Every year, newly graduated students have dreams about moving across the country and starting a successful career in busy, exciting cities such as New York, Miami, Denver, Seattle, Boston and San Francisco. This is due to diverse, emerging industries developing overnight and demographic changes. Another reason for long-distance career exploration is that a student may simply want to experience a new area for a short amount of time (3 to 5 years).
Before packing the U-Haul or buying the plane ticket, there are many important things that students need to think about before they decide that pursuing a career in a different section of the country is the best fit for them.
Research the City Before Committing:
Some items to consider include the cost of living in the new location/city, starting salary, benefits for both you and your partner/family, and longevity of the career. It’s important (especially when pursuing your first full-time position) to research the average salary for jobs in your industry and see how they compare to the cost of living in a city. Some excellent resources to help estimate salary includes the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), glassdoor.com, and onetonline.org. To estimate living expenses using budget calculators, some great websites include www.epi.org/resources/budget and http://www.youcandealwithit.com/borrowers/calculators-and-resources/calculators/budget-calculator.shtml.
Research the Industry:
To estimate longevity of career, it’s important to research individual industries and find out the projected growth. This can be found on both www.bls.gov and onetonline.org. Students can also go on individual websites to find out the size of the company they are applying to and see if there are opportunities for promotions or transferring if needed.
Another great resource is the Career Services Center Library Guide: http://uncg.libguides.com/csc. This resources allows students to find much needed information about individual companies and industries. The Library Guide also allows students to look at internship and fellowship opportunities.
Culture of the City:
It’s also important for a student to look at the culture of the city that they are planning to move to. It’s important to look at the population size of the city, the economic growth, the cost of rent/buying a house, and recreational activities. Depending on a student’s personality and where they are in life, different things are going to be more important to them; if a student is starting a family, they might look more closely at the school system options in a city and consider this a factor.
Economic Growth of a City:
America’s 10 Fastest Growing Cities according to Forbes (2016):
- Austin, Texas
- San Francisco, California
- Dallas, Texas
- Seattle, Washington
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Ogden, Utah
- Orlando, Florida
- San Jose, California
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Cape Coral, Florida
Full List can be accessed at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2016/03/08/americas-fastest-growing-cities-2016/#60d52efe7056
It’s also important to consider your interview preparation with a long distance company. Many times, students will either interview over the phone or via Skype during their first communications with the company. After this initial interview, a company will choose whether to extend an offer for an on-sight interview. It’s important to know in advance whether the company is willing to pay for a student’s travel expenses during this time or if there is a policy of reimbursement (unfortunately not every company is willing to pay for travel expenses, never assume that this is a given). For more information concerning the interview process, check out the Career Services Interview Guide in our bookshelf and also check out Interviewstream (https://uncg.interviewstream.com/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2f).