Considering Relocation? Do Your Research!
By Wendy J. Terwelp

While job searching and relocating simultaneously seem like daunting tasks, there are several steps you can take to begin your search.

First, don't make a move without having a job in place!

Next, you can search for jobs online or at the library. You'll need to use both to find out more about the city where you plan to relocate. The library should have newspapers from those cities. Some newspapers may also be published online.

Don't just comb the "want-ads." Find out what the cities are like. Who are the movers and shakers? What is the environment like? Read the business sections thoroughly. This will give you an idea of the city's economic climate. Are there lots of small businesses? Is there only one giant corporation? Who are the players? The "mover/shaker" sections can be goldmines of information. They can tell you what company is landing the most contracts as well as who the latest company officials are. Get names of companies and executives.

Another way to get names of companies and contacts is through the city's Chamber of Commerce. The chamber can be a wealth of information, especially if they publish a membership directory. Directories can often be found online at the chamber's website. If they're not available online, the majority of chambers of commerce will let you purchase their paper directories. They are a great resource, because they not only give you names of companies, but names of contacts and addresses as well.

Once you find out names of companies that sound the most promising, you need to find out specific information about those companies (such as financial information via annual reports). You can research these companies via their web sites as well as through Dun & Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory, Thomas Register, and Manufacturer's Guide among others.

Online tools can include www.hoovers.com and www.corporateinformation.com. Additionally, you can use online search engines to find the company's address, so you can get an idea of how near the company may be to your new home. You can also see if the companies have stories about them in Inc. Magazine, Fast Company or Forbes.

After you've completed this basic research, you'll have a much better understanding of what opportunities may be available to you as well as the type of companies in the area where you plan to relocate.

Additional tools for relocating can include posting to job search engines and e-mailing to recruiters.

Wendy J. Terwelp is the President of Opportunity Knocks™, an organization that provides professional resume writing, career assessment, and career coaching services to a diverse clientele.