For Those Who Cannot Relocate

Stephanie Noell, Head Editor, INALJ Texas

For Those Who Cannot Relocate

stephanienoellAs a job hunter, you may have people, blogs, and news articles telling you that you need to relocate to get a job (especially the one you want), but relocation may not be an option for you. You might have family obligations such as taking care of elderly parents or your kid is about to be a senior in high school or your partner has a solid job that is nontransferable or any number of other situations. If you find yourself in this situation, you have to be extra creative in your job hunt, but it is totally doable! Here are a few steps you can follow to build your own regional job search:

1. Consider how far you can travel! This is one of the most important questions you have to ask yourself when you cannot relocate. If you live in an urban area, you will have a lot of options in a small search area. If you live in a more rural area, you might have to have a larger search area or have a broader range of search prospects.

a. How far you can travel is not just dependent on how much time you want to spend commuting every day, but also on travel costs. If you live an area with decent public transportation, travel costs will be relatively low for you. If you live in an area with little to no public transport, then you have to figure in gas costs and vehicle maintenance. As travel costs become more expensive, the salary range you have to look for goes up.

2. Think outside of the box! As you look for your job, think about what you’d like to be doing. Outside of job titles, think about what skills you possess that you want to put into any given position. The INALJ page is super helpful for coming up with potential job title searches (just look under the KEYWORDS FOR JOB SEARCHING box)! You will want to use both your skills and potential job titles in your searches, but first you have to come up with a list of job sources for your area.

3. Do a search! Once you have an idea of how far you are able to travel and what kinds of jobs you are looking for, use your map service of choice to locate potential employers within that range (e.g., Google Maps, MapQuest, and others, though these two are the ones I would recommend). Start with the most obvious employers. For example, if you want to work in libraries, first search for your address, then, when it comes up on the map, click on Search/Find Nearby, and type in your search term (in this case “library”). If you have never built a map using Google Maps or MapQuest, I would recommend checking out the following instructional pages: Google Maps & MapQuest.

a. If you need to broaden your search options, consult your INALJ regional pages for more jobline and employer ideas!

4. Build your own job hunt map! For each result that is within your search area, Save it to a new map. Google Maps is good for determining what is within your search area because it will automatically shows how far each result is from your home.

a. Once you have built your map of every potential employer within your search area, you can go in and add things like links to their HR/career pages to the Notes/Description area for that location.

Now that you have built yourself a map of regional employers, you have a list you can check whenever you are looking for new job postings! You can customize these maps in many ways, like with different icons or anything other links/information you want to add. Also, whenever you find a new potential employer, you can automatically add them to your map! (If you want to see my early effort at regional library mapmaking, check out my Google Map from two years ago.)

Stephanie Noell is a Special Collections Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. She earned her BA in Philosophy from the University of West Florida and her MA in Philosophy and MSLIS from the University of North Texas. In her spare time, she collects comic books and supports the arts in as many ways as possible.

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