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What to expect when relocating for work

by Aimee Jones | 30 September 2019

Whether you are relocating for work, loved ones or for a brand new start, the whole process of finding and settling into your new job can be quite daunting. Leaving friends and family behind long-term is a brave move but that’s not all you have to contend with when you need to find a new career to boot. Marketing Manager Aimee Jones relocated to join Sellick Partnership in May 2019 and offers her advice on relocating for work.

Whilst it’s tough, if you work hard to find the right role for you that offers the right culture, benefits and stability you’re looking for, you can be sure that everything else will be easier to handle.

Below is her advice on what to expect and what to do when relocating for work.

Update your CV before you do anything else

This one seems obvious but sometimes people fail to do this at the start of the job hunting process and it can have a negative impact. Not updating your CV will only make your job search more stressful if you come across a role you like the sound of but cannot apply to straight away.

Something I found useful when updating my CV before my job search was looking at jobs online and using their job descriptions to tailor my CV to highlight my relevant experience for the roles I was going to apply for. It can be hard to know where to start, but remember you are the expert on what experience you have so have the confidence to showcase this on your CV.

We have more tips on how to update your CV on our website.

Advice on finding your new job

If you know you’re relocating several months before your actual moving date, make sure to start your job search early. This doesn’t mean applying for jobs everywhere and anywhere – this never normally works. I suggest you do some research and make a list of all the companies you want to work for in the area you’re relocating to. Remember to think about culture as well as the monetary packages and benefits; you’re relocating your life and need to find a culture you will feel comfortable in.

Start to make direct contact with these companies and the relevant managers to let them know you’ll be relocating and you’ll be surprised of the feedback you get. Hiring managers, whether they’re hiring or not at that time, are always keen to hear who’s in the market. I contacted a fair few companies I knew I wanted to work for and the response was really positive. Whilst I didn’t personally secure a role this way, the exercise was worth it. I expanded my network in Manchester for the future and the encouraging feedback boosted my confidence that I would find the right role soon.

Find a recruiter who is right for you

Use Google to search for relevant local recruitment companies in the area you are relocating to, or specialist recruiters in your chosen field. Local may not necessarily mean the best for you but you will need to do your research to work this out. Don’t be scared to call them and find this out for yourself. Each conversation you have with a recruiter gives you more experience on being able to talk openly about yourself and find the best way to showcase who you are. Each call is interview practice whether you get anywhere with it or not, so I always believe in making as many relevant calls as I can when looking for a new role.

Once you’ve found a recruitment company, or even a specific recruiter you really want to work with, go meet them if you can. If not, offer to do a Skype call or video interview – relationships develop a lot quicker this way and the more they know you and understand you, the more they will help you and keep you in mind for any future roles that come in.

Moving to a new city doesn’t have to be stressful

There are many pros and cons for living in a big city, but the same goes for living anywhere. Moving to a new city requires you to be open minded and willing to adapt to change. If you go into it with a positive attitude and embrace change, then what happens when you get there is all just part of the process of relocating.

Your new employer should respect your situation but don’t expect a relocation package or moving expenses for moving to a big city. Usually relocation packages will be offered to people moving to more remote locations as it is harder to make the transition this way round. Perhaps negotiate your start date if you need time to settle in, or agree to use some holiday to give yourself a few longer weekends to settle in. Everyone’s needs are unique, but if you find the right employer they will want to understand your circumstances and work with you to make sure you are happy and comfortable.

Take public transport, for example. Remember that although it may seem daunting if you’ve never worked in a city, people do it on a daily basis and it is something you’ll get used to fairly quickly. The novelty will wear off pretty quick but it will soon fall part of your daily routine and you won’t think twice about it.

Stay positive and don’t give up the search

If you are relocating, for whatever reason, chances are you’re doing it to better your current situation or you’re doing it for a loved one. Stay positive during this process because it always works out in the end. Finding a job doesn’t happen overnight and you will be offered a job when it is the right one for you. When applying for roles, you won’t always get a response and sometimes you will receive a response saying you haven’t been invited to interview. Try not to take this personally, tick that job off the list and move on – the longer people worry about rejection, the further away they get from finding the right role for them.

I learnt this a few years ago and since changing my mind-set, looking for a new job has never been an issue or negative experience.

Advice on interviewing in a new location

Interviewing for a role away from where you currently live can be challenging, but it is not impossible. You will need to be flexible and willing to use holiday at your current company. Be open and honest about your need to look for work and your current manager will be more understanding than you may think. If they are aware you’re relocating then they are aware that you will need to find a new job and will also look to you for support in finding your replacement. Work together with your current line manager and the whole process will be a lot less stressful.

If you get invited to an interview but it’s too short notice, I would always offer a Skype/telephone interview in the first instance. These are becoming increasingly popular for first stage interviews and will show the interviewer you are serious about getting to know them. If you haven’t any experience in this, try practicing with family and friends to get used to video calls. Or work with your recruiter to give you some tips. It’s never as scary as you think so the more you practice you have, the easier it will become.

Whilst in some cases it may be impossible to interview on short notice, if you have the chance to – you are more likely to be offered the job. Make the effort for the companies you really like the sound of and they will appreciate it. If you are able to make a face-to-face interview, make sure to research the journey and look at the office location on Google Street View. You need to be sure of where you are going before the day as this will reduce your nerves and give you more time to focus on preparing for the interview itself.

You can find more advice on interviewing here.

Making the move to your new job

I am a firm believer in a work/life balance and finding the right employer who respects the need for this balance is very important for both your mental health and your dedication to your work. When you are offered a role you want to accept, make sure you talk to your new employer about your personal circumstances. I did this when I interviewed at Sellick Partnership and I was treated with respect. They recognised my need to work from home every so often to visit family and it was agreed that they would accommodate this.

If you need time to adjust, perhaps ask for a phased start or ensure to leave enough time between jobs to get your life together. Your situation will be different to mine so find what works best for you and stay true to that. That way, you will appreciate the effort your employer has gone to keep you happy and your gratitude will show in the work you do.  

What next

If you would like more advice on interviews, managing a work/life balance or other tips for looking for work, head over to our candidate resources area.