Moving without a job? Here's now!

Q. For my next move, I am relocating to Greatville to be near my family. I've been told to wait till I move before job-hunting -- but I'm nervous about moving without a job. A. You are absolutely right to be nervous. Moving without a job gives you the thinnest identity of all. Banks and landlords like to see a number in the block marked "Salary." And socially you're identified by that "What do you do" question. 1. If you're entry level, you may have to move without a job. But if you're senior, companies may conduct national searches to fill your position. They may not give preference to local hires. 2. Before you start packing, identify what's available by talking to people who actually live in the community. Don't rely on stereotypes ("Oh they have everything there!). Sure, you may be moving to a big city, but the style of doing business may create unexpected barriers for someone with your background. Mark had been teaching elementary school for fifteen years -- but the school system wouldn't hire anyone past entry level. Sally had been an award-winning salesperson -- but employers devalued her experience because "we don't sell that way here." 3. Before the movers finish unpacking, begin to network aggressively. Daphne moved to a medium-sized town in the southeast to be near an aging parent. She volunteered for the Chamber of Commerce, the local symphony, the museum and more. Her contacts paid off: she landed a management position within two months. And while she moved without a job, she was soon a newcomer with a job and a wonderful network of resources.