Relocation in the 20th Century and the 21st Century

Back in the 1980s and 1990s (yes, I know, way before your time), I thought of relocating from New York City. Except for the first year of my life I have always lived here. As I began to travel for work, leisure, visited Europe as I married a woman from The Netherlands, my curiosity was aroused about different places and a different lifestyle.

I thought of many places but was most serious about Atlanta, Minneapolis and Las Vegas. The economy was important; a city that was growing, had a reputation for friendly people, recreational opportunities and was different in character from New York. You can see I was open to different climates.

In those days, I would send away, and enjoyed getting mail, from the city I targeted. Apartment complexes in Atlanta, pleading with me to visit their building was much more pleasing than the reaction I received when I considered moving in New York. I visited Las Vegas apartments and was shown around by a very nice person from the American Marketing Association. We saw a modern apartment complex with a swimming pool. When I asked if I would have to pay a brokers fee, he advised me to keep my voice down and not to give them any ideas! I remember reading there are two seasons in Minneapolis-July and winter. My wife and I visited in July.

By the end of 1990s, New York became a safer place to live and my wife and I decided to stay here. The need to do something different with my life had already encouraged me to change my career from an Accountant to an Executive Recruiter. By now I was finally having some success in my new career, my wife had a good job at a major company so we stayed put.

So what advice can I give from my experiences?

*It sounds obvious but visit the city you are considering before making serious moving decisions. See where people live, not just the tourist areas.

*Ask people what it is like to live there. Last century I did not have first degree LinkedIn connections or Facebook Friends or Twitter followers from the cities I was interested in. It is 2018, I have social media friends now and so do you. Ask them about the pros and cons of the town they live in. Some people may not want you to be their next door neighbors but they will be flattered that you are considering their location.

*Seek out people that have been successful in relocating . People generally enjoy talking about their successes and will tell you the good, and how they overcame the bad, from their decision.

*If you are married or living with someone let them know you are thinking about a move to a particular place and get their input.

*Try to get a job before you move to your new location. The job placement process takes longer than ever. Use your vacation time to visit the city. Let Recruiters and employers there know you are coming to town and make an appointment to see them. If you can’t get anyone to see you, it may be a signal it will be difficult to get a job in your desired location. You may as well know now and consider that.

*Unless the employer has recruited you, be open to pay for your trip to meet them and for relocation costs. Some employers might help you out, and you might be able to negotiate it as part of your package. However, unless your skills are very much in demand, I suggest you try to be flexible. I haven’t studied the new tax law but business relocation expenses, in the past, were tax deductible, under certain circumstances.

*Be honest with your Recruiter. I have had people look me in the eye and tell me how much they wanted to work in New York and/or be with family and friends here. When the offer comes, they decided to stay where they were. Recruiters can be skeptical to work with out-of-town candidates based on past experiences. Be prepared to overcome their objections.

*Know if an Executive Recruiter can help you. A New York Public Relations contingency recruiter, like me, for mid-level and some senior-level (but not very senior-level) jobs is expected to find local candidates for New York jobs. It makes the process much easier if someone is already here. There are also many PR professionals in this region. When a job is outside this region, companies are more flexible about working with out-of-town candidates. There are a lot less PR professionals outside of the New York metro area. Depending on the job, local recruiters are probably your best bet. Your experience with other Recruiters might be different but that is how it has been for me. So I can’t get you a job in Denver. In a better world, I could.

The whole subject of relocation came to me as I read CNBC’s “The 10 best places to find a job in 2018” article. Someone from North Dakota, on LinkedIn mentioned that North Dakota does well on these surveys despite their harsh winters. Fargo is listed #12 and Bismarck is #14 in the most recent report.

To digress, it reminded me of former CBS journalist Eric Sevareid comments on growing up in Velva, North Dakota. Hopefully it has gotten better than when he was born there in 1912. Except for the coyotes, it sounds like the weather here in New York City!

“It was a trial of the human spirit just to live there, and a triumph of faith and fortitude for those who stayed on through the terrible blasting of summer winds, the merciless suns, through the frozen darkness of the winters when the deathly mourn of the coyote seemed at times to be the only signal of life.”

So keep that in mind just in case you are thinking of moving to Velva, North Dakota.

Those are my thoughts on relocation. I might come up with something else and revise this article. I’m not an expert on the subject but I have gone through the process of thinking about it and, as an Executive Recruiter, I talk to people who want to do it. It’s a new year so maybe this is something to consider as you set your 2018 goals.

If you have anything to add, I’d like to know your experiences.

BAP EXECUTIVE SEARCH LLC specializes in placing public relations, communications, investor relations, marketing and social media professionals in mid- to senior level professionals at corporations, public relations firms and non-profits across all industries in full-time positions.

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