It's official! I'm moving to Brooklyn, NY! I just signed a lease and now have about 6 weeks to get ready. The excitement of new possibilities is great and there's also the wonder about how I will find new jobs, will there be enough, what if I can't find the jobs I need?
My friend's answer "You literally wrote the book on how to do this. You have nothing to worry about."
I understand her perspective and I am still worried because picking up and moving, no matter the circumstances, requires a leap of faith. Faith that there will be the jobs and everything will turn out okay. A belief that it's a move in the right direction both personally and professionally. When moving because of a job offer it's the hope that the job will be as amazing as we think it will.
So, as a contractor, what can you do to make the transition as positive and smooth as possible?
1) Apply for jobs
This may seem obvious, but it's the hardest step. Update your résumé and cover letter. If you need a little boost, get new business cards. Most importantly send everything out! Don't wait for it to be perfect and don't procrastinate (which is what I'm doing right now, but at least it's productive!). Just get your info out there. Bottom line- if they don't know you exist how can they realize you are perfect for the job?
2) Be Creative
How many places can you send your info? There does not have to be a job posting in order for you to send your information to someone. You can send things anywhere at anytime. I target different places for my traveling art therapy work versus my private practice, but even there I have some overlap.
Adult Day Programs
Basically anywhere the issues I deal with (seniors, adults, Alz disease, grief and loss, bereavement, caretaker support, respite) or people I work with miget be. Again, the bottom line- if they don't know I exist how can they ask for my support, help, or services?
3) Follow Up
Call or stop in to make sure they received your information. If they have no idea who you are, introduce yourself and take the opportunity to briefly (2-3 sentences) explain what you do. Then ask about them and their program or facility. Use the opportunity to figure out who you should resend your info to and connect with. If they aren't sure and suggest more than one person or position, recreation and HR, send more then one copy of your info. Can't hurt!
4) Get Your Foot in the Door
Figure out a way to have a face to face interaction. I offer a free group for my traveling art therapy. This gets me in the door and I have only come back out twice without a job. That will happen when people just want to take advantage of a free group, but more often than not it's worth it.
For other types of work try to get a meeting with someone. If it turns into coffee or lunch than just make sure you aren't the only one talking and order something that is easy to eat and drink while holding a conversation. Most importantly, order on the lite side. Not to impress the other person with healthy eating habits, but to make your time flexible. For me, it's so I can talk and eat at a reasonable pace without feeling rushed or messy on either account. What if things aren't going well? What if the lunch meeting needs to move along? What if everything is going great and it's time to go back and discuss scheduling? Having something that is easy to eat or take home helps and you can always suggest coffee/tea if you both want to prolong the meeting.
5) Send Out More Info
Do it again. Even while having meetings and making follow up calls you can send out your info to other places and people. Don't wait. It's better to have too many offers and interviews than not enough. Keep the cycle going and make the contacts/connections.
Alright, I hope my procrastinating from sending out my own letters has helped. Now I am off to print out my résumé,get some snail mail out, and send some emails. Can't wait to see what Brooklyn has to offer!
I'll post again soon to let you know how it goes.