Funny how everything that happened during my recent relocation was done in reverse of the following recomendations. But then, no one said the armed forces was "logical". LOL

Career Insight

Relocation: Deciding Where to Move By Lauryn Franzoni

In the workplace, you chart your own course. But one day, you may be considering a new job involving a move across town or across the country. It's enough to rock anybody's boat.

But a relocation decision doesn't have to make you seasick. One way to make the experience less unsettling is to make the relocation decision before securing a job offer, rather than the other way around. That involves deciding where you want to move first. Here are some tips for implementing this strategy.

Targeting a Geographic Area--The Personal Side

How you target a geographic area is based on your personal situation and values. For many people, it's a matter of family and home. "Quality of life and family are becoming much more important to managers," says my colleague Rick Taylor of search firm Ratliff & Taylor, Inc.

Many managers target areas where they would like to retire. Warmer climates for sailing or places where you can ski for half the year become more attractive as we inch toward retirement.

You may already be familiar with the target area, especially if you're from the area, went to school, worked or have family there. If you don't know the area, you'll need to check it out. There are many ways to vet an unfamiliar region. One of the most pleasant is to plan a family vacation in the area.

Targeting a Geographic Area--The Professional Side

You also have to do some due diligence on the local job market when targeting an area for relocation. Career counselor Linsey Levine recommends starting this effort at least six months before considering an actual move. "Start with research, which is easy to do online, through local news publications, regional magazines, business journals, etc, and learn as much as you can so you can ask intelligent questions."

Executive coach Beth Hand recommends becoming actively involved with the local media. "If you have a long lead time, write articles that fulfill the business journal's need and present your expertise."

Some Locations to Consider

Many managers decide to relocate because they want a change of scenery. Then they decide where to go. If you don't have a specific locale in mind, a recent American City Business Journals' (ACBJ) analysis is a good source of information on the state of the job market in various locations around the country.

ACBJ found that Phoenix was the major market that created the most jobs in a year--41,200 or nearly 800 per week. The hottest job markets, according to ACBJ:

Las Vegas, NV;
Dover, DE;
Laredo, TX; and
Green Bay, WI.
The coldest:

Saginaw, MI;
Enid, OK;
Cape Cod, MA; and
Salinas, CA.

Other cities that received high scores: St. Louis; Glen Falls, NY; Washington/Baltimore; Charleston, SC; McAllen, TX; Bryan, TX; Daytona Beach, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Dubuque, IA; Waterloo, IA; Casper, WY; and Reno, NV.

Small Business: ABCJ listed Portland, ME as the large market leader for small businesses among the 91 U.S. metro areas it analyzed over the last year. Medium market Bend, OR and small market Bozeman, MT were also recognized for their support of companies with fewer than 100 employees.

Unemployment Rates: The U.S. Department of Labor found that Yuma, AZ led the nation in unemployment in October 2004 at 20 percent. Six California cities rounded out the top 10 for the highest unemployment rates. I wonder which cities were cited?

Bryan/College Station, TX boasted the lowest rate of unemployment during October 2004, measuring just 1.7 percent, followed by Fargo, ND/Moorehead, MN and Gainesville, FL at 2 percent each.

Next week I'll have more tips on finding the best location for your career move.

Wishing you career success!

Lauryn Franzoni
ExecuNet
www.execunet.com.

Author Biography - Lauryn Franzoni

Lauryn Franzoni is Vice President and Executive Editor of ExecuNet's Center for Executive Careers( www.execunet.com ) the leading Internet-based resource for executive career market trend and management information. She is responsible for market research, website and publications content, and overseeing the company's Executive Career Management and Networking Services.

Ms. Franzoni joined ExecuNet in 2004 bringing extensive experience in the specialized information industry including product development and community building for electronic/internet communications and print media for corporations and non-profit organizations. Throughout her career, Ms. Franzoni has been responsible for the training, career path development, recruitment and retention for an international creative workforce.

Prior to joining ExecuNet, Ms. Franzoni was Senior Vice President/Group Publisher at Gilder Publishing LLC, where she served as the company's chief marketing officer and directed all internal and external operations of four advanced technology publishing franchises for the think tank led by internationally acclaimed technology visionary George Gilder.

From 1993-2000 Ms. Franzoni was Director of Hart Europe Ltd. (London) and Vice President of Phillips Business Information (Washington, D.C.), where she led international energy newsletter, database and magazine publishing operations with offices in London, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Houston and Washington, D.C.

In addition to post-graduate finance and language studies, Ms. Franzoni holds an MA in journalism and public affairs from The American University and a BA in American Studies from Dickinson College.