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Making the Plan

You've made the decision. You are making the move, and now you need to make a plan. The thrill of a new opportunity across miles can easily be overshadowed by the logistical avalanche of the steps involved in a long-distance relocation for work. Saying goodbye to familiar streets and routines, sorting through belongings you hold dear, and navigating the unknowns of a new city –  just the thought of it can be enough to make anyone's head spin. Take a deep breath, you're not alone. This is a big transition, and it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. But remember, amidst the packing boxes and goodbyes, lies an exciting chapter waiting to unfold. Trust your instincts, lean on your support system, and take things one step at a time. This move, while challenging, has the potential to propel you forward in remarkable ways. So let's tackle this planning piece together.

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Step 1: Getting Started

Set priorities

Avoid jumping from one challenging situation to another. Before making a move, carefully define your goals for employment and your personal life. Consider the impact on family members who may be relocating with you or living separately. Outline the options you're willing to explore and any time lines such as how long you may be willing to relocate for. Different work and living arrangements, such as temporary separation from family or maintaining households in two locations with periodic commuting, can be viable. It's essential to know your preferences, tolerances, and non-negotiables in order to make informed decisions about your next steps.

Plan out a targeted job search 

Before you start job hunting, think about what kind of work you're into and what skills you bring to the table. In remote job searches, it's especially important to have specific goals because you might only get one shot to stand out among local talent. If you're unsure about the type of work you want, check out NIEFS Career Research for some ideas.      





Make a list of what you will need 

You might not have all the details for your move to find work yet, but start with what you already know you'll need. Identify the qualifications required by employers in your target area and be open to upgrading or refreshing your skills if needed, including meeting inter-provincial standards if applicable. If you find you're missing some of the qualifications employers are looking for, reach out to a NIEFS for info on training and possible financial supports you may be eligible for.

Don't forget the financial planning

Determine the financial supports you will need for a long-distance job search and consider the costs associated with relocating and living in a new community. Utilize the various free budget calculators online to assist in planning and understanding the potential expenses involved.  Try negotiating relocation costs when negotiating salary in the interview process.

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Step 2 - Research Your Destination

Getting familiar with the local scene can significantly ease your job search and relocation process. The more you understand about the employment landscape at your destination, the better equipped you'll be to seize opportunities. Keep in mind though, while the Internet is a fantastic resource for research, nothing beats connecting with someone on the ground, whether they have a job lead or are already living where you aspire to be.

Reach out to friends, relatives, or colleagues residing in your potential new location; inform them of your plans and ensure they have copies of your resume. When conducting a long-distance job search or deciding on a new location, three key things to explore include:

1. Employer base

  • Try to find out who's who and who's hiring in your field and how to contact them. Most companies have websites where you can find this kind of information. 




2. Industry trends

  • Take a close look at the economic landscape in different communities, as certain industries and their associated areas often experience pronounced economic fluctuations. Consider the booms and busts of certain sectors/industries before you make your final decision
  • It's crucial to monitor industry trends in diverse locations to avoid potential setbacks during downturns. Each industry has its own distinctive business cycles and trends and staying on top of these cycles can help you make well informed decisions
  • Check out NIEFS Labour Market links for more resources on industry trends

3. The Community itself             

  • Finding a place to stay, figuring out transportation, and discovering activities beyond work are all crucial when making a move. To save time and make the transition smoother, it's wise to sort out your living situation and get to know the local transportation and community offerings in advance. 
  • In bustling job markets, remember that finding accommodation can be even more tricky than landing a job. In some communities, work is plentiful, but housing is not. 

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a woman holding a job candidates resume in her hands as she reads it


Step 3 - Get Your Job Search Tools Ready

Having a well-equipped job search toolkit is indispensable in navigating the competitive landscape of employment. Just as a trades person relies on quality tools for precision, an effective job seeker needs a polished resume, a compelling cover letter, and a strong online presence. 

Networking skills serve as a versatile wrench, connecting you with opportunities, while a proactive and adaptable mindset functions as a multi-tool, enabling you to tackle various challenges. Continuous learning and staying updated on industry trends act as top of the line power tools, ensuring you stay relevant and competitive. With a robust toolkit, a job seeker is better equipped to dismantle barriers, construct opportunities, and build a successful career foundation.

  • Be sure to refresh your resume, dust off your certificates, and call up your references

  • To polish up your resume and job search skills, take a browse through these NIEFS Job Search Resources.

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Step 4 - Making Contacts

Networking remains a powerful and effective way to find a job. While other job search methods, such as online job boards and company websites, play important roles, networking offers unique advantages. 

This can be one of the most challenging steps people encounter when looking for work either at home or away. What adds to the challenge for a  long distance job seeker is that it's harder to establish that personal connection with an employer. Your arsenal includes the internet, phone, fax, email.

Here's a good process to follow when making contacts:

  • Tell everyone you know you are looking for work (what kind and where) and ask them if they know anyone who might have a lead for you. Ask them if you can use their name or if they can arrange an introduction
  • Next, ask anyone else you talk about work with if they know of any opportunities, or other people that might be good for you to contact about work 



  • If you run out of leads above, try making some cold calls
  • Do your research, make a list of those companies you would like to work for and get contact info
  • Contact those companies with an email/letter of introduction, include a resume that you have targeted to their specific hiring needs
  • Follow up to make sure your email and resume were received. Be prepared to be interviewed over the phone, but don't expect it. Ask about future opportunities and  what kinds of qualifications they would be looking for   
  •  Ask if they would like to spend more time reviewing your qualifications either by phone or in person? Arrange a convenient time to call back or if in person, let them know when you will be in town and try to set up an appointment.
  • Repeat until you find work.


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Step 5 - Make Your Move

You've figured out your plan, gathered your resources and you are about to get packed. Now it's decision time. Your anxiety level is less because of all this prior preparation and you know more about what you are getting into. Maybe you've even got some promising prospects for work.

If you've made the decision to move, take one last look at it from these angles:

1. Does it fit with your employment and personal goals?

2. Does it stand a good chance of paying off (covering your costs and meeting your financial needs)

3. Does it work for the others who are important your life?

4. What does your intuition say about it - do you need more time to sleep on it?

A few last tips if you decide to go:

  • Save your receipts for travel, moving, costs of conducting a job search, and even living. You never know - they may come in handy at income tax time (for more details, talk to an accountant or check out Revenue Canada's website).

  • Leave a number where you can be reached daily because you never know when a job opportunity will come along, and inevitably it will come up when you're on the road. Be sure to keep checking your email daily!