Thinking of Relocating? Location, Location, Location

 

When searching for the perfect job, it’s important not to forget one key component: geography.  Where you are and where you’re looking can have a huge impact on the work you eventually find.  It’s important to consider the upsides to where you’re currently located, as well as the upside to packing your bags and relocating!

Look Elsewhere

If you find that you’re just not landing the position you want, figure out if you’re searching in the right place.  Perhaps you’re having a difficult time finding a job in academia – consider moving your search into a college town or a suburban area with lots of public schools.  If you want to go into entertainment, perhaps you should be scouring opportunities in Southern California instead of Southern Iowa.  When looking for jobs, it’s easy to forget to look outside the boundaries of our own neighborhood.  Contemplating relocation might be difficult, but it might just be the solution.

It’s Not Forever

It’s important, too, to realize that relocating is not something that’s “forever” if you don’t want it to be.  For example, if you want to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, it’s often the case that you have to relocate to a smaller market, which may require moving to the middle of nowhere.  But as you gain experience and recognition, you can transition to a bigger market in a bigger city.  Sometimes you need to get your start in a place where you don’t see yourself staying long term – remember that it’s just the first step.

Quality of Life

One thing to consider when you are looking at relocating is the quality of life that you’ll find when you do.  Is having a family important to you, and will a certain city lend itself well to raising one?  Can you see yourself living in a big city or a rural countryside?  Your job is important, but so is your quality of life.  Don’t forget to factor that in when searching for the perfect position.

Available Networks

A factor that may affect your decision to move to another city is the networks that will be available to you when you get there.  Perhaps it’s wise to stick around the area where you went to college, as you’ll have an extensive alumni network there.  It might also be helpful to move back to the town you grew up in.  There are many different networks that you can use to your advantage, and it’s up to you to figure out where you can take advantage of them.

When looking for a job, the sole focus for many people is often the job itself.  But don’t forget that location is just as important, and could be the key to why you’re not currently finding the job that you want!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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The Importance of Your Alumni Network in Your Job Search

Summer Associate, New York, NY
Trading Systems Analyst, Boston, MA
Investment Analyst, Stamford, CT
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Associate – Oil & Gas, New York, NY

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You’ve probably heard that your alumni network is an invaluable resource for finding a great job or getting your foot in the door at a great company, but has that really sunken in?  Many people turn to a plethora of other resources before they consider hitting up their alumni networks, when this may be the first place they should start looking.

An alumni network is an ideal source to start your search because this is where you have access to the individuals who came before you, and who had an experience as close to yours as you can probably get.  They lived in the same dorms, were a part of the same organizations, took classes from the same professors – in short, they were in your shoes before you were.  Because of this, even if they can’t get you a job, they can give you very valuable advice on where to start looking, or introduce you to the people that can do more for you.  They can also warn you against making some of the same mistakes that they did.

Don’t feel awkward about reaching out – given your similar background, alums will likely feel a strong personal connection toward you, and most will love an opportunity to give back to their school.  The bottom line is, alums from your school will probably be eager to help you, and you should take advantage of this opportunity.

To track down the appropriate person to speak to, start with your college career center.  They will likely have a directory of individuals who are ready to help out.  Bear in mind, too, that any person you find in a directory is someone who has probably given permission for students to contact them, and so they won’t be surprised when they receive your call or email.

Another strategy is to look online or turn to alumni chapters in your city if you are already out of college.  Again, it’s reasonable to assume that if someone’s contact information is in a directory, then they are fine with you getting in touch with them.

When you finally establish contact with an alum, it’s important to treat them with the respect that anyone else deserves.  Remember to be gracious, send thank you notes, and drop them an occasional line to let them know how you are doing and what progress you have made – alums get excited about helping out because they are interested in hearing about the cool things future classes do with their lives!

So go out there and start networking!

The Doostang Team

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Doostang News March 7: Small Things that Make a Big Difference in Your Job Search

Associate – PE, New York, NY
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Sometimes the path to your dream career isn’t about the big moves you’re supposed to make, but rather, is riddled with the little ones.  The great thing about small steps is that you have no excuse not to take them – you can always find a moment to work on your job search.  Here are a few minor things you can be doing to land your next position:

Create an Email Account Designated for Your Job Search

If you haven’t done so already, consider creating an email address solely for your job search.  The first thing you should do is to choose an address that is professional – this will look far better on your resume and when you reach out to employers.  Doing so will also allow you to keep all your job search materials in one place, and will prevent your personal emails from posing a distraction.

Review Your Resume

Take a few minutes of down time to scan your resume and make sure that it’s polished and up-to-date.  You may not have caught all of the typos when you originally put it together, so pay particular attention to spelling and grammar.  Also check that your dates and current contact information are correct.  It’s especially helpful to have an outsider review your resume to catch all the small (or big) issues that you might have missed, so ask some friends for feedback or get a professional critique.

Revise Your Facebook Page

Because so many employers are now turning to social networking sites to see what additional information they can dig up about each potential hire, it’s important to put your best foot (or face) forward.  Make sure that you have appropriate privacy settings in place, and take down any pictures that you wouldn’t want your next boss to see.

Practice Your 30 Second Interview

It’s important to practice your 30 Second Interview, or elevator speech, when you have a moment.  This will ensure that you’re less likely to trip up the next time you’re in a situation where someone takes an interest in your career path.

Network

Take a few moments to find some key contacts that can help you in your career search.  Consider your alumni network or find the contact information of someone at a company you wish to work for.  Send out a quick email to set up a time to ask for some advice, or simply try to establish rapport by reaching out with a question.

Enroll in a Class

If your dream job requires knowledge or skills that you don’t yet possess, enroll in a class that will bring you up to speed.  Once you make that initial commitment to go, you’ll be one step closer to the career you want.

There are a multitude of little things you can do throughout the day that will advance your job search.  So when you have some free time, be proactive and do something small that can make a big difference.

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

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