Question: I live in Australia and I'm moving to the Twin Cities. How should I go about finding a job that is similar to what I currently do?
Matt: Think of all the steps you take when you look for a job - whether you are relocating or not. Those rules still apply, but they're just in a different city, state and country.
Let everyone in your network - friends, family and professional contacts - know you are relocating. Chances are someone has experience with this and has information, resources or contacts to help you.
Next, find a professional organization in the field and city where you are hoping to find a job. Get in touch with members and explain your goals to them. Contact local chambers of commerce and state employment offices to tap their network and resources. Check the employment section on the websites of employers you would like to work for.
Go Back To School
If you are a college graduate, be sure to check with your alumni organization. "Alumni organizations are great sources of information, and job seekers often can find and contact alumni who are working in the city where they want to move," says Barbara Laporte, director of Career Services in the School of Public Health at University of Minnesota. Laporte spends a lot of time assisting grad students in their job search efforts, often in places other than Minnesota, and leads a class called "The Long Distance Job Search."
This is also a time to start saving money, because at some point you are going to have to visit your potential new home town for an interview, and to get a feel for the city. Be prepared to pay for your own travel or relocation expenses - not every company will cover that for you. It's also important to research regional salary data, and compare that to the local cost of living.
Finding a place to live is also a challenge. It may be best to rent or find a temporary living space so you can check out different neighborhoods and get a feel for a community before moving to a permanent home.
If you have to move to a new location and don't have a job lined up, find a temporary agency or part-time job to keep things moving forward while searching for a job in your new location. It's not ideal, but you may gain a better understanding of the local market - and that could be an advantage when deciding what jobs to accept or apply for.
Matt Krumrie is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, and has nine years of experience reporting on the employment industry. The first Sunday of each month this column will answer readers' questions. E-mail questions or subject ideas to email@example.com.