Looking back at the transitions between college and adult life, and Dallas/Fort Worth to Boston, the biggest stressor in both instances was job hunting.
It’s funny because my entire time in college, my professors spent much of their time getting us ready for our jobs as PR professionals. They would stalk our social media accounts, grade our online presence, review our writing portfolios, etc. I spent countless hours in the library perfecting my portfolio for review, scared to death of failing ANY of my PR classes. Come graduation, it was time to put it to the test. But, what if I wanted to be a working professional in New York City? Or D.C.?
Unfortunately, none of my classes covered that and I was left to reading a number of career blogs and putting that research to the test to figure it out on my own.
Step One: Just Move
With my desire to move to Boston, I was always on the hunt for jobs while living in Texas. Job posting after job posting, I would send in my resume, a PDF of writing samples, and… nothing. Then, one day I was offered an interview with a publishing company — for 2:00 the next day. I frantically searched for flights before sending the HR person my response. Looking at Kayak and Expedia, there was no way I was able to spend $400+ on a flight AND take a vacation day for that interview. As devastating as it was, I knew I just had to move.
Companies want you available on their time. With plenty of candidates in their zip code, very few companies will even consider someone who comes with moving costs and the risk of getting homesick and moving back home. So, just move.
Step Two: Start Building Your Network, Immediately
By the time I got to Boston, I had three appointments already scheduled with recruiters that offer placement in my industry. Finding a recruiter in Boston was as simple as using Google and LinkedIn. Recruiters and staffing firms have many connections, and even if they don’t have a position for you at that moment, they will refer you to someone who does. Aside from recruiting/staffing firms, joining MeetUps or going to networking events is also important. They’re not only a great way to make friends, but also business contacts– you never know who you will meet. I set aside some dollars for coffee meetings, because hardly anyone denies a meeting over coffee!
Step Three: Compare the Markets
What was PR/Marketing like where you are from? What was the job market there in comparison to your new city? While it may be the same country or even state, bring in examples of local market trends in your hometown and in your new city. This shows a more thoughtful approach to why you are starting a career in a new city. For example: Boston is known for its high-tech and medical industries, but Dallas is mostly known for transportation and finance.
Step Four: Know Your Reasons
I was asked numerous times what my reason for coming to Boston was and what I hoped to accomplish by moving here. Know your plan and reasons and tell them your story. They’ll admire your courage and drive to make shit happen.
Job hunting is hard anywhere, but it’s more of an obstacle when you have a different zip code. If you want to be somewhere, just make it happen. If it doesn’t work out, you will have a multitude of stories to take back home with you. Remember, no regrets!