Written by: Taylor Woods, Account Executive
Small town girl. That’s the last term I would use to describe myself. Unfortunately, it’s extremely true. I went to high school in a rural community in a small town and graduated with about 120 other students. Now, I am about to graduate college in a town that’s even smaller.
So to know that in less than eight months, we will all have the option to go WHEREVER WE WANT is huge to me. Some people my age have already been around the world and back. Props to them for living their dream and getting some education out of it too. The rest of us (or me at least) are dreaming of the day where we can unlock the door to our brand new apartment in the middle of a big city.
But that’s not to say it won’t be a little daunting. In fact, it’s terrifying. What if you don’t know anyone? What if you are a long way from home? What if you get lost trying to find the nearest grocery store (yes, this has happened to me).
What if… you don’t have a job?
Making the move to a big, expensive city with no job security may be a college graduate’s biggest nightmare. But relax, a PR pro is here to help!
Finding a public relations job in a new city is a lot different than other types of job searching. For us, it’s all about networking. Ugh, that awful term, networking. But it may be easier than you think:
Moving Tip #1: Get on LinkedIn. Enough said right? If you haven’t started a LinkedIn profile get on it now because it will be an immensely useful networking tool down the road. Connect with people in the city you are considering and/or the industry you want to work in. This is done best if you have a connection or group in common.
Moving Tip #2: Ask companies you are interested in for informational interviews. These can be done over the phone or via video conference. Start asking now so that the person on the other side has plenty of time to fit you into their schedule. After your interview goes flawlessly, bam! you have a new connection.
Moving Tip #3: If you still have time, work hard to find an internship in the city you would like to move to. This I have firsthand experience in as I just spent the summer interning three and a half hours from home at the organization of my dreams. Not only did I build relationships at multiple organizations, I also got a trial run at the city life. This is the ultimate networking tool if you can pull it off.
Moving Tip #4: Save your money. City life is expensive. Rent is higher, transportation is not cheap, and the food, though delicious, is a budget buster. So if you are potentially moving somewhere to live with increased expenses and no income, you better have some savings built up. Hold off on this year’s pumpkin spice lattes and throw another four dollars in that dream city jar.
Moving Tip #5: Finally, if you are hesitating with the decision of whether to move without a job offer, consider a pro-con list. To the cons, you can add money, uncertainty, and family. To the pros, don’t forget that employers looking to hire are less likely to look outside of their geographical area if they can find what they need right next door. In a big city, this is almost certain. So don’t be afraid to move before you have total job security, because chances are you will have better luck once you have done so.
So now you are ready to leave the weeds and hit the bricks. Good luck on your job hunts collegiates! Save me a slice of awesome city pizza when you get there.