Career Calling

July 9, 2014

Are You Willing to Move?


I’m working with a recent MBA graduate in her late 20s. She loves Chicago, but has no ties to the city. Her family is spread across the country, and she is single with no children. Most importantly, she is open to relocation, which gives her a big advantage in a job search. Rather than having to find a job in one city, she can go anywhere to find the job she wants. I recommend that clients in this position choose two or three cites where they would like to live.


The next step isn’t to hit the job boards. Instead, the best first step is to learn about the business climate and companies in those cities. Try to find the kind of companies you want to work for before you go back to the job board. Go to the websites of your preferred companies to learn more about them and explore open positions. Use LinkedIn to see if you have any networking ties in those cities.


Finding a job – like sales – is a numbers game, but the game is best played if you have a strategy.  If you’re able to relocate, find a place you want to live and then test your ability to find a job and build a career in that city. Moving might be the first step in finding your ideal job.

December 31, 2013

Where You Live Matters

A client met me today.  At first, I thought she lived in Chicago, and I was confident that she could find the kind of job she was looking for.  Then she told me she was living in Tennessee with her husband, who is in the military.  That made me stop.  There are rural and urban areas of Tennessee, and where she was living could impact her job search.  When I asked her about her current location, she threw a curve ball: “We’re moving to Hawaii in two weeks.”  I love Hawaii, but it has a unique economy and culture.  What we expect on the mainland is not always the same.  Moreover, each island is different.  I counseled my client on the importance of doing good research to know what kind of jobs are available that meet her skills.  The bottom line is that where we live has a big impact on the kind of work we can do.  Know where you live and what you can do there.  That’s a big factor in career management.