For a lot of people, relocating won’t be possible without finding a new job and so naturally it’s the starting point for moving to a new area. It can feel like a real struggle what with there often being less opportunities if you’re moving away from big cities and the fact that you may need to travel for hours just to get to interviews. There were points when we felt like giving up but hopefully these tips will make your job search a little less grim.
Where to start?!
Before cracking on, I should say straight up that if you’re self-employed or have a pretty niche job then this advice probably won’t be overly helpful. If you’re ‘an employee’ and have a relatively normal job, read on.
If, like me, you have no idea where to start with your job search, you’ll first need to narrow things down. This is going to save you a shed load of time so it really is worth doing straight away. I reckon there are only 4 scenarios that you’re likely to find yourself in before searching for a new job and working out which you fall in is the first step.
Scenario 1 | you like the industry you’re currently working in AND enjoy the role = lucky you, search for a job that’s as similar to current one as poss
Scenario 2 | you like the industry you’re working in but not so much your current role = the move is an opportunity to try a new role in your sector so search by industry
Scenario 3 | you like the role you’re in but are not a fan of the industry = you guessed it, look for similar roles in a different industry
Scenario 4 | you dislike both your current role AND the industry you’re in = what a glorious opportunity to find something totally new.
This might seem like a pretty basic way of considering your options and that’s because it is. But I wish that I’d worked this out before I started my search as it would have saved me a shed load of time and frustration.
It’ll often be the case that people fall into one of the first three scenarios but because of limited opportunities in the area they’re moving to, are forced to think more broadly. That was the case for me as I enjoyed my job and the sector, but there were very limited opportunities in the industry near York so by default I was a scenario 3’er – searching for a similar role in a new industry.
With a rough idea of the role & industry you’re hoping to find a job in, you can start searching. There are a load of ways to do this and I tried them all with varied success.
Many articles online seem to diss these but it’s how I found my job so I’ve got no complaints. There are dozens of sites/apps and thousands of jobs on them so before using them I’d recommend starting out fairly specific or it could be overwhelming.
Rather than using a scattergun approach and lobbing your CV out to every job site, spending some time working out which sites serve the industry/role types you’re looking for best works better. After some research I found that LinkedIn listed the most product manager jobs (my background) and so made sure my bio was up to date and tailored towards the type of roles I was after.
Setting up alerts is well worth it because it means that A) you’re far less likely to miss great opportunities and B) nobody will apply to the job quicker than you (providing that you’re on it). You can set-up alerts on pretty much all job sites. Just make sure you’re clear about what you’re after or you’ll end up getting very random calls from recruiters that are hiring for a job that is incredibly far from what you’re looking for which is funny to start with but soon gets annoying.
A lot of industries rely heavily on filling roles through recruitment firms. If that’s the case for a sector you’re interested in, then you’ll want to make best pals with a few recruiters. I tried this but it didn’t work out because when I contacted them I was pretty clueless about what I wanted to do. Recruiters do not like vagueness so if you do go down this route, make sure you’re specific about what you want.
Remember that recruiters are on commission and so, understandably, their priority is to get you into a job. Any roles that they do throw your way therefore need to be properly scrutinised before applying to make sure you know what you’re in for. Having said that, you don’t have to pay to use a recruiter so there’s nowt to lose.
I left it way too long before properly researching employers in and around York. This is well worth doing as if you spot a couple that you like the sound of you can keep an eye on their job page and set-up alerts for that employer on job sites. I first came across the firm that I now work for by searching ‘big companies Leeds’ which sounds like what a child would do but it worked. I then set-up alerts for the company on LinkedIn and bingo.
I’ve heard of people getting results from speculative applications where you contact businesses with a CV and cover letter in the hope that they’ll remember you and get in touch when a job comes up. Or, if you are the most employable person of all-time, they could make a role for you… I don’t think this is going to work for many people but I guess there’s no harm in trying.
If you’re lucky enough to have contacts that work for firms that you may be interested in working for, nepotism could be the way forward. I’ve never had the opportunity to be a ‘nepotite’ but have come across A LOT of people who’ve found work through friends and family and why not? I guess the only consideration is that if it turns out you dislike the job/firm, life could get pretty awkward.
As for actually applying to jobs and the fun of interviews, I’ll leave that to you! But there are a few extra things I reckon are worth mentioning.
From deciding to move up to York and actually doing it took us about a year. The main reason it took so long was because I massively struggled to decide what direction to take my career in. I’m SO pleased that I persevered as our relocation is one of the best things I’ve ever done. The annoying thing about moving somewhere new is that you have to put a load of effort in before you actually get to enjoy the benefits of moving. So a bit of advice on this would be to stay determined even if you feel like giving up because the chances are it’ll be well worth it.
A big concern we had about moving north was that we’d take a big hit to our pay. Well, we now have a mortgage on a lovely 3-bed semi in a great area of York for £300 less a month than we paid in rent on our 2 bed north west London flat… And stuff like beer is cheaper too. So remember, if you’re moving north (particularly if away from London/south east/some of south west), it’s all relative. Plus, you may be surprised at how little difference there is between salaries for similar jobs in different areas.
Last thing: I found ‘What Color is your Parachute?’ to be a really helpful book about working out what job/career would suit me best. It’s a bit cheesy, but there’s some really thought-provoking stuff in there.
Truth be told, I’m hoping this post will lead to a surge in people moving up north and thus drive the price our house up. Failing that, if it helps one other human get a job in a new place to start their ‘life relocation’, then I’m happy.
If you fancy reading about how our move north happened, you can have a nosey here.