Tips for Moving Out of State: How to Move to a New City Without a Job Lined Up

Moving without a job waiting for you isn’t as uncommon as it seems. Every day, hundreds of people choose to move in favor of better job opportunities, fresh starts, and even love! Unfortunately, a new job doesn’t magically materialize the moment you decide to move.

If you’re itching to make your move happen, don’t let your lack of a job hold you back! Our guide to moving out of state without a new job lined up will help you prep for success and land a position in your new city. 

Before You Move

While relocating with no job might sound like a spontaneous act, it still involves a lot of careful planning! To set yourself up for success, you’ll need to make sure you have enough money saved, build your professional network, and hammer out those job applications. 

Do Your Research

If you’re relocating to find work, scope out your industry’s job market beforehand. You’ll want to be sure your new city has a booming job market in your industry. Though San Francisco and NYC might be the first cities you think of, it’s in your best interests to keep an open mind. Big companies across a variety of industries are beginning to spread out to other parts of the country. As a job hunter, your industry should heavily influence what cities you consider moving to. For example, some of the top cities for tech jobs include Austin, Seattle, and Chicago. 

Even though you’ll need to consider the job market, you should also factor in your hobbies and interests when searching for a new city to call home. Do you like to spend your weekends dancing the night away in a crowded club? Or do you enjoy early morning solo hikes in a calm, scenic mountainscape? Look into the activities and attractions your new city offers to keep you entertained during non-working hours. 

Pad Your Savings Account

Moving can get expensive and result in unexpected costs, so you’ll  need a safety net. First, determine any moving expenses you might have, like gas and hotels (if you’re driving), plane tickets, movers, and apartment deposits. Then, calculate your monthly expenses in your new city. Include essentials, such as rent, groceries, gas, and utilities. You might want to skip small luxuries — like your daily latte —  until you have an employment offer letter in hand.

Make sure you’ve saved enough to cover the cost of moving and at least three to six months of living expenses. Not only does this ensure you can get by without earned income, but it also assures future landlords you can pay the rent.

Build Your Network

As soon as you have a target move date set, contact local recruiters to let them know you’re moving and looking for work. These pros can help you find permanent positions as well as part-time and contract work. If you can swing it, try to visit your soon-to-be new city to attend an in-person networking event or give virtual networking events a shot.

Once you know you’re looking to move, contact LinkedIn connections, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, your alumni network — pretty much anyone you can think of. Ask if they know of any available positions in your field or if they know someone who might. Someone you haven’t seen in years might be able to make a connection!

Ask About Working Remote After You Move

If you’re planning a big move, then you probably know you’re leaving more than two weeks ahead of time. Give your employer plenty of notice — they’ll appreciate the courtesy and might return the favor with a great reference.

While you’re discussing the move, ask if you can continue some or all of your duties remotely. More and more companies are turning to remote or hybrid models. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25%-30% of the workforce will continue to work from home at least part-time by the end of 2021.

Remind your supervisor that if you work remotely, your colleagues won’t have to take on extra tasks while the company hunts for a replacement. This option alleviates everyone’s stress and gives you needed income. 

Start Applying for Jobs

Wondering when to start applying for jobs before moving? Keep in mind it can take weeks to months for an application to turn into a job offer, so start applying as soon as your relocation is certain. When trying to get a job out of state, you must demonstrate to prospective employers that your new city will be your permanent city — at least for the foreseeable future.

Many employers tend to shy away from out-of-state applicants. To increase your odds of landing an interview, use a friend’s address on your application if you haven’t secured an apartment already.

Your cover letter offers a great opportunity to explain your move. Briefly explain that you love your current position but need to live closer to family, for example. Explaining your move can help your prospective employer see you as less of a “flight risk.” Be sure to share your moving timeline during interviews. Discussing your plans will offer potential employers the necessary reassurance that your move is definitely happening, so they can feel confident you won’t back out at the last minute.

Rent an Apartment

Moving without an apartment or job lined up can be rough. Even if you have family or friends to couch surf with, it’s a good idea to get your living arrangements settled ahead of time. 

Finding a place to live can be challenging, especially without a job. You might be asking yourself, “Can I rent without proof of income?” It’s possible, but it takes a bit more work. 

If you have several months of living expenses in savings, then you have a good start at winning over wary landlords. Good documents to have include references, bank statements, credit scores, and a letter from your current landlord. You also might want to have a guarantor ready. 

No matter what kind of apartment living situation you’re looking for, ApartmentSearch makes it easy to find a lease in your new city. Whether you’re looking for short-term rentals or a traditional 1-year lease, ApartmentSearch has advanced filters to help you find an apartment that fits your budget and your needs. 

Browse sites such as SpareRoom for available rooms. If you need to find a roommate in a new city, local Facebook groups dedicated to finding housing or roommates are another great place to look. Many landlords and property managers will let you sign your lease online, so you shouldn’t have to worry about making a trip just to handle the paperwork.

After You Move

You’ve made it to your new city, and you’ve been busy getting settled, trying out new restaurants, and taking in the sights. But there’s still important work to be done! Don’t let the excitement of your move distract you from your job hunt.

Keep Networking and Applying

Now that you’ve arrived in your new city,  you can network in person with those contacts you made months before! Make a stellar impression and opt to meet recruiters at their offices. Take the opportunity to Invite friends of friends out for coffee. Get out of your comfort zone and attend events. If you have your sights set on a few dream companies, ask for informational interviews with hiring managers or other executives.

Don’t forget to keep applying for jobs. With a local address, your chances of landing a job should increase. Until you find a job, you should treat your job search like it is your job. Put in time every day until you get an offer. To avoid burnout, take breaks every now and again. Above all, don’t get discouraged!

Consider Freelance or Part-time Work

Even if you’re looking for a full-time position, don’t rule out temporary and part-time positions. For one, you need the cash. Though it’s not your ideal work situation, a part-time job will enable you to make connections, gain experience, and bolster your portfolio — all of which can help you land your next role. 

Check sites such as Upwork or Fiverr for freelance tech, marketing, and writing jobs. If you’re into the gig economy, then consider driving for DoorDash or taking projects through TaskRabbit. FlexJobs, or CareerBuilder.

Explore Your New City

Searching for a job doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Enjoy your new city and meet people who can possibly connect you to a job. Volunteer your time for causes you care about. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people from various industries, many of whom are willing to help out a new friend.

Deck Out Your New Apartment with Rental Furniture from CORT

Relocating to another state without a job might mean you have to move with only the essentials. Instead of struggling to figure out how to send furniture to another state or settling for an empty apartment, turn to CORT Furniture Rental. We’re here to help you outfit your new home with stylish, quality furniture. 

With flexible leasing options, as well as furniture delivery and set-up included, CORT can help you settle comfortably into your new home — and free up time for you to job search! Browse furniture packages online or visit your local CORT showroom to find quality pieces that suit your lifestyle! 


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