergency fund. Rental income if I move would be ~ $500/month after expenses.

The catch: I am in a long term long distance relationship and I want very much to change the long distance part. I am trying to find a job in the area where my SO lives (about 4 hours from me) with no luck. I do not plan on practicing law in the new location (don't want to take another bar exam), so this would also involve a bit of a career change - but I need to remain in public interest. I have applied for jobs in the area I want to live in but am also looking at remote opportunities. I have probably applied for 20-25 jobs in the last 5 months and am striking out. I know it is hard to get into non-profit jobs without having a personal connection in the area, so I think that is a major factor on why I haven't gotten many calls (I have had 2 interviews, both remote positions, but neither worked out). My current job is in the policy and advocacy arena.

My plan: Keep applying for jobs but work towards relocating to be with SO in the very near future (2-3 months), even if I don't have a job lined up. With SO covering regular household bills, I have enough saved in my emergency fund and in rental income to support myself (and contribute some amount to household expenses) for quite awhile, but of course months not working do not count towards PSLF. I would need to pull about $500-$1000/month from savings to support myself, after accounting for rental income. I may be able to secure a side hustle pretty quickly (Uber, etc) after moving to cover some or all of this.

TLDR: I want to relocate to be with SO but I don't have a job lined up in new location, and I need 32 more months of public service work to qualify for forgiveness. Not having a job scares the crap out of me and I am trying to think through all the worst-case scenarios. Would love any advice from folks who have made a leap without having a job lined up.

Thank you in advance!

Lady SA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
Not an attorney, so take this with a grain of salt. I would think it would be much easier for you to find work as an attorney in the new location, rather than try to both change careers and locations at the same time. You might find that unicorn, but I think I would focus on continuing as an attorney and the new location might be more receptive.

Is there a particular reason you are against taking the bar again? I would think that the tradeoff of putting in the work to pass would be worth it job/salary wise at the other end?

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 12:17:41 PM »
Not an attorney, so take this with a grain of salt. I would think it would be much easier for you to find work as an attorney in the new location, rather than try to both change careers and locations at the same time. You might find that unicorn, but I think I would focus on continuing as an attorney and the new location might be more receptive.

Is there a particular reason you are against taking the bar again? I would think that the tradeoff of putting in the work to pass would be worth it job/salary wise at the other end?

Well, even if I were to try to take the bar exam and find an attorney job, it would be 6 months or so before I was licensed, and that is IF I was able to study for and sit for the July bar exam. Next bar exam after that is in February. But the upshot is I don't really like practicing law, and I look at this as a good opportunity to walk away gracefully. For many policy jobs I wouldn't need an active license anyway. It's just that those jobs are not plentiful where I want to move since the state capital is about 2.5 hours away. Which isn't to say they don't exist, but then we go back to the fact that I am an unknown quantity and a lot of policy work is about who you know.

wbranch

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Some Mountain Ridge
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 01:01:22 PM »
A year ago my wife and I sold our house and took 2.5 months off of work and moved across the country. 1,300 miles, 20 hr drive away. We initially planned on both of us job hunting, but when my wife put in notice they offered to have her work remotely and have 2.5 months of leave. They still covered her health insurance during that time as well, but otherwise used up vacation and then unpaid. I am a CPA and contacted a couple recruiters a few months ahead of time and they just told me to get back in touch when I am relocated. Once we had our new apartment and were somewhat established I started job hunting and it took 1.5 months for me to find a job at a salary about 10% more than what I made at our old town. Cost of living is slightly higher here, but salaries generally are not. And I was being picky as well, did not apply to any CPA firms, only for internal company accounting/finance departments. I think it was 10-12 different companies I applied to, with 6 interviews and 2 job offers. And canceled 2 remaining interviews after I got a good offer. Close to a metro area of 500k people there were quite a few options for me but not so much for my wife so in the end it ended up working out better than we expected.

I don't know much about your career path, but I would also suggest not being too limited on the search. With a CPA license there are not as many licensing requirements if I am working for someone else, even if it was a CPA firm I wouldn't need to apply or a license right away. So I just kept the license in my old state and my new megacorp job is still paying for CPE and all that fun stuff.

We sold our house and had about 2 yrs of living expenses in checking/savings, including house savings. Luckily did not need to dip into that and were able to get back to a 50%+ savings rate shortly after I started working again. It would have been way more stressful if she did not have the job. Apartment hunting ended up being easier than I thought it would be they just wanted a slightly higher security deposit.

So I say move without the job lined, sounds like you have a good plan and skillset for finding something.

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 06:47:24 PM »
So I say move without the job lined, sounds like you have a good plan and skillset for finding something.

Thank you for the story wbranch. This is the kind of thing that is good to hear. I am trying not to limit my search much outside the parameters of what would qualify me for public service loan forgiveness. I plan to keep my current license active for now, just in case it comes in handy at some point. I have never had this difficult of a time finding a gig, so I am really hoping that just being there will make a difference. I guess so they know I am serious about living there. I get it.

Thank you for the vote of confidence. And I am glad things worked out for you and your wife!!

WalkaboutStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 02:35:50 AM »
So I say move without the job lined, sounds like you have a good plan and skillset for finding something.

Thank you for the story wbranch. This is the kind of thing that is good to hear. I am trying not to limit my search much outside the parameters of what would qualify me for public service loan forgiveness. I plan to keep my current license active for now, just in case it comes in handy at some point. I have never had this difficult of a time finding a gig, so I am really hoping that just being there will make a difference. I guess so they know I am serious about living there. I get it.

Thank you for the vote of confidence. And I am glad things worked out for you and your wife!!

Key question:  How long can you go without a job and not lose your loan forgiveness benefit?  Giving up a whole year's pay in debt forgiveness is a little rough.

With the above in mind, another question is whether you need to get a JD-preferred  job to keep that benefit, or if anything will do.

Before you settle these two questions, let me call you out something:  You are doing the typical attorney thing of thinking that (in your case) policy work is all you can do because it is all you have done and (in your mind) all you know how to do.  The profession does this to people as we hyper-specialize.  This may be coming through in your interviews.

One way tackle this is to find a (any job) job that allows you to move while remaining within the bounds of your loan forgiveness program and get your foot on the door of the new market AND be close to your SO.  Don't take a job you know you would not like, but consider things outside of policy work.  You have given that a fair shake, it doesn't seem to be in the cards for now, so keep your eye on the 90K prize and go be happy with your SO.

katekat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 04:44:23 AM »
Posting to follow since in the next several months I am also planning to move, almost certainly without a job. Our circumstances are different enough that I don't think I have a lot of advice to offer, but hopefully I will gain something from this thread!

I'm getting pretty sick of the advice I see repeatedly parroted, "don't move without a job". I see it everywhere, and I'm sure it's well meaning, but for a lot of people the only actionable way to follow it is to reduce it to simply "don't move". If your reasons for moving are compelling and your long-distance job search is fruitless, it's a frustrating message to hear over and over again. Especially if you have reason to think you would be employable once in the new location.

That said, as far as long-distance job-searching goes: how, if at all, are you addressing the issue of location in your cover letters? If you're not already doing so, framing yourself as a 'soon-to-be-local' candidate rather than them think of you as a 'long distance' candidate might make some amount of difference. Without good framing, potential employers might be worried that, e.g., you're job searching nationally and this new location might be far down a list of options, or that you might expect to be paid relocation, or similar.

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 07:53:53 AM »
Key question:  How long can you go without a job and not lose your loan forgiveness benefit?  Giving up a whole year's pay in debt forgiveness is a little rough.

According to Studentaid.ed.gov:
Quote
Your 120 qualifying monthly payments do not need to be consecutive. For example, if you have a period of employment with a nonqualifying employer, you will not lose credit for prior qualifying payments you made.

So, hopefully that doesn't change with the whims of this administration. But with only 32 months to go and 90K set to be forgiven, even if I make a measly income in a public service job, if I just add back the amount forgiven it will be like I made so much more.....

Quote
Before you settle these two questions, let me call you out something:  You are doing the typical attorney thing of thinking that (in your case) policy work is all you can do because it is all you have done and (in your mind) all you know how to do.  The profession does this to people as we hyper-specialize.  This may be coming through in your interviews.

One way tackle this is to find a (any job) job that allows you to move while remaining within the bounds of your loan forgiveness program and get your foot on the door of the new market AND be close to your SO.  Don't take a job you know you would not like, but consider things outside of policy work.  You have given that a fair shake, it doesn't seem to be in the cards for now, so keep your eye on the 90K prize and go be happy with your SO.


I do not need a JD job at all. Just any 501(c)(3) or government position, or even a public college, etc. So the options are all over the place. I think one of my issues is I have the JD and I am applying for non-JD jobs, and I am sure folks are wondering WTF? Or at least I am guessing they are. I try to address why I am moving in my cover letter, but I don't specifically state I am giving up the practice of law. I feel like that is too clunky. I do think you are right about the hyper-specializing pitfall. I know in one interview in particular I didn't do a great job highlighting other skills I have. So, thank you for bringing this point out.
 

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 09:10:53 AM »
I'm getting pretty sick of the advice I see repeatedly parroted, "don't move without a job". I see it everywhere, and I'm sure it's well meaning, but for a lot of people the only actionable way to follow it is to reduce it to simply "don't move". If your reasons for moving are compelling and your long-distance job search is fruitless, it's a frustrating message to hear over and over again. Especially if you have reason to think you would be employable once in the new location.

That said, as far as long-distance job-searching goes: how, if at all, are you addressing the issue of location in your cover letters? If you're not already doing so, framing yourself as a 'soon-to-be-local' candidate rather than them think of you as a 'long distance' candidate might make some amount of difference. Without good framing, potential employers might be worried that, e.g., you're job searching nationally and this new location might be far down a list of options, or that you might expect to be paid relocation, or similar.

Oh yes. I can totally relate to the "don't move without a job" comments. And it certainly made me doubt myself and wonder if it was all too risky. But I have come to terms with the decision I think. Or I am working towards it. That is the benefit of running numbers and scenarios! Thanks, math!

In my cover letter I am clear to say that I am moving to the area to join my partner already living in the area, or some variation thereof. I experiment saying different things in each cover letter, but I think it is telling that the only calls I've gotten were for remote jobs where location is irrelevant.

So, another question I have is about health insurance. I could pay COBRA, which is pretty pricey, or perhaps go on the marketplace. But how risky would it be to just temporarily drop health insurance? I don't have any ongoing medical issues, plan to see my GP and Dentist before I pull the trigger. So, the issue would be coverage for some sort of accident where I break and arm or somesuch. Have folks just winged it? Gone without? What is the approach here?

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2018, 09:28:11 AM »
Update: I told my boss today I was leaving, and that my last day would be July 15th. I was wondering if that was too much notice but an opportunity presented itself and I decided to just take it. I am glad I did. She first asked me to stay on until September. I told her I couldn't do that bc I was renting my house out Aug. 1st. So then she asked if we could arrange a temporary remote position with me coming to the office for a week in August when she is away on vacation, with the office paying me a travel stipend and other costs. So, looks like me not having a job right away is working out, since I will still have some money coming in from current gig that could help through the transition. So, all in all, it was a good day! Though I am sure there will be time for it all to backfire....

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3013
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 12:07:10 AM »
Update: I told my boss today I was leaving, and that my last day would be July 15th. I was wondering if that was too much notice but an opportunity presented itself and I decided to just take it. I am glad I did. She first asked me to stay on until September. I told her I couldn't do that bc I was renting my house out Aug. 1st. So then she asked if we could arrange a temporary remote position with me coming to the office for a week in August when she is away on vacation, with the office paying me a travel stipend and other costs. So, looks like me not having a job right away is working out, since I will still have some money coming in from current gig that could help through the transition. So, all in all, it was a good day! Though I am sure there will be time for it all to backfire....

That sounds like a smooth transition.

Have you tried calling the companies you are applying to? Maybe it is easier to explain things on the phone than in a letter, e.g. why you are applying despite being a bit over qualified for the job. Perhaps call it a career change?

If I were you I would not engage in becoming an uber driver. This is only time consuming and not paying very well. (Read MMMs blog about being an uber driver).
You'd better spend that time finding your job. And you could always accept one of the jobs where the location doesn't matter. Until you find something to look after.

Villanelle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2159
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 12:20:58 AM »
If the pubic service months don't need to be consecutive and there is no penalty for time outside pubic service (other than the pause on the 10 year clock), why not just look for a decent job in your SO's location, and then continue looking for a 501c3 job either immediately or, if you feel bad about quitting too soon, once you are close to the one year mark?  It seems to me like you are unnecessarily limiting yourself, and unless you are set to retire the moment the loans are paid off you, are just substituting a year [or however long] of non public service-qualifying work now for a year of it later. 

2Cent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2018, 02:31:10 AM »
Update: I told my boss today I was leaving, and that my last day would be July 15th. I was wondering if that was too much notice but an opportunity presented itself and I decided to just take it. I am glad I did. She first asked me to stay on until September. I told her I couldn't do that bc I was renting my house out Aug. 1st. So then she asked if we could arrange a temporary remote position with me coming to the office for a week in August when she is away on vacation, with the office paying me a travel stipend and other costs. So, looks like me not having a job right away is working out, since I will still have some money coming in from current gig that could help through the transition. So, all in all, it was a good day! Though I am sure there will be time for it all to backfire....
How about making that remote arrangement open ended. Who knows you could end up at least with a part time job that counts towards your loan. And you'd have plenty of time to find something without any pressure.

hoodedfalcon

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: Deep and Dirty
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 08:31:00 AM »
Update: I told my boss today I was leaving, and that my last day would be July 15th. I was wondering if that was too much notice but an opportunity presented itself and I decided to just take it. I am glad I did. She first asked me to stay on until September. I told her I couldn't do that bc I was renting my house out Aug. 1st. So then she asked if we could arrange a temporary remote position with me coming to the office for a week in August when she is away on vacation, with the office paying me a travel stipend and other costs. So, looks like me not having a job right away is working out, since I will still have some money coming in from current gig that could help through the transition. So, all in all, it was a good day! Though I am sure there will be time for it all to backfire....
How about making that remote arrangement open ended. Who knows you could end up at least with a part time job that counts towards your loan. And you'd have plenty of time to find something without any pressure.

Interesting that you mentioned this. My boss started the day with just such a proposition. That I would stay on remotely for a number of months, coming back to the office for a day or two once a month or so. She asked me to think up a job description that I think would make sense so she could mull it over and talk to the board. So, this could end up being the perfect transition....

bognish

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2018, 12:43:32 PM »
Why don't you just change the address on your resume to the girlfriends/new location?

I have been a hiring manager for a long time, so some advice on the long distance applications. I don't think I have seen a cover letter in the last 15 years over 4 companies. Most of the time these get stuck in HR or only make it to one person on the interview team. If there is an important explanation on your cover letter it should also make it onto your resume. Don't count on your cover letter getting read or being provided to everyone on an interview team.

For long distance applicants I always wonder if they are applying to every position in the country or if they want to work specifically in my town. I had a guy want to get closer to the west coast so he was applying to my company in Salt Lake??? Also why do you want to move, how well do you know the new place and how good of a fit are you to this position. I am skeptical that a remote applicant will take any job for the relocation and local address and then go on to search for the perfect job (as discussed in this thread). So thats the bias for me on remote applicants.

I would also suggest considering high paying jobs that would not qualify for the loan forgiveness program. It might be worth it in the long run to pay off the loan if you can get a higher base and establish a high salary history in the new location.

vae

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2018, 01:47:07 PM »
Why don't you just change the address on your resume to the girlfriends/new location?

I have been a hiring manager for a long time, so some advice on the long distance applications. I don't think I have seen a cover letter in the last 15 years over 4 companies. Most of the time these get stuck in HR or only make it to one person on the interview team. If there is an important explanation on your cover letter it should also make it onto your resume. Don't count on your cover letter getting read or being provided to everyone on an interview team.

For long distance applicants I always wonder if they are applying to every position in the country or if they want to work specifically in my town. I had a guy want to get closer to the west coast so he was applying to my company in Salt Lake??? Also why do you want to move, how well do you know the new place and how good of a fit are you to this position. I am skeptical that a remote applicant will take any job for the relocation and local address and then go on to search for the perfect job (as discussed in this thread). So thats the bias for me on remote applicants.

I would also suggest considering high paying jobs that would not qualify for the loan forgiveness program. It might be worth it in the long run to pay off the loan if you can get a higher base and establish a high salary history in the new location.

Question since I am also long distance (across state) job searching...if you were to have one residence address on your resume and your job states you work in X city on your existing resume which are clearly in different places, would you just leave company city off your resume? I've always had company city,state on my resume.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Want to move but I don't have a job! Advice wanted!
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2018, 02:24:39 PM »
Why don't you just change the address on your resume to the girlfriends/new location?
Sounds like OP has a good transition arranged already. I agree that if you are relocating to be with someone, their address should be the address used when applying for jobs.