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Leaving your job and relocating with your partner can be a challenging feat. Between the stress of moving and getting comfortable in your new home, it can be hard to find work. So, how can you overcome the 'unemployment stigma' that goes along with it? Here's what our approved career experts had to say:


Reinvent Yourself

"This is a great opportunity to 'reinvent yourself' for a new opportunity in a new location," says Debra Wheatman of Careers Done Write. "Look at your background, what do you want to do next?" Revise and refine your resume, and create a compelling cover letter that highlights your strengths while also providing information regarding your recent relocation. Also consider volunteering so you can meet new people and begin the process of networking in your new location. "Think of yourself not as 'unemployed,' but rather as someone embarking on a new experience," Wheatman says. "You need to remain proactive and positive."

Be Active

"If you see [being unemployed] as an issue, then others will see it as an issue as well," says Dorothy Tannahill-Moran of Next Chapter New Life. Tannahill-Moran suggests actively demonstrating that you possess drive. You can do this by volunteering somewhere you can use your skills and talent. "One of the reasons there is a stigma is because you could be viewed as lazy or undesirable in some way," she says. "If you show you are using your skills, it helps to dispense with those beliefs."

Look At It Positively

"Actually, you are in a pretty good position as long as YOU are excited about the move and the opportunities that come with this huge step," says Mary Sherwood Sevinsky of Injured Worker Help Desk. The next step is present this as a positive to employers. "Explain how excited you are that you have had the opportunity to relocate with your partner and open new doors for yourself as well," she says. "This way there is no stigma - instead you are a loyal and supportive partner!"

Be Honest

It's best to be honest about why you're looking for a new job, according to Amanda Haddaway author of Destination Real World: Success After Graduation for New and Soon-to-Be College Graduates. "There's nothing to be ashamed about in relocating for the betterment of your family," says Haddaway. Relocation isn't as unique as you may think. Military families do it every few years, so recruiters are accustomed to seeing folks from different geographic areas. "It's wise to start networking in your new locale, so find out what opportunities exist," she suggests. "You might start at the local Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Office."

Show Them You're Committed

"You definitely don't want to appear as though you're following your significant other's career," says Kristin Johnson of Profession Direction. "The employer might be hesitant to hire someone who might leave to follow their partner again." So, how can you appear more committed? State that you love the city and chose it intentionally. Your partner got hired first, and that was enough to get you there. Now you need to get hired, too, and their company is a perfect match for your skills. Then, you talk about your successes. "Address the the situation, then move off it," she says, "and onto what you REALLY want to talk about - YOU!"

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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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