Author Topic: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??  (Read 2931 times)

anks

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Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« on: April 24, 2015, 09:48:49 AM »
Short Version:
I will be moving from the Midwest to the East Coast Q1 2016 and switching companies. How far out from my move date is it appropriate to start applying to new jobs with a new company?

Long Version:
I am currently working as a Engineer (MegaCorp company) in the Midwest. Due to some job scarcity at the time of graduation, I took the first job I was offered for a fear that if I turned it down another opportunity would not be offered. The first job I got landed me in the Midwest, while my GF would remain on the East coast (she has a great job with no opportunity to relocate with the company). After two years of long distance, we are ready to be reunited. I will be relocating to the East Coast in Q1 2016, when the program I am in ends. At this point I have to choice to stay with the company in a permanent (non-rotational) role or find a new company. I like the company I am at, but unfortunately, my company does not have opportunities in the particular location I am trying to move, meaning I will have to switch companies. Which brings me to my question:

When is the appropriate time to start applying to new jobs?? I do not want to arrive on the East Coast without a job in hand. I have already identified a few companies that I would be interested in working for, and see a few great listings already posted. I have the feeling that applying for a job too early (say 6 months in advanced) would not be a good idea, since in my field job postings tend to be listed when there is an immediate need for someone. It might also offend HR reps and hurt my chances if I were to re-apply later on. On the other hand, waiting too long may mean I miss out on some good opportunities. I’m not sure what to do.

Bonus question: Is it reasonable to ask my new company to pay for my relocation expenses, or should I just move on my own dime? It seems like a grey area to me since I already plan on moving, and will not be moving at a company’s request.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 05:32:04 AM by anks »

WhatIsFrugalAfterAll

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Re: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 10:37:35 AM »
Your short version has the wrong year I think.

So 2 kinds of jobs. Places that REALLY need people and will cover relocation. And companies cheaper/smaller/less desparate that will not.  You will want to recognize which company is which, as if you go into a small company asking for relocation - I suspect you will be excluded from interviews. However if a big company already has a budget for it - of course ask for it, it is super awesome if your job will pay for it.

As for timeframe, depends on industry and experience I guess. In the software field, 4 weeks would be plenty. If I were a college professor, may want to do more like 6-12 months.

Be careful about the holidays.. hiring tends to be REALLY slow mid dec - mid jan. If wanting to move by the end of jan, may need to start earlier than normal..

NumberCruncher

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Re: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 10:51:40 AM »
Be careful about the holidays.. hiring tends to be REALLY slow mid dec - mid jan. If wanting to move by the end of jan, may need to start earlier than normal..

I agree with everything else you said, but I think holiday hiring depends on the company. Mine seems to hire a lot around Dec-Jan, for example, since the workload is less/more time for hiring.

OP - While getting a job first is ideal, don't be afraid of moving without a job. You don't want to take a job that isn't a good fit, as that's just not in your best interests long term.

For relocation - it might make more sense to negotiate a signing bonus or lump sum for moving if relocation is not mentioned in the offer. Many relocation packages involve using a certain moving company, and the cost of that is probably much higher than if you moved on your own. Any relocation package information should be included in their offer, I think.

mandy_2002

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Re: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 11:23:03 AM »
Do you have affiliation with any affinity engineering groups (AIChE, NSBE, SWE, ASME)?  Their national conferences are typically held in the fall, and the career fairs at these conferences is amazing.  I went to the SWE event last year as a recruiter, and we were looking for both new grads and experienced hires.  With our company, an early Q1 move from an October-ish conference is not extraordinary.  I believe the SWE conference is in Nashville this fall, which is a pretty decent drive for much of the mid-west (spoken by someone who drove 23 hrs home for 6 years at Christmas).

Don't talk about the relocation expenses until an offer is on the table.  Plus, it's a question to ask, not a demand.  (We completely ruled out a promising person because during her interview, she asked about job placement for her boyfriend.  First of all, it's your interview, not his.  Second, no ring = no benefits.)

anks

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Re: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 05:59:47 AM »
Thanks all for the replies! I appreciate the feedback!

Be careful about the holidays.. hiring tends to be REALLY slow mid dec - mid jan. If wanting to move by the end of jan, may need to start earlier than normal..

I was worried about the timing with my relocation and slow down during the holidays. I know with my company the budget gets tight towards the end of the year and hiring slows down. Once the budgets are renewed in the new year, hiring picks up again. Since it will be a new part of the country for me, I don't have any connections to the companies I'm looking at it. If I did, I could just speak with HR and let them know my situation and see what they think. Since I have no contacts, I am stuck with applying somewhat impersonally on listings on their website.

Do you have affiliation with any affinity engineering groups (AIChE, NSBE, SWE, ASME)? 

Unfortunately I am not affiliated with any engineering groups. I will search and see if there are any groups that I could join. Of those listed ASME would be the only one I could join, but I'm sure there are a lot of others. I might also be able to take advantage of my college's career fair. Though I'm graduated, I think that it is always open to alumni.

Krolik

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Re: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 09:46:50 AM »
Regarding relocation: if company offers relocation it is usually part of the job offer. Of course it never hurts to ask but smaller companies usually don't offer this benefit.

We relocated twice which was included in the offer.
First time it was from FL to OR and the company arranged and paid for everything. The only out of pocket cost for us was moving the 2nd car.

The 2nd time was moving from OR to FL (different company/job) and we were told how much is the preapproved relocation budget. We had to arrange everything and pay for all the costs and later they reimbursed us.


Sibley

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Re: Relocating - when to apply for a new job??
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 10:48:57 AM »
I've done this...

It's kinda tough to time a move like that, at least to me it is. I decided I wanted to move, started looking, and when I found a job then I moved. So the timing of the move was dependent on the job, not the other way around.

Relocation assistance - some companies don't do it at all. If they don't, they may be willing to call it a signing bonus or similar and you just use the money for moving costs.

Regardless, it'll be cheaper and easier to move if you really purge your stuff. When I moved the last time, I disposed of about 2/3 of my belongings. It's generally cheaper to get new stuff than to move it. You can start purging now, and by the time you're actually moving it'll go faster.