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

Moving without a job waiting isn’t as flighty as it seems. People move for better career prospects, for a lower cost of living, to live near family, or even just to fulfill a lifelong dream. But in many cases, a job doesn’t materialize precisely on cue.

With advance planning, you can move to a new city without having a job lined up. And if you play your cards right, you won’t be out of work for long. Follow these tips for moving out of state and landing a job quickly. Learn how to get a job in another state — maybe even before you arrive — as well as find a place to live and make important career contacts.

Before You Move

Plump Up Your Savings Account

Moving without a job can be rough without a safety net. Calculate your monthly expenses in your new city. Include essentials, such as rent, groceries, gas, and utilities, as well as nonessentials, such as restaurant meals and lattes.

Make sure you have at least three to six months of living expenses saved before you move. Not only does this ensure you can get by without earned income, it also assures future landlords you can pay the rent.

White piggy bank on a wood table

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.

At the same time, 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 point you to the perfect connection.

Ask About Telecommuting

If you’re planning a big move, then you probably know you’re leaving more than two weeks ahead of time. Give your current employer generous advance notice. They appreciate the courtesy and are more likely to 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. According to the 2017 Virtual Vocations Year-End Report, 20 to 25 percent of U.S. workers telecommute at least part of the time.

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 eases the stress on everyone and gives you some needed income.

Woman telecommuting using MacBook Pro and iPhone with coffee nearby

Start Applying for Jobs

It takes weeks to months for an application to turn into a job offer, so start applying as soon as your relocation is certain. Knowing how to get a job out of state is relatively simple; you must demonstrate to prospective employers that your new city will be your permanent city — at least for the foreseeable future.

Many employers shy away from applicants applying for jobs out of state. To increase your odds of landing an interview, use a friend’s address on your application. If you secure an apartment in advance of your move, then you’re already covered.

In your cover letter, explain why you’re moving. If you briefly explain that you love your current position but need to live closer to family, for example, then your prospective employer may see you as less of a “flight risk.”

Rent an Apartment

If you’re moving to city with a competitive rental market, such as San Francisco, finding a place to live can be challenging. 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.

Before you move, browse sites such as Craigslist for available rentals. If you can make a quick trip shortly before your move date, then you may be able to sign a lease while you’re there. Otherwise, you may need to find a place as soon as you arrive.

Ryan Carrigan, cofounder of MoveBuddha, an online moving resource, says it’s common for people to apartment hunt post-move. If you go this route, then take advantage of storage offers.

“Most moving companies offer 30 days of free storage, so you have some time to apartment hunt,” he says. “The only drawback is you usually have no access to your items while in storage. If you think you may need a few months of storage or need access to your items while storing, a portable storage container is a good option.”

After You Move

Keep Networking

Now that you’ve arrived in your new city, you can network in person with those contacts you made months before. Meet recruiters in person. Invite friends of friends out for coffee. If you have your sights set on a few dream companies, then ask for informational interviews with hiring managers or other executives.

Also, keep applying for jobs. With a local address, your chances increase. Treat your job search like a job. Put in time every day until you get an offer.

Three women in suits sitting at a conference table conducting a job interview

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. You also get to meet more people and gain more experience, both of which serve your job search well.

Check sites such as Upwork for freelance tech, marketing, and writing jobs. If you’re into the gig economy, then consider driving for Lyft or taking projects through Task Rabbit. FlexJobs, CareerBuilder, and Craigslist also offer many opportunities.

Explore Your New City

You’ve arrived. 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.

While you’re developing your social calendar, attend industry events and business networking events. Contact professional associations with local chapters for additional networking opportunities.

Young man with backpack walking around new city after moving

When you move out of state without a job lined up, you may have to move with only the essentials. If that’s the case, then don’t settle for an empty apartment. CORT Furniture Rental can outfit a room or your entire 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 while freeing up more of your time for the job search.

Find your style