Author Topic: Relocation advice/strategies  (Read 5584 times)

eldred

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Relocation advice/strategies
« on: March 03, 2015, 03:32:11 PM »
Good evening!
I'm tied to the Detroit area as long as my dad is still around, but I'm looking to move in the next few years.  For those of you who have relocated to a different state, how did you go about it?  Did you get the job first and hope you could find a suitable place to live, or did you find a place to live and hoped you could find a job.  Seems like the former would be difficult unless the salary was high enough that you could stay at a hotel short-term.  I would guess the latter would be much easier if you had a pile of cash to live off until a job came through. 

Background info:  51 years old single male.  I don't have any debt except for my house.  I'm looking at moving from the Detroit area to someplace WARM.  I've considered Nevada and New Mexico mostly, but I'm open to other warm areas, assuming I could find a job and a decent place to live.  I'm currently making about $56K doing computer desktop support.  It has been difficult for me to find jobs in the past(even locally) because I only have an Associates degree and don't have a bunch of advanced certifications.  It took me 13 months of unemployment before I found THIS job.  So yeah, I'm worried about just being able to FIND something in a different area.

Here are my(possibly incorrect) assumptions.
-Companies don't pay transportation for interviews unless it's a high-dollar/high-profile position.
-Companies wouldn't pay for relocation(again, unless it's a high-dollar position).
-Most companies only look at non-local candidates if there aren't any suitable local ones.
-Apartment rentals might be hard to get without already having a job history in the area.

Suggestions and advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

mandy_2002

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 04:55:49 PM »
I moved from West Virginia to the Bay area of San Francisco about a year and a half ago.  My situation was different from yours, since I relocated with my company, but I was hired with some non-company experience hires as well, so I'll include their experience.

I don't necessarily see Chemical Engineering as a high-dollar position (maybe low-high, but not high), but I know that it is treated very differently than something like a teacher or nurse which have much larger hiring pools. 

-Companies don't pay transportation for interviews unless it's a high-dollar/high-profile position.
      My interview trip was paid for, as were trips for others coming from outside the company
-Companies wouldn't pay for relocation(again, unless it's a high-dollar position).
      Mine was completely paid for, and those experience outside hires also had a package, but it was less generous. 
-Most companies only look at non-local candidates if there aren't any suitable local ones.
      For my company, this was interesting.  They try as hard as they can to hire within the company locally, then within the company nationwide, then the location of those outside the company doesn't really matter.
-Apartment rentals might be hard to get without already having a job history in the area.
      This really depends on the location and the landlord.  Mine was happy with paystubs from WV and a credit report. 

I went apartment hunting about 3 weeks before I moved to the area; the "house hunting" trip was paid for by the company, but far cheaper than staying in a hotel until the place was ready.  This was almost too long before the move.  As it was, the landlord made me pay for 4 days that I wouldn't be there, since he would be ready for me then.  If I had fought it I may have gotten him to not require it, but I didn't want to lose the place. 

My advice would be to start applying for jobs as soon as you're able to leave, but don't quit your current job before getting another.  You can feel out different areas that have opportunities and not have to worry about being unemployed.  If there's difficulty in finding someone that will interview you without meeting you, I'd try to suggest a Skype interview as a first step, and see if they are serious.  Don't sell yourself short.  Look for areas that have large technical support companies, and figure out if you would/could live near them, apply for any opening and see what happens.

Good luck!

Emg03063

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 06:45:17 PM »
My interview trips have always been company paid, as have my relocations, and I don't make that much more than you.  My advice:

Job first, then get a roomshare on craigslist that will let you to month to month.  Then you can house hunt fairly opportunistically.

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 09:45:49 PM »
... For those of you who have relocated to a different state, how did you go about it?  Did you get the job first and hope you could find a suitable place to live, or did you find a place to live and hoped you could find a job...

Your question reminded me of how I once just got on a train from Indianapolis to NYC, settled myself temporarily at the Y and then went out looking for an advertising copywriter position.  That worked.  As did just getting on a plane and flying from Denver to Honolulu, finding a rooming house, and then looking for and finding a job.  And I can think of a few other instances.

As I think about it now, I've relocated multiple times without either a job or a living place to relocate to.  One just needs to find the self-confidence to do it.

eldred

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2015, 02:08:44 PM »
... For those of you who have relocated to a different state, how did you go about it?  Did you get the job first and hope you could find a suitable place to live, or did you find a place to live and hoped you could find a job...

Your question reminded me of how I once just got on a train from Indianapolis to NYC, settled myself temporarily at the Y and then went out looking for an advertising copywriter position.  That worked.  As did just getting on a plane and flying from Denver to Honolulu, finding a rooming house, and then looking for and finding a job.  And I can think of a few other instances.

As I think about it now, I've relocated multiple times without either a job or a living place to relocate to.  One just needs to find the self-confidence to do it.

You're just more badass than I am.  I can admit that.<g>  And you apparently had money to survive in the meantime.  Considering how hard it has been for me to find jobs in the past, it's understandable that I don't have the confidence to just up and move with no plan...

eldred

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2015, 02:10:49 PM »
If the employer isn't willing to pay for your trip there for the interview (including flights, meals, and hotel) and also pay for relocation, then you probably don't want to work for them.

An employer who interviews or hires a remote candidate is not doing that candidate a favour. It is a mutual business transaction and the candidate is being hired because they are the best person for the job. Paying for interview expenses and relocation is part of the cost of importing the candidate who is the best for the job.

I doubt there are many desktop support positions that an employer would NEED to pay such expenses for, unfortunately.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2015, 02:14:10 PM »
Can you start working for a company in Detroit that is headquartered/had a branch in a location you're interested in moving to? This worked extremely well for me when I was looking to make a move.

Numbers Man

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2015, 02:19:29 PM »
Unless you personally know someone that's going to hire you in a new location then you'll have to first move. You will just have to live cheap until you find a gig. I have a friend that moved from a small midwestern city to Chicago and rented a room for $400 a month from an ad on Craig's List. Make sure you go to an area that has jobs.

Ynari

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2015, 03:02:33 PM »
I'm looking at entry level jobs in a moderate-compensation field (type that requires a bachelor's degree but no more), and every one of your assumptions has been false for me, typically.

1. All companies pay for my transportation to the interview, whether it's taking a taxi downtown or a flight across the states.
2. This may have to do with selection bias, but all the companies that I've gotten to interviews with have stated that they provide some form of relocation assistance.
3. Might be true to an extent that they only resort to non-local candidates if they can't find what they're looking for, but many companies have multiple offices in a handful of cities and will place you wherever they have an opening.  I have had more luck searching in other cities than I have in my own, just because of how the market is working right now.
4. Sublet. Craigslist. Past employment + a letter from your employer if you want to sign a lease right away.

Phone interviewers ask why you're interested in relocating, and if you have any connections in the area. I just have to say, try to sell your interest in the area. They just want to hear a reason, any reason, really. If you have a 3rd cousin twice removed who lives an hour from the city, say "I have family in the area". If an old high school friend ended up moving there, say "Some of my friends live in the area and I love the city." I spend some time in my phone interviews just talking about how much I'm looking forward to living somewhere warmer. Usually the interviewer loves getting a chance to talk about what they like about their city, too.

It is definitely easier to find a job in City A when you are already in City A.  So if you're sure you want to be in City A, go ahead and move. But if you, like me, are considering pretty much *any* city warmer than where you are now, then moving to an arbitrary warmer city is probably just going to cut you off from all the other cities.  Cities B, C, D, and E are still going to be a relocation if you've recently moved to City A instead of staying in Detroit.

Also, Lanthiriel's advice to look for a company in your own city that has multiple branches is very good. It looks like that might be how I get my job.

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2015, 10:19:29 AM »

Your question reminded me of how I once just got on a train from Indianapolis to NYC, settled myself temporarily at the Y and then went out looking for an advertising copywriter position.  That worked.  As did just getting on a plane and flying from Denver to Honolulu, finding a rooming house, and then looking for and finding a job.  And I can think of a few other instances.

As I think about it now, I've relocated multiple times without either a job or a living place to relocate to.  One just needs to find the self-confidence to do it.

You're just more badass than I am.  I can admit that.<g>  And you apparently had money to survive in the meantime.  Considering how hard it has been for me to find jobs in the past, it's understandable that I don't have the confidence to just up and move with no plan...

Either more badass or just more nuts.  :O

JLee

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2015, 10:55:10 AM »
I can almost-guaranteed get you a job in Phoenix making ~$42k doing desktop support. We're chronically understaffed and absurdly busy, but we are hiring.

I committed to moving without a job lined up - I gave my notice, drove out here (road-tripped all over the place), found a job, flew back home, finished my notice, then moved. I did have a place to stay (rented a room from a friend) figured out ahead of time.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2015, 12:08:39 PM »
When interviewing about relocating, site specific examples about why you are "passionate" about the prospect of moving to the city.  For example, "...I just love the Chicago Lakefront.  I can't wait to ride my bike along the 18 mile path, then jump in the water...blah, blah, blah..."  This plants in their mind you are serious.  Make it sound sincere, even if it isn't.

You might consider moving on the basis of contract work, which might be easier to land, then try to convert to perm.

jjcamembert

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2015, 12:34:00 PM »
I applied for out-of-state jobs for 6+ months, had lots of phone interviews, but even when I made it to the "final round" I always heard, "Sorry but we decided to select someone who was local."

Eventually I was able to negotiate remote working for my existing job for several months when I decided to move out-of-state, which gave me a financial cushion (and less pressure to accept the first job I found) and the ability to sign a lease with no problems. Honestly I didn't think they'd go for the remote working deal, but if you make yourself valuable and then apply the pressure of, "Hey, I'm leaving, but I'm willing to keep working remotely until you find someone to replace me" they'd probably rather have you available for wrapping up / knowledge transfer than having nobody for several months. Once I was a local, I had several job offers to choose from within a month of looking.

I'd also recommend thinking of things you can do now to improve your hiring prospects when you do decide to move: interview question practice, certifications, portfolio building / website, etc.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2015, 02:18:33 PM »
I can almost-guaranteed get you a job in Phoenix making ~$42k doing desktop support. We're chronically understaffed and absurdly busy, but we are hiring.

Hmm, understaffed tech in Phoenix that's busy... just make sure OP isn't conservatively religious first, right? ;) (stereotypes, I know, I know)

JLee

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2015, 03:58:45 PM »
I can almost-guaranteed get you a job in Phoenix making ~$42k doing desktop support. We're chronically understaffed and absurdly busy, but we are hiring.

Hmm, understaffed tech in Phoenix that's busy... just make sure OP isn't conservatively religious first, right? ;) (stereotypes, I know, I know)
lmao that would not likely be a good fit with the crowd here.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2015, 04:47:44 PM »
Since you have some time before moving, you could use the "50 jobs for $50,000" posts as inspiration/roadmap to develop either a side gig or new career that either is internet-based, or in demand.  Anything you can do to reduce the risk will help you. You're in tech already; adding some more skills to it is a good move these days.  You could end up earning more as well as moving.

I've read that the best pay to cost ratio in USA is Minneapolis St Paul, but of course you're interested in warm.  Trade-offs.

Austin, TX has a lot of techie jobs, especially if you skill up.  Not cheap any more, but workable.  Warm, too!

Good luck in any case.

MrMoogle

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Re: Relocation advice/strategies
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2015, 05:58:09 PM »
Here are my(possibly incorrect) assumptions.
-Companies don't pay transportation for interviews unless it's a high-dollar/high-profile position.
-Companies wouldn't pay for relocation(again, unless it's a high-dollar position).
-Most companies only look at non-local candidates if there aren't any suitable local ones.
-Apartment rentals might be hard to get without already having a job history in the area.

Suggestions and advice would be much appreciated.  Thanks!
I'm an engineer, so I'm higher-dollar than you, but not overly higher.  I'm returning home from overseas, so in-person interviews were impossible.  Skype worked great though.  Phones work too, but this way you can see each other's reactions and what not.  My big benefit was that I'm from the area and had a lot of contacts there.

With the economy the way it is today (rising but not the best market for employees), I wouldn't move without a job. 

I recommend this article:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/ask-headhunter-can-introvert-make-professional-contacts/

Be able to talk about why you want to go there.  Recruiters want to know that you're not going to come for a year then jump to another location.  Make it sound like your dream location, for each interview, even if they're in different locations :)