Should you move before you have a job?

I remember after I had graduated from college I couldn’t wait to move to a new city and start my career.  I was hopeful that there would be tons of jobs waiting for me when I arrived in Austin Texas.  Someone had said that it was a booming market for recent college graduates and that they had tons of jobs that were opening.  The reality was that they were correct, I was able to find a ton of open jobs in Austin Texas, the problem was that they required some sort of experience.  I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get a new job in a new city, especially because I didn’t realize how loyal the companies are to University of Texas students and the serious lack of experience I had.  What I did learn was what I should have done different before moving to a city without having a job.  Here are a few of the things I recommend before you move to a new city without having a job.

Should you move without a job?

This is a tricky question. Many companies want someone that is already living in that city since they can start earlier and easier.  Why should they have to wait for an entry level person for a few weeks when there are hundreds and thousands of other potential entry level candidates already in that city.  Unless you made an amazing impression on that company and they absolutely could not find anyone else for the job, they may go for the local candidate.  Luckily for me I had an advantage going for my first job since I lived there already, but I also didn’t have the security of somewhere to stay rent free like at your parents house while I was searching in case I wasn’t able to find a job.  This brings me to my next point.

What is the most important thing to do before you move to a new city to find a job?

What I was thankful that I did before I moved was save enough money to live off of for at least 6 months.  That included rent, furniture, food, transportation and gas, utlities, clothes and everything else that I would need.  Because I saved for a long time before I moved, I was able to survive without finding a job for a while.  If I hadn’t saved money before I moved I probably wouldn’t have been able to make it.  Getting back home would also have been difficult because I wouldn’t have been able to afford the costs of moving everything back.  I could have sold everything and bought a train ticket, but that would have been a last minute option.

Do you know anyone there already and have you started networking?

I have always been online and always loved chatting in chat rooms.  Before I moved to Texas I started going into chat rooms and making connections with locals in Austin Texas.  When we became friends I would talk to them about if they knew of any companies that were hiring or where a great place to to live would be if you didn’t have a job yet.  By networking with people before I moved, I was able to have a head start and build relationships to help me find somewhere to live and to find a job.  Although it isn’t always safe to meet strangers off of the internet, their advice on companies that are hiring, etc… can help you.  It doesn’t mean you have to physically meet them.

Moving to a new city without a job was a scary and exciting thing to do.  You hear about people moving to places like NYC all the time with hopes of getting one of the many Jobs in NYC.   What many of these hopeful people find out though is that if they didn’t save money, network with people or prep their resumes for that city, then they may find themselves having to move back home instead of finding a job in their new city.

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