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How Vital is Location in Job Search?

How Vital is Location in Job Search?


The topic in this edition of J.T. & Dale Talk Jobs: How vital is location in job search?

Dear J.T. & Dale: We live in a cold state and want to move. My husband is going to lose his job and has been looking in warmer areas, with zero success. I landed a good job here, but it won’t pay the bills. Should my husband focus on finding a job in town, or should we both start looking for new jobs in the new location? — Trina

Dale: I recently heard an interview with Jimmy Buffet reminiscing about his early days, saying he decided that because he could cook and play the guitar, he could support himself anywhere, and he chose to move to Key West. OK, you could object, arguing that singing and cooking are “anywhere” jobs, but it turns out that most jobs are… case in point, there’s a shrimp farm in Gila Bend, Ariz.

J.T.: Sounds warm, all right. Once you pick your desired geography, you start by creating targeted lists of companies based where you want to live, and start networking online with people who work there. Then, set up quarterly “job search trips” and spend three to four workdays there. If you’re going to go ahead and move, make sure you have money saved to live for one year without employment.

Dale: Hold on. I was with you till moving day. That would be awful pressure when I don’t see any reason to burn through your financial resources. Besides, those job-search trips can be highly effective, even more so than local searching. Coming in from out of town appeals to a sense of hospitality and puts calendar pressure on the people you’re trying to meet. Indeed, I hope you’ll be a test case: Get your husband to do two searches, local and relocation, and see if you are in a sunshine state by fall.

Feel free to send questions to J.T. and Dale via e-mail at [email protected] or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

© 2012 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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J.T. & Dale “JT & Dale Talk Jobs” is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country. J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten are both professional development experts.