To say the pandemic hit the American workforce hard would be an understatement. At its height in April 2020, the unemployment rate reached nearly 15% – the highest it had been since 1948. Though things have started to balance out and there’s an end in sight for this pandemic, much of the damage has already been done. Some people were permanently laid off. Others had to close their businesses. Unfortunately, some people are staying home because it feels safe, and they’re still getting unemployment checks.
But, many are ready and willing to get back to work. But, because so many businesses have either closed or limited their operations, you might be having a hard time finding a job. That’s especially true if you’re looking for a very specific career. One option many are choosing to take is relocating. Moving to a bigger city with more jobs or specific career choices can make it easier to follow the path you truly want.
But, if you’ve never relocated for work, it can be a bit overwhelming. With that in mind, let’s look at a few things you should keep in mind if you’re considering a move to find a new job.
1. The risks of long-term unemployment
Don’t let the fear of moving somewhere new hold you back from going after a new career. We already mentioned that some people have gotten far too comfortable collecting unemployment. You might start to think that you can keep collecting until something better comes your way in your current town/city. Unfortunately, the odds of that happening are slim.
If you need some motivation to relocate, consider the negative effects and potential risks of being unemployed for too long. Some of those effects include:
- Emotional turmoil if you’re getting rejected from different jobs
- Social isolation
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Low self-esteem
- Strained relationships
Eventually, unemployment might force a relocation. Or, rather, a dislocation. Without a specific salary, you might have to sell your current home or move somewhere you can afford. It’s much better to relocate on your terms than to be forced to give up everything you have. So, when you start to realize that your temporary furlough has become permanent, it’s time to start walking a different path, rather than collecting unemployment for months.
2. Getting used to a new location
Looking for meaningful work in a new location is only half the battle. Relocating needs to be a personal choice, and one you know you’ll be happy with. Some cities are paying remote workers to come there and fill in gaps. But, you must feel comfortable wherever you end up.
If you’ve never lived in a big city or urban area before, there are things you’ll have to get used to. Preparing yourself ahead of time will make the transition easier and more comfortable for your whole family. Some tips to keep in mind as you try to get used to the idea of somewhere new include:
- Researching the area ahead of time
- Finding housing long before you move
- Creating a budget based on big-city costs
- Exploring your new environment
- Making new friends
If you’re going to relocate for a career, striking a healthy work-life balance is crucial. So, even if you can land a new job that takes you down the path you want, making sure the location you choose will make you feel content in your personal life is just as necessary.
3. Finding the right place to work
Have you already started your job search? It’s okay if you’re feeling stuck or unsure what type of business you want to work for yet. In a post-pandemic world, some businesses will start to onboard new employees in different capacities. Some might work in-house full-time. Others may be fully remote. Additionally, some will take a hybrid approach, allowing you to work from home some days and come into the office a few times a week.
When you’re in a new city for the first time, remote or hybrid options can make you feel more comfortable and give you time to really feel “at home” in your new location. Don’t be afraid to be a bit picky in your job search. A company that fosters the right environment and takes employee needs seriously should be your top priority.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed right now if you’re trying to find work. But, being proactive and relocating may be your best option if you have a specific career path in mind. If you’re considering relocation, be bold in your endeavors. Look for jobs that will give you what you need, don’t settle for less, and only consider moving to a place where you know you and your family will feel safe and comfortable.