Finding a job is difficult, let alone finding a job in another city across the country. But I’ve done it. Twice. When you’re looking for a job in the city where you currently reside, you have many advantages—like knowing the market, knowing the possibilities, knowing people—all things you might not know when searching for a job in another place. There are a few things I’ve used both times I made the move to another place that not only resulted in me getting a job; I also got the job I wanted.
The first time I moved to another state I knew no one. I had no family, no friends (okay, one fairly good male friend), no one I knew that lived anywhere near where I was headed. That didn’t stop me from telling and talking to anyone and everyone I knew about the fact that I was moving, where I was moving, and what I was interesting in doing with my career once I got there.
While at a professional conference with a colleague she came out of a session I hadn’t attended and told me the presenter she’d just listened to was from the place I was moving, and she was signing books. I didn’t even stop to buy the book; I immediately got into the book-signing line. When I got up to the table I gave her the story I’d been giving friends and family for weeks. She offered to help, gave me her business card and phone number, and wrote down names of other people she thought could help me. I called her, and we got to know each other over the phone. She called people on my behalf, suggested more people I could contact, and talked me through some of the current popular themes and buzzwords in the district.
Two things (I suddenly realized) had happened: Talking to everyone I knew about what I wanted to accomplish helped me rehearse and develop my story. Inevitably people asked questions out of interest that I hadn’t thought about. Those questions helped me refine how I shared my goals. When it came time to talk to someone who was in a position to point me to a potential job, I knew what I needed to say, I knew the most important things I needed to communicate.
The second piece of it was that when I finally did make a connection I could use, and she offered to help, I kind of seized the moment. It felt uncomfortable at first, and I worried about coming across as desperate, but it worked. She pointed me toward the district in which I would end up teaching, a highly regarded district in Colorado, and my connection with the author I met at a conference in Ohio lead me to professional connections that lead to a job offer and later, career advancement.
There’s more to this story, actually quite a bit more. Check this site; I’ll be back with more soon. Questions or comments, let me know on our Interview Doctor blog site.