How to Maximize My Chances for a Job a Year From Now
August 25, 2011 7:59 PM   Subscribe

My wife will begin school in Boston in the Fall of 2012. I've got a great job in Chicago right now. What's my best bet for keeping this job as long as possible, while locking in a new job in Boston for when we move?

I've been with a top 500 eCommerce site based in Chicago for four years, and am happy and stable with my current job. (Project/Product Manager type role.) My wife will be starting a PhD program in Boston in the fall of 2012, and I absolutely want us both to move there. Ideally, I'd be able to keep my current job up until we move, but be able to do so knowing there's a job waiting for me once we get there. What can I do now to make this a reality? It seems like it's too soon to start applying for a job that I won't be able to start for a year, so I'm wondering if there are intermediary steps I can take in the meantime.

If not, when is the right time to start applying? Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Would your current employer be willing to let you telecommute after moving? I know a bunch of people who work for my company work like that.
posted by gchucky at 8:01 PM on August 25, 2011

Couldn't you both move there a few months earlier, assuming you get a job, and just get settled? Is there anything tying you to Chicago until the end of the year?
posted by kylej at 8:02 PM on August 25, 2011

Seconding asking about telecommuting, if your job can be done remotely. If not, maybe you could transition into a new role that could be done remotely?

I did that when I moved from Chicago to Boston, and it worked. If they say no, well, you had to tell them you were moving anyway.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:12 PM on August 25, 2011

I would start putting out your networking feelers. Start researching similar companies based in Boston and suss out what the scene is like. Try to find out if anyone you work with has connections there and work with those. Things of that nature.
posted by bleep at 8:26 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The conservative thing to do is to start looking now, and move once you have an offer. But if you're firm on the move date, I'd suggest starting to seriously look 1-2 months before the move. It's enough time to look, but little enough time that you can reasonably set a start date in the time frame where you plan on moving. Agreed that you can and should start networking and picking places you want to work for. This may be easier once your current employer knows you're leaving, so you can speak openly about it with coworkers.

Anecdotally, I did this last year: long-distance job search for Boston, move planned for early October due to school and travel plans. I started looking in May or June, got a "too soon, call us back in a few months" from the first company, and put the search on hold for a while. Started actively looking again in late July, came up for a bunch of interviews the first week of August, got some offers that week, started in October as planned. This was for software engineering jobs, and some of the interviews were set up by a recruiting company. I was surprised by how quickly it all came together.
posted by orangejenny at 3:56 AM on August 26, 2011

I don't have any advice on how to do this, but here's a lead for you: CSN Stores (now in the process of changing their name to, I think) is based here and hires all the time. I used to work there and it seems like a good company.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:36 AM on August 26, 2011

I'd actually start reaching out to potential employers about 6-8 months before the move without actually applying to specific openings, then start applying to jobs about 3-4 months before the move. Some industries may be more efficient than mine, but my experience is that hiring always takes longer than makes sense -- so 1-2 months may not be enough time.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:55 AM on August 26, 2011

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