How to Get a Job in a Different City
About two years ago, #BradTheBoo and I started to dream about life in a new city. I loved DC, but I always knew it had an expiration date and we’d both fallen madly in love with Denver, Colorado after years saving up and flying across the country for ski trips in the Rockies.
I knew that my work could be done from almost anywhere, but Brad has a total brick-and-mortar job, working in manufacturing and creating custom interior design pieces. It’s a pretty niche industry and we had no idea whether he’d be able to find a job in our dream city.
So I thought back to 5 years earlier when I’d undergone a similar transition, going from a political organizing job in Rhode Island to landing a job in digital political strategy in Washington, DC. There’s a special art to landing a job in a totally different city, and here’s the step-by-step process I walked Brad through that worked like a charm.
First, he had to get his story straight. I think there’s a certain amount of suspicion people have towards outsiders. Are they fleeing their life back in their former city? Are they just coming out here for the lifestyle and don’t care much about their career? You really need to be able to introduce yourself to a total stranger and quickly establish your credibility, work ethic, and explain why you’re a perfect fit for their organization. The first thing we did was work through Brad’s Story of Self, as organizers call it, so he could pitch himself to prospective employers and other folks who might help him make valuable connections.
Second, we polished up his online presence. Brad isn’t all that into social media, but his work was perfect for showcasing on Instagram. We also created a basic website that showcased his work history, listed a bio, featured a nice headshot, and also included a portfolio of his work. We made sure his new Instagram account and LinkedIn profile portrayed him exactly as we’d want prospective employers to see him.
Then, he made a list of organizations and practitioners who were in the industry and in Denver – and reached out to them via email. He used the kind of strategy I covered in detail on Episode 07, all about how to land informational interviews.
The fourth step is the most expensive one, but it’s well worth the investment: he had to make a trip out there. It’s true, there’s nothing better than in-person meetings when you’re looking to work your way into a new network. So Brad spent two days of our 4-day ski trip out there driving a rental car all over the city, hustlin’ to 18 different one-on-one meetings, shop visits, and coffee chats. He shared his story, asked his new contacts all about their career paths and their organizations, and gained priceless intel about the local industry. After the very final meeting of the trip, we bolted off to the airport to catch our plane back to DC and he was beaming, completely head-over-heels for the last company he’d visited.
Once we were home, all we could really do was wait and see. He sent thank you emails to everyone expressing appreciation for their time and insights, and we knew we had to keep our cool and keep nursing those relationships over the next few months.
But only one month later, just as we were coming off our Colorado kick and calming back down, Brad got the call. That final person he’d met with? Well, he was expanding his team and wanted to know how soon Brad could be there. One month later, we packed everything we owned into a uhaul and were rocky mountain bound together!
All in all, it took a total of 6 months from ideation to moving across the country with a solid job offer in hand. I truly believe if Brad had been applying every night online through Monster.com or similar job search sites, we’d probably still be in DC today.
If this sounds like a strategy that could help you or someone you know, be sure to share this podcast with them now. And if you want my methodology broken down in an easy-to-follow email-based online course, complete with worksheets and templates to guide your job search along, you can find my Pre-Game Your Career Change Course in the Bossed Up Shop for only 25 bucks. Just head to bossedup.org/shop.
If you put this boss tip to work for you, I wanna hear about it! Are you navigating a cross-country job search yourself? Share your experience in the comments section below, or in the Bossed Up Courage Community on Facebook. I’d love to hear how this boss tip works for you!