Sometimes, it pays to move when looking for a better job


Q: I’ve been looking for a job for a few months. Everyone I know is getting job offers except me. I’m in Chicago, I love Chicago, I don’t want to leave Chicago ever. But I’m not finding anything here. Should I move to find a job?

A: First, I hear your pain, especially as everyone in your world is landing jobs. And it sounds like you definitely don’t want to move. I totally get it. What I’m going to say is based on what I’ve seen work and what hasn’t worked, but ultimately your decision to move is yours to make.

I’ve seen people struggle in certain locations, hang on too long, go into debt only to realize when they hit rock bottom (i.e., ran out of funds), that it was time to move. Their only regret? Not moving sooner.

My take if I were in your shoes — and again, this is your personal decision to make — would be to look at this as an opportunity to explore a new area, perhaps one with a lower cost of living. I would go where the jobs are and I would line one up before moving. If you have a specific location in mind and the industry and/or path you work in is hot, I would start pursuing opportunities and networking to focus on those interviews.

Another line of thought is to move to a location and interview there especially if you know people who already live there and have a place to temporarily stay. But with the prevalence of video interviews, you can most likely get a job offer somewhere without having to be in person for the interview or certainly without having to move there first.

Remember, Chicago isn’t going anywhere, and you can always return home to visit before eventually moving back. But hey, you never know, you may relocate and really enjoy the change of scenery!

Q: Now that I have a social life again, I need to network, but more importantly, please give me an example of an elevator pitch. I work in pharma sales. I need a new one.

A: Thanks for asking as we collectively brush off our rusty social skills. Here are a couple of things to remember about an elevator pitch: It’s succinct, it’s memorable and it should come across as authentic, not canned or scripted. If you’re looking for a job, indicate that or if you’re looking for new clients, specify that. Essentially, be crystal clear as to who you’re looking to meet/what you’re looking for.

Okay, here’s an example: “I’ve worked in pharma sales for the past 10 years and love it! Humblebrag time, I won an award last year for $2M in new clients and I’m ready for the next level as a national sales director. Do you know anyone at (insert company name)?”

You can include an ask when you describe who you are. The shorter, the better.

Also, you may want to practice with a friend or family member. Give your pitch (30 seconds or less) and then ask them to repeat it. What do they remember? What don’t they remember? Then you’ll know how to better stick the landing.

— Tribune News Service

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