Do you love the idea of waking up every day in beautiful San Diego?
Living right on the Pacific Ocean?
Enjoying the incredible weather and all the fun things to do?
You’re certainly not alone. It seems like just about everyone who’s ever lived in San Diego would recommend the city and most who visit feel the pull to return as soon as possible.
Are you convinced that San Diego is the city for you?
If so, don’t start packing your things just yet. First, you need to know how to get a job before you move to San Diego.
How to Get a Job Before You Move to San Diego
Fortunately, learning how to get a job before you move to San Diego is probably a lot easier than you think.
Just follow the nine simple steps listed below and you’ll be living and working in beautiful San Diego before you know it.
1. Give Yourself as Much Time as Possible
It’s difficult to estimate how long it will take to land a new job in San Diego.
Obviously, a lot of it will depend on what kind of job you’re looking for and in what industry.
Perhaps the most common way of estimating how long it takes to find a job is to assume a month for every $10,000 you hope to earn. So if you are hoping to make $50,000 a year, you should give yourself 5 months.
This is why learning about how to get a job before you move to San Diego should also entail looking at the city’s cost of living. You may need to plan to make significantly more than you currently do in order to maintain the standard of living to which you’ve become accustomed.
The good news is that San Diego’s employment rate is growing even while its unemployment rate is already well below the national average. So companies are definitely looking to hire. Nonetheless, given how much time they can often take with their hiring process, you’d be smart to learn how to get a job before you move to San Diego as soon as possible. The more time you can give yourself, the better.
2. Start Saving Money
Another reason to give yourself a lot of time to find a new job in San Diego is because you want to give your budget plenty of room before the actual day you depart.
First, use a standard-of-living calculator to get a sense for how much you’ll need to cover your monthly living expenses. While you should have your first paycheck within two weeks of starting your new job, you don’t want to cut it too close with your budget.
Second, begin considering how you’ll spend during the actual move. Will you drive there and pay for movers to transport your possessions? Will you fly?
For many people, it’s worth selling a lot of their larger items (e.g. furniture) to simplify and help pay for the move.
3. Rehearse Your Explanation for Moving
As you can probably imagine, once you begin telling your friends and family about your decision to move to a new city, you’re going to face a barrage of questions.
Many of those questions will probably be about how you’ll get a job before you move to San Diego, too.
Potential employers are going to be equally curious about your reasons. They won’t even consider someone if they think the person isn’t 100% serious about moving to and working in San Diego for years to come.
So while you’ll get plenty of practice answering questions from your loved ones, take some time to polish your response a bit, as well. You’ll want to include your reasoning somewhere in your cover letter or initial application, but you’ll probably also get asked about it if you land an interview.
4. Think About Where You Want to Live in San Diego
San Diego’s a big city with a metropolitan population that reaches approximately 3.1 million people.
However, despite the fact that it’s the country’s eighth largest city, San Diego is extremely spread out. Only about 50% of the city is considered “urban.”
This means that it would be wise to think long and hard about where in the city you want to live before looking for jobs. Otherwise, you could end up with an unrealistic commute you’ll be quick to abandon.
The advanced search options on most popular job sites will help you target openings around the areas you want to live.
Don’t forget about using Craigslist, either. You can choose the category of job you’re most interested in and then search by whichever area you want.
5. Create Job Alerts
Although advanced searches can be very helpful, you don’t want to do them over and over again.
Instead, as you find companies you like in areas you want to live, create job alerts that will notify you when there are openings that match your criteria. This will save you a lot of time, which you can then spend focused on using other tactics.
6. Reach Out to Companies Directly
Specifically, you should be contacting companies directly.
Far too many people think that companies aren’t hiring if they’re not actively posting job openings. They may be posting internally first or asking their employees to send in references.
That doesn’t mean they won’t accept your cover letter and resume, though.
Also, you can always use LinkedIn to reach out to people at these companies and ask about current openings or opportunities in the near future.
Check all of your current connections, too, across every one of your social media platforms. Do you know anyone who already lives in San Diego? If so, they might know people who are hiring.
At the end of the day, if you show a company that you can provide them with value, they’re most likely going to find a way to hire you.
7. Acquire a Certified Professional Degree
Even with San Diego’s expanding economy, you should expect a good amount of competition when applying for jobs.
Keep in mind, too, that a lot of that competition is going to be from local residents. They’ll often have a leg up on you simply because they’re already living nearby.
That’s why you should add a certified degree to your resume.
For one thing, certified degrees are always powerful additions to any resume. No matter where you plan on working in the future, that credential will grab attention.
However, it’s also going to be a good sign to job hirers in San Diego that you’re serious about your career here and not just entertaining a recent urge to try out a new city.
8. Plan to Spend a Week in San Diego
One way to do this is by physically showing up for interviews.
Many potential employers may be perfectly happy to offer you the opportunity to do virtual interviews. It’s important that you take them just as seriously as the traditional version (e.g. dress to impress, be ready on time, etc.).
Nonetheless, if you can tell employers that you’ll be in town during a certain week in the not-too-distant future, that will do two things:
- Show them that you’re serious about moving to San Diego
- Give them a timeline with which to work – they either need to tell you “no” or find time in their schedule
As we touched on earlier, learning how to get a job before you move to San Diego has a lot to do with learning where you want to live, as well, so this will also give you a great opportunity to look at potential homes in person.
9. Consider Doing Temp Work
If all else fails, consider working as a temp in San Diego.
While this is probably far from your dream job, it will at least earn you a local address, which will make a huge difference as you continue to search for openings.
Of course, this will also help you expand your local network throughout San Diego, which, as we already covered, you can tap to find companies that are hiring.
Make Your Relocation to San Diego a Serious Priority
Assuming you’re currently employed and have a social life, you’re probably already pretty busy. You may currently struggle just to find time in your week for essential tasks like doing your laundry and keeping your place tidy.
That said, you still need to prioritize your relocation if it’s ever to become a reality. Remember: you’re competing against every other person in the city who’s looking for a similar role as you. Plenty of other people are out there learning how to get a job before they move to San Diego, too. They’re competitors, as well.
So if you’re really committed to this goal, make sure you’re consistently taking actions toward it each and every day. Whether that means sending in another application, setting a new job alert, or connecting with someone on LinkedIn, keep at it and you’ll eventually get there.
Yada is not just the leader of the Project Management Training Institute (PMTI). He helped to write significant portions of the project management standards worldwide. He is helping PMI right now in reviewing, directing, and leading the development of the 7th edition of the PMBOK(r) Guide to incorporate the most monumental changes to project management standards in 35 years. He shares his wisdom with readers via the PMTI blog.