Sometimes we move to a place first—whether it’s for family or a spouse, or because it’s simply where we feel we should be—and then need to find a job that suits our career goals.
It is possible to have the career you want when the location comes first. Sure, it can be a bit trickier depending on where you land and what kind of work you are aiming for, but thanks to the internet, nearly anything is possible these days.
After starting over in a new place a few times, below are basic career tips especially applicable to jump start your search when relocating is not an option.
Search for flexible opportunities
Thanks to Wi-Fi, the list of reasons for being tied to an office is continually getting shorter. If you’re not finding a job in your current city that meets your needs, you may be able to find something you could do from a computer across the state—or across the world.
Remote work is easier to find in some industries than others, but there are also specific job boards to scour for work-from-anywhere opportunities. We Work Remotely and Working Nomads are two of many, and there are others that are more specific, focusing on food (Good Food Jobs) or non-profit (Idealist) remote work.
Similarly, there are plenty of opportunities to keep an eye out for – remote or local – that involve at least some amount of traveling, which can weigh heavily on the pros list if the location you’re in was not high on your wish list to begin with.
Use your network
Whether you know someone in the area you are in or you are completely new to it, reach out to people in your network near and far that could provide helpful insights or new connections.
Everyone knows someone, and learning more about people while building relationships is beneficial not only for your immediate job search but for your long-term career.
Coffee dates, FaceTime calls, and email threads can lead to very interesting conversations you didn’t know were possible — but you will only get the really useful information by asking good questions you’ve thought about ahead of time.
For example, what path did you take to get where you currently are in your career? Where do you see the most opportunity in this field? Do you know anyone doing X, Y, and Z that I could connect with to learn about their experience?
Do not expect your network to be an open book off the bat, and do not assume you cannot have meaningful conversations from across city or state lines, if that is what it takes.
Create the position you want
This does not necessarily mean go out on your own right away. Not everyone wants to be a business owner—and that’s okay! It’s still possible to create a space for yourself in an established company.
Reach out to your ideal workplaces in the area and begin a conversation about what you bring to the table. Do the research and share your past experience and skills you have honed and how that could directly benefit their team and business.
Another option for building the position you want is to join an established company in the department that suits your career, then grow the position organically to fit the needs of the team and meet the goals you have for your own career growth.
Taking initiative and being a problem-solver are two characteristics that won’t go unnoticed, but also give you the flexibility to create opportunities for yourself and others while naturally building credibility, leadership, and making your career experience much more valuable.