“Looking in other cities”

Dear Andrea:

I live in one west coast city and my husband lives in another, which is in a much smaller market. It’s gotten to the point that I need to be where he is. Since he owns his own company, I’m the one who will be moving. Replacing my position as an executive in a manufacturing firm will be very difficult. In all candor, even lowering my expectations shows slim pickings. The markets are vastly different. Outside the local paper, the Internet and local recruiters, do you have any suggestions?
–Moving Around California

Dear Moving Around:

Start by trying not to replace your position. Even though there may be similar positions to what you have now in this smaller market, there are probably fewer. So to broaden your possibilities, look at your next move as a position that could have similar responsibilities, but in a different size company that’s not necessarily in manufacturing. See yourself as having a body of skills that can add value in an environment that might be different than what you’re accustomed to.
When you move to any new place-especially a smaller locale-the key to unearthing possibilities is through the people who live there. They know who owns what, whose company needs what and whom and who else knows what’s going on. So plan a week-long trip to this city where you’ll do nothing but talk to people.
Plan your trip around meetings that the local business community holds, such as the Chamber of Commerce, small business associations or your professional association. Just about every city has a website where you can find out when these events take place. In smaller towns, you can get easier access to key decision makers in government and trade organizations than larger cities. Take advantage of it.
Tap your husband as a resource. Being a business owner there, he can introduce you to other business owners who may have needs or know associates. He’s got neighbors and other professionals he deals with. Talk to them. You might just discover a similar job like the one you have by breaking into the community this way.
You’re not asking anybody for a job. You’re going there to learn about the business community and for people to get to know you, so you know where to focus your search and to be referred to people. People hire folks they know, like and trust. So build relationships. Before the Internet, talking to people was the best way to find a job. It still is.

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Talking about workin’ for a living with WGRR hosts Janeen Coyle and Chris O’Brien.