I often work with candidates who want to move to a specific city, but they don’t want to relocate until they have landed a job.
And therein lies the rub.
In any market, and especially in a down market, securing a position in another location is very challenging.
Why? Several reasons spring to mind.
- It’s all about the Benjamins. Organizations don’t necessarily have money lying around to pay for a flight/hotel for out-of-town candidates. If they do have the budget to fly candidates in, they usually reserve these funds for senior positions.
- It’s a pain in the you-know-what. It’s easy for a DC-based nonprofit to arrange for an interview with someone who lives across the moat in Arlington. But try arranging it for someone who lives across two time zones in Spokane.
- It’s a matter of time. If organizations need to make a quick hire, they are going to start by looking in their backyards. Sometimes they just don’t have the luxury of expanding geographic options.
Ok, Claire. I smell what you’re steppin’ in. So what’s your point?
My point is that landing a job in a city is worlds easier when you are actually there.
A friend of mine learned this first-hand. After long-distance job searching for quite a while, he decided to take the plunge and move to the city where he wanted a job. He enjoyed many glorious nights in discount hotels and hauled around his entire life in two Fiat-sized suitcases, but he landed a gig.
He later summed it up to me this way (and threw in the Woody Allen quote for good measure):