How to Find a Job in the Country
So you’ve found your ideal ‘sea change’ location and know where you’d love to live. The only snag is you’ll need a new job or a career change and don’t know where to start. Add to this a whole bunch of nagging doubts and limiting beliefs:
- I’m not sure what I want to do or could do.
- I don’t know anyone there and how do I find out if they need my skills?
- Most jobs aren’t advertised – where do local employers look for staff?
The good news is that none of these are ‘real’ barriers. Let’s have a look at how to reinvent your career and find a job in the country…
Step 1. Get clear about what your ideal job looks like.
Many people are stuck when it comes to finding a new job or making a career change. Even with an extensive career history you may be unclear about what else that could qualify you to do. The keys to getting clear about your ideal future job include:
- List what you can and love to do. Stocktake everything you’ve done in the past; write down those you enjoyed and what it was that you liked about each one. It’s also worth noting those jobs and tasks you haven’t enjoyed or never want to do again and why!
- Identify the skills and experiences you’ve gained that are transferable across industries, organizations and jobs – transferable skills open up new opportunities you may not have considered.
- Be flexible about what you could do. Even if a potential job is completely different or requires more training and gaining experience in a new field, see it as an opportunity to learn something new, retrain and upskill.
Step 2. Discover what skills and experience are needed in your new location.
Research is the best way to assess employment opportunitiesin your new location. The never-ending stream of young country people moving to the city has created an ongoing need for skilled people in rural and regional areas.
- Many regional areas advertise jobs online. Seek and MyCareer list many regional roles across blue and white collar professions. The Evocities group in NSW (covering Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga ) has a dedicated careers page for their towns.
- Contact the local Chamber of Commerce to learn where the most chronic skills shortages and employment opportunities are.
- If you belong to a particular industry, profession or trade, contact your professional membership association and ask their advice. Find out who the major employers in the region are and contact them to get the names and titles of people who make employment decisions.
- Subscribe to the local newspaper. This will show you the types of jobs being advertised, who the local employers are and you’ll learn a lot more about your potential new location.
Step 3. Make new connections
Responding to job advertisements ‘cold’ by emailing a CV is unlikely to result in an immediate interview. Building trusted relationships and making it easier for local people to ‘get to know you’ is the key to securing a new job. Even if you live a long way from your new location, you can find people willing to help you find a job in the country.
Develop a list of people to contact. Prepare what you are going to say and questions you want to ask. (Tip: rather than asking if they have any jobs in your opening call, tell them you are researching career opportunities in their area and wondering if they can spare some time to share their advice). This should include asking how you may be able to help them.
Step 4. Create a compelling, professional CV
Many people make the mistake of submitting a generic CV that’s a ‘laundry list’ of things they’ve done in the past. A one-size-fits-all CV won’t win you the job! To make your CV compelling:
- Introduce yourself to potential recruiters and clarify what they are looking for. Notice what words they use and apply them to your CV.
- Write the CV for the job you want (not what you’ve done in the past); highlight your achievements and tailor it to each organisation and role you are targeting. If you haven’t updated your CV for a while and need help to make it compelling, honest and professional, we can help you with our P2R Professional Resume Writer service.
Step 5. Pursue multiple options
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when looking for a job in the country is to limit your options. The most attractive people for country employers are those who are versatile, flexible, able and willing to apply their skills and experience in new and different ways. Identify all the possible roles that may fit and be willing to do whatever it takes.
A number of my past clients have secured their dream jobs through volunteering, job sharing or initially working part-time with businesses they wanted to work for. They were in the right place, at the right time and had already demonstrated what they were capable of when the job they wanted became available.
Step 6. Clarity, Curiosity, Confidence, Patience and Persistence
Be clear about what you want, curious about what’s possible, confident about what you have to offer, patient and persistent in your job search efforts. If your approach isn’t getting results, be prepared to change tack. Make it easy for future employers to see why you are the best person for the job.
For more hints and tips on how to find a job in the country, check out Sea Changing Made Easy – the Practical Side.