How to Relocate Without a Job

Nov 5, 2020

Moving to a new city without a job lined up isn’t a bad idea–as long as you are prepared. People looking to move don’t always have the luxury of having a job lined up beforehand.

According to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by Allied Van Lines, 69.1% of the people relocating were between the ages of 18 and 34. The reasons they were moving varied, but the most common reasons were career advancement (49.3%) and to be closer to family (20.5%). No matter what your reasoning, it’s possible to make moving without a job work for you.

While this can be a stressful situation, advance planning will help. Learn how to prepare yourself for such a move, how to find a home and a job quickly, and how to stay afloat financially. (Hint: A lot of the legwork needs to be done BEFORE you start the moving process.)

Plump Up Your Savings Account

Moving without a job can be quite rough without a nest egg to fall back on. Start by calculating your monthly expenses in the new city. Don’t forget to budget for those little things that add up: your daily trip to Starbucks, for example. Even though you can easily cut this out if necessary, it’s good to have a buffer in your budget.

Once you’ve added everything up, start saving to have at least three to six months of living expenses before you move. Don’t count on finding part time work to float you through until you find a full time job.

Ask About Telecommuting

You’re likely planning this move at least a few months ahead, so give your current employer a generous amount of advance notice. Most employers appreciate the courtesy, and they might even let you continue some or all of your duties remotely. This could be a big break for you while you look for a new job in your new city, and can be a stress reliever for the company who can take a bit more time searching for your replacement.

Build Up Your Network

As soon as you know when you’re moving, contact recruiters in your new city to let them know you’re moving and looking for work. Recruiters can help you find anything from permanent, full time positions to part time work or contract work.

“Staffing agencies are not just for those looking for temporary work,” says Amanda Dobson, director of recruiting for Temporary Solutions, Inc. in Northern Virginia. “We are always looking for qualified candidates in a number of industries who can come in and hit the ground running in a new job.”

You should also get to work updating your LinkedIn contact preferences, reaching out to social network connections, and touching base with your alumni network. Ask anyone and everyone if they know of any potential openings in your field, or if they know someone who might. You never know where your next job could materialize.

Rent an Apartment

Having your nest egg is a good sign to landlords, but an even better sign is that you have a job and have held it for a while. If at all possible, rent your new apartment before quitting your old job. If you can’t, collect documents such as bank statements, your credit score, and a letter from your current landlord.

Even if you prefer to buy a home, it’s smart to rent first in a new city to get used to the city and scope out which neighborhoods you’d like to be in.

Prepare to Explain Yourself

You will need to be prepared to tell prospective employers why you are moving and assure them you won’t be leaving again soon. They want to know you have stability and will stick around for your new job, should you get it. Prepare not only for interview questions, but include it right in your cover letter.

Start Applying for Jobs

Let’s face it: it can take weeks or even months for a job application to turn into an interview, must less the offer itself. Go ahead and start applying before your move, including your cover letter about relocating. If you’ve already gotten your new address, use it on your resume. (Unfortunately, some employers won’t consider an applicant applying for a job from afar.) If you don’t have new housing yet, ask a friend if you could use their address for your applications until you do.

Written by: Sarah Perlman

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