The revolution in remote work has opened a whole new range of opportunities for professionals who no longer want to be tethered to the office. There’s never been a better time for a tree or sea change.
Skilled workers have seized their chance for a fresh start in a new location, often motivated by wanting a change of pace having suffered from burnout before and during COVID-19. Last year, one in five city residents were looking to move to the regions, with more than half wanting to make the jump within the next 12 months, according to the Regional Australia Institute. Add to that the fact that 67% of Aussie workers were sometimes or always working from home in mid-2021, compared to 42% pre-COVID.
These trends are taking place alongside a broader phenomenon known as the ‘Great Resignation’. More than one in five Australians changed jobs within the past year and nearly one in four are considering leaving their current employer, according to research from NAB.
Moving interstate for a new job is no small undertaking, however. Although many fantastic opportunities are available, careful research and planning is essential before making the leap.
We’ll cover the crucial factors you need to consider before making a job application, what to do when you’re ready to apply for jobs in a different location and how to find the best opportunities.
Questions to Ask Before Taking the Plunge
Before contemplating a relocation, you’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons of the move, sparing no detail. Key questions you should ask include:
- How will the move impact on your family and relationships?
- What is the cost of living in the area you’re planning to move to?
- What is housing availability and affordability like in the area?
- Is there good access to essentials like hospitals, schools and other amenities?
- How much will the actual relocation cost, including removalists and transport? Do you have enough resources to cover these expenses without an employer’s help?
- What is the climate in the new area?
- Can you see yourself living there long-term?
- What is your plan B if you want to leave?
It’s a good idea to take a short trip to the location you’ve got your eye on so you can explore the local area and get a feel for its culture and geography. This is particularly important if you’re planning to move somewhere regional and remote. Visiting an area before you move can also give you the chance to speak to local recruiters and employers to find out more about job opportunities.
How to Find New Opportunities
Now that you’ve done your research and have decided to take the plunge, you’ll need solid intelligence about the job market you’re applying in.
Interstate opportunities do vary by industry, so it pays to understand the market forces driving demand for workers. Jobs that have seen the highest job growth across Australia over the past year include Associate Nurse Unit Managers, Registered Nurses, Mining Engineers, Fitters and Turners and an array of trades and services jobs.
Most people jump straight onto job sites like Seek, Indeed and LinkedIn to discover what is available in their chosen destination. While these sites are a useful starting point, note that many of the best positions aren’t always advertised to the public. Instead, employers will first try using their own networks and using their recruitment partners to help find the best talent.
Finding a recruitment agency that operates in the region you’re interested in will give you access to advice and jobs that aren’t listed on traditional sites. Agencies have expert knowledge of their markets and can also connect you to remote opportunities with employers that have an interstate footprint. And if you’re looking for FIFO work, working with an agency can greatly reduce administrative hassles.
Don’t forget to tap into your personal network as well. Tell your friends, family and colleagues that you’re looking for a new interstate or regional role – you just might find the right lead for a job with good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
Get Job Ready
As you embark on your job hunt, it’s important to be clear with employers that you’re willing to move for work and have made the necessary preparations beforehand. Here’s how:
- Be clear in your cover letter that you’re willing to move
Mention in your cover letter why you’re keen to move and what has attracted you to the employer, industry and the location – keep it brief but honest. The goal is to show employers that your intentions to move are genuine.
- Customise your resume for the job you’re applying for
This is sound advice for all job applications but is especially relevant for a relocation scenario. Outline each of your relevant skills, experiences and qualifications as well as any transferrable skills that you can bring to the role. Mention any location-specific knowledge you’ve gained that could be an advantage for the position.
- Be prepared to discuss relocation in job interviews
Explain in your cover letters that you’re willing to be interviewed in person. Although it’s best to arrange face-to-face job interviews, it’s likely you will sit for some video-based interviews as well. Try to avoid mentioning reimbursement of relocation costs early on – it’s definitely best to allow the employer to make this offer first.
In the interview, be prepared for questions such as why you want to move to the area, how long you expect your relocation to take and why you’re interested in working in the role in that specific location. This is your opportunity to elaborate on what you’ve mentioned in your cover letter.
Explain how the move will further your career development and what you hope to achieve professionally while working there. If you have relocated for a new job in the past, talk about how you managed to do this successfully. And be honest about your intentions to stay in the new location in the short or long term.
Finding the perfect role worth relocating for does require planning and patience, but the payoff will be life-changing. Take the time to be clear about what you really want, the impact on your loved ones and the support networks available in the area you’re moving to. Be upfront and candid with employers about your intentions to move and include these reasons on your resume and cover letter when applying for roles.
Most importantly, don’t feel pressured to move for a role that doesn’t meet your criteria. Relocation is a big decision, so it’s important to get it right.
For personalised advice on applying for a job interstate and help with finding the best opportunities in your industry, speaking to an established Australian recruitment agency can save you lots of time.
With offices nationwide, Evolve Talent’s team has decades of combined experience in linking mining, construction, healthcare and technology talent with the best employers in the country. Get in touch with our friendly staff in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to find your next interstate opportunity.