Read Time: 5 minutes
A lot of people typically look for a job first BEFORE moving somewhere else – especially to a different state. But for some folks, the pull of the unknown is stronger. After all, you’re young, independent, and ready to take on the world. Why wait?
Even if friends and family are willing to help out though, don’t just throw your cares to the wind. Yes, you can move without a job waiting for you. However, it’s still going to take some preparation, careful planning, and an exit strategy. Here are ten valuable tips to get you started.
1. Do Your Homework
Whether you’re relocating to New York or Washington, it pays to have an understanding of what you’re up against. Just because a place sounds exciting doesn’t mean you’ll instantly be successful there. Be honest and ask yourself: why did you choose a particular state? What are you after? What sorts of jobs are available to you? Which companies do you plan on applying for? Where would you live? What sort of challenges do residents face every day?
Research neighborhoods you’re interested in. Find out tax requirements, mortgage, and lifestyle trends. The more you know, the more you’ll be equipped to take on anything that comes your way.
2. Make Friends Early On
It wouldn’t hurt to network months before your planned arrival. Are you a member of your alumni LinkedIn groups? If not, it’s never too late to sign up! Several of your batch mates would love to help out a friend. If you haven’t thought about your third or fourth degree relatives for years, now would be a good time to reach out to them – especially if they live in your target area.
Use your favorite social media platforms to create connections and let them know of your future plans. Who knows, one of them may be able to help you snag your dream job!
3. Know What To Pack
Unless you already have a place to stay in once you get there, you might end up living with a friend or a family member for several weeks (depending on your situation). So as much as you love your collection of exotic bowls, chances are high that you can’t take them with you.
Begin organizing as soon as possible. Divide possessions into important stuff (things you’ll definitely take with you) and objects to be given away or sold (your exotic bowls, perhaps?). If you can’t bear to part with certain items, ask your family if they’d be willing to keep it until you get a good place.
Take inventory of your houseplants and pets, too. Most movers won’t take them, so you need a plan of action. Make sure to have your precious pets vaccinated before the trip. Purchase carriers if necessary. Houseplants can be kept in your car OR be given away to neighbors. If you’re worried about your furry pan misbehaving during the long drive, ask your vet for a gentle sedative to help them relax.
4 Prepare Your Resume
Expect that you’re going to be stressed and busy during the first days upon arrival. So now would be the best time to update your resume and write cover letters. If you’ve done tip #1 correctly, you’ll probably have a list of prospective employers.
Begin customizing your resume to fit the qualifications they’re looking for. You can leave the address part blank and just fill it in once you get there. Inform references in advance that they might be contacted for a background check. Upload all vital documents on secured networks so you can easily print or send them out in a moment’s notice.
5. Check Your Funds
If possible, delay your move until you have enough money. The last thing you want is to run out of cash WITHOUT a job in a new state. Don’t forget to check your savings account to see how much you have. If you really want to OD, make a budget for the first few weeks after your move. This should guide you in your purchasing decisions until you can secure a job. Make sure to leave a good amount for emergency purposes (such as medical reasons or for advanced payments for an apartment).
6. Look For Side-Jobs
Moving to your dream state may be a piece of cake – but snagging your dream job is another story. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to relocating without employment waiting for you. Don’t expect that you’ll find it on a silver platter the day you arrive (unless it actually happens!). In fact, you may need to try your luck in other fields before getting the work you really want.
Seriously strapped for cash? Try micro jobs like bartending, babysitting, blogging, or logo-making to add more funds into your account. You can find these offers on sites like Fiverr, UpWork, GigBucks, and MyCheapJobs.com. Don’t be dismayed if you find job openings that seem far off from your field. Aside from earning money for expenses, think of the experience you’ll gain along the way.
7. Settle Debts
As you near the date of your relocation, remember to settle pending debts or payments. You don’t want to leave people thinking that you were running away from your responsibilities, right? The same goes for your old job. Do your best and work hard still. Think of it as leaving a legacy. Who knows, you may even be back in the future. Pay off what needs to be paid, so can relax.
8. Keep Old Connections
As you make new friends, keep your old ones, too! Today’s technology allows people to connect in different ways without spending a dime. There’s social media, email, messenger platforms, and SMS. Why not hold a party days before you go? Invite neighbors, friends, and coworkers (whoever you want). Tell them how much you appreciate their help and how wonderful it would be if they stayed in touch.
9. Plan Your First Day
As you won’t have a job waiting for you, it’d be a great idea to plan how you would spend the first few days upon your arrival. Aside from unpacking your things and looking work, what else can you do? If you have acquaintances or relatives in the area, why not call them for a quick get-together? Are there sites of interest near you? Visit them and familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood.
10. Make a Backup Plan
Although you haven’t moved yet, it’s good to think about worst possible scenarios so you could be ready for them. After all, these are both exciting AND scary times! It wouldn’t hurt to think about what could happen in case things don’t work out. There could be dozens of reasons for this. But what’s important is you know what you’ll do should things spiral downhill.
If you followed tips #1 to #8, there should be little to no problems going back home. Should it come to that, you can begin contacting your past employer if you can get your old job back. You can also look for a new one. Either way, an exit strategy will put your mind at ease.
Ready To Relocate?
Moving to another state without a job is definitely NOT what a lot of people would choose. However, if planned carefully, it can be one of the most thrilling and challenging experiences in your life. You’ll discover parts of yourself previously unknown to you. Plus, you’ll become more independent and trust in your own abilities.
There’s no need to fear the road less traveled. Who knows what difference it can make?
And if you’ve recently been laid off, be sure to read 10 Things You Need to Do if You Get Laid Off.
About the Author:
Cris Antonio is the Chief Editor of Scoopfed.com. She’s currently focused on helping healthcare workers find better career opportunities through Locum Tenens. Aside from writing, Cris also enjoys painting, collecting toys, and reading German novels.