I'm always interested in why people live where they do. It usually has something to do with family and sometimes they moved for a job, but I'm impressed with people who set out to create the lifestyle of their dreams.
Deborah Vazquez, CEO of Boca Raton, Fla., IT staffing firm Protech, mentioned that when I spoke to her recently about IT hiring in south Florida. Living in a place where other people go for vacation? You could do that with the strong demand for IT pros there. She said:
South Florida is a place that people think of for retirement purposes, and we always tell people, "You can work here and enjoy the benefits of what you would enjoy when you retire. Why wait until you retire?"
Why wait? Get down here and enjoy seeing beautiful palm trees on your way to work every day.
She went on to mention that Florida has no state income tax and that some of the more progressive companies offer attractive benefits such as open vacation policies, where there is no set amount of vacation offered. You can take as much as you want as long as you meet all your deadlines and goals.
My colleague Don Tennant has written that being willing to relocate is a great way to get a job. He quoted Scot Melland, CEO of IT career services provider Dice Holdings, saying:
... one of the biggest pieces of advice that we give tech pros who are looking for employment is to be flexible on location. There are, literally, thousands of positions available, and they may not be in your neighborhood. But they're certainly in somebody else's neighborhood. So if you're able to be flexible on geography, you can find some wonderful opportunities out there.
It'd be doubly great, though, if those opportunities lined up with your dream destination.
Just for fun, here's a look at where people are moving, thanks to a study of 2010 migration patterns by Atlas Van Lines. For the past six years, Florida has been "balanced" in the number of shipments coming in and going out.
If only moving were that simple. With so many people under water on their mortgages, it's not. But if you seek a job in another locale, this post at U.S. News & World Report can help. Writer Alison Green points out that it won't be that convenient for a hiring manager to set up an impromptu meeting with you and you probably won't be able to start as quickly, but especially if you have in-demand IT skills, that should be less of a disadvantage.
She recommends explaining your move in your cover letter and again in your resume. Mention that you're happy to travel for an interview and, if it's possible, note that you will not need relocation assistance. Use your network more than ever to find insiders to help with your job search. And she notes that if you go ahead and move, it's easier to find a job as a local candidate.