Once they’ve completed their degrees (or training), many students settle into the immediate area where they’ve been studying. There’s nothing wrong with settling down in a college town but ultimately you’ll put a limit to how far you may go with your career.
The following will give you an idea on how (and why) stepping out of your comfort zone and taking your talents elsewhere may be of the highest benefit for your talents and future prospects.
Planning the Opportunities
There are two great resources that will allow you to get a firm understanding of the options you have in different locations:
A. The salary search provided by Salary.com
B. The cost of living calculator by CNN MoneyThe first resource, salary search, can help you understand where your talents would bring you the highest monetary reward. The search provides data such as median salary, company statistics, and comparisons between the industries; all of which you can use to get a better understanding of the locations that provide higher potential to grow.
The second resource, cost of living calculator, is important because it’s worthwhile to know if you’ll end up sacrificing a good portion of that increase in salary toward basic necessities. A new location may provide a nice bump in pay but if the cost of living is significantly higher than it may negate the incentive behind changing locations.
Entering New Territory
Once you’re settled on a new, possible location for your career it would be in your best interest to set everything in motion while simultaneously revising your career assets.
Consider the following (a process behind making the change in territory):
- Update your resume to cater to the companies you’ve found within the new location. Likewise, revise your LinkedIn profile or update your online portfolio to reflect your desire to work in the new environment.
- Determine how you will move to the new location, as you may end up needing to travel a good distance (even overseas) for this better opportunity. Moving companies like Mayflower offer assistance in completing your move and provide various services and options depending on your budget and needs. You may need logistical help if your move is a big one.
- Upon settling into the new area it would be highly beneficial that you begin attending local meet ups, conferences, and other business-related get-togethers as they will provide you with some of your first professional contacts within the area. The relationships you form at these gatherings can greatly help you succeed in your career at your new location.
Other Items of Note
There are other strategic items worth mentioning:
- Don’t limit your job search to the major job search engines. There are many niche websites which cater to specific industries that often have better opportunities. Do a general [industry] + [job search] in Google and you are bound to find these gems. While you’re at it seek out companies that you feel are great rather than just positions. A great company will let you grow and seek various positions as you qualify for them.
- Don’t burn bridges when you’re making a shift in your career. Give the employer ample amount of time and understanding before you leave. The purpose is less about having a location to fall back on but more about keeping great professional relationships with the individuals, which can lead to entirely new opportunities through networking.
Related: Moving To Get A Job
In conclusion, utilize the Web and its resources to find locations within your field, make the jump to the new location and immediately begin networking, and don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. There are a million great opportunities out there waiting to be had. Don’t limit your talents by merely settling down the moment you’re done training and learning. There’s always something better out there as long as you’re willing to chase it.