All of us want to have a better future for ourselves and our families. When we search for a new job, we might be looking locally, or we might be ready to pick up and move–make a huge change in our lives to accommodate a new career. When you’re determining what moves you need to make in your life in order to further your professional pursuits.
Job Availability Moves Modern Migrations
The largest mover of human migration in our time is employment. If an area has a growing economy with more industries sprouting up, people gravitate towards the area. When states or cities find themselves growing significantly, it always starts with jobs. For example, check out this article pointing out growth in Idaho and Vermont.
For example, Utah was recently named as the fastest-growing state in the country, largely due to job growth. The advent of “Silicon Slopes” in the populated region of the Wasatch Front is not only bringing in employees from around the country and world, but it also encourages native growth populations to stay in the area to grow and thrive.
Why Does Location Matter?
You might wonder, what location has to do with your job opportunities. After all, there’s always something to be had anywhere for someone who is well-qualified and driven, it seems. Furthermore, modern job trends like telecommuting sometimes make location seem besides the point–can’t we work from anywhere nowadays?
Well, the truth is that it depends on your field and your personal contacts. Location can determine what kind of opportunities you have.
- Networking: Networking is one of the most essential steps to any effective job search. Studies have shown that when we’re introduced to a new job or new job candidate through someone we already know, retention is higher and job satisfaction is too. While this might feel like a shortcut to the dangerous realm of nepotism, it’s actually nothing more than a practical consideration for some businesses. That’s why it’s so important to utilizing networking when it’s appropriate. Reach out to your friends and family who might have connections in the field you want to enter. Capitalize on new acquaintances in the area–your neighbors, club members, a family from your church, etc. If you move to an area that has businesses you want to be a part of, you’ll suddenly find yourself with many more opportunities to meet other people who work there and can get you fast-tracked in the interview process.
- Commuting: As populations in city centers continue to grow, traffic is becoming a bigger and bigger concern for the average full time worker. Not only does commuting eat up your time and money, but it can also be a contributor to making you an unreliable employee. Something as far out of your control as a traffic accident can cause you to miss an important meeting, and the more traffic you have to go through to get to your job, the more likely a problem is. Some larger corporations take up initiatives to minimize pollution caused by commuters by subsidizing public transportation fares for their employees. Consider all the variables that will come into your commute as you decide on a place to live paired with your new job.
- Hiring Decisions: Geographic discrimination might sound against the law, but it’s really not. Employers are allowed to make hiring and firing decisions based on any criteria they see fit, excluding things specifically prohibited by law. That means that if you decide to have a primary residence out of state, you travel elsewhere over the weekends, or you live too far outside of what your employer deems to be a reasonable distance from work, you can be fired. Most important of all, when you’re interviewing and applying for jobs remotely, you’re much less likely to be the person chosen as a new hire. Positions will usually be filled by someone who already knows that they like living in the area, and is available to start sooner, without asking to be reimbursed for moving costs.
Hottest Areas for Your Field
Once you’ve decided that it’s reasonable to move for your career’s sake, you need to determine exactly what the right place is for you. Different areas acquire reputations for being hubs of certain industries, and being nearby can help you become a part of that industry yourself. Here are some tips to help you determine which area will be right for you:
- Research specific companies: Instead of looking at certain industries, look for certain companies, which will give you much more specific information. Additionally, having an idea of which company you’d like to work for gives you the chance to do some background research that will serve you in a job interview with them.
- Look at new locations: Anytime a company on you radar opens a new location, look into it. Why are they choosing that area? What’s the employer market like? With each new location, a business will have to populate a lot of positions–some from old locations, and many new ones from the local area. Getting in on the ground floor like that gives you lots of extra opportunities to distinguish yourself.
- Watch statistics about population growth: As mentioned above, population trends are largely determined by job availability. So, whenever reports are published regarding fluctuating population rates, read up to learn why people are moving to certain areas. Remember that many industries won’t just be drivers for population growth, but many of them are opened in those areas to accommodate that population growth, like housing developments and growing art scenes.