How to find a job in a different city

How to find a job in a different city

Is the job market slow in your city? Or perhaps your dream employer is located in another state? Maybe you’ve just always dreamed of working in another country? If so, here's how to understand the logistics involved then think outside your geographic boundaries to land that perfect role.

The boring stuff

Let’s start with the critical things, like remembering that if you are changing countries you may need a work visa. It’s also important to make sure you can afford to live the life you want in a new city, so check out the cost of real estate and other practical matters.

Then there’s the cost of moving itself. It’s less likely these days that companies will cover your relocation expenses - those who do may cross you off the list if they think you’ll cost more and hire local instead if they have the option. Think about whether this is a bank account drainer and if you have the resources to cover yourself if necessary.

It goes without saying that if you have a partner, children, pets and other dependents, you need to factor in all of their requirements too.

Finding the interstate or overseas job

We live in a virtual world these days so treat your job search as more about networking and less about geography. Tap into your alumni and LinkedIn networks for possible openings. Ask friends. Scout through local job sites and approach recruiters and employers directly.

It’s worth providing an explanation in your cover letter as to why you want to move. You don’t have to reveal highly personal information, just come up with an enthusiastic and exciting reason why you want to experience a new city, and be convincing as to why you won’t disappear after two weeks with home sickness.

You also need to prepare for long-distance interviews which are likely to happen in the first instance by telephone, teleconferencing or Skype. If you are going to be coming up on someone’s screen, remember to dress the part and find a good backdrop – it’s not professional for them to see a pile of your dirty washing in the background.

Make the first move

If you’re really serious about relocating, try to spend some time in your preferred location. You may not be able to commit to the full move, but short, well-planned trips will enable you to understand the city better and be available for face-to-face interviews.

Once you have a trip planned, it’s often a great reason to reach out to recruiters and potential employers with a highly reasonable excuse for seeing you at a specific time.

Be selective when finding a job overseas

Unless you’re job seeking in another city for employment reasons only, make sure you don’t take a job that’s geographically attractive – but nothing else.

Moving cities is stressful – often you will be leaving behind an established network of friends, family and colleagues that you may not realise you relied on. If the job ends up being a dud, the whole experience is likely to go downhill fast as well.

Think local to go global

If patience is your virtue, the most effective way to work in another location could actually be in the very city you live in right now. Many companies have offices across the country, or even the globe, and may be open to the idea of staff transferring. 

It’s never a good idea to accept a role purely on the basis of a future transfer, so make sure that this is feasible in the first place by doing your research, and that you’re happy with the role you’re in before you start packing your bags for foreign shores.

Finding a job in another city is likely to take time and possibly money when you factor in travel and relocation costs. But it is possible and we hope these tips help get you going!


CPA Career Mentor


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