How To Relocate, Build a Network and Maintain Sanity

At the beginning of June, I moved from Chicago to the metro-Detroit area to live closer to my family. At first, I was a little intimidated and less than thrilled to build a new network in an unfamiliar city. After a few weeks passed, I began putting my knowledge of the advertising industry, social media and  professional networking to good use.  Job searching can take a toll on anyone, but if you harness your creativity and intuition, then it will  become  second nature.

            Reach out to Recruiters and Industry Professionals  on LinkedIn

Do you want to know how I got my first job at Leo Burnett Arc Worldwide? It was a combination of things, but it started with contacting a VP of Community Management at the agency and expressing my interest to her through LinkedIn and Twitter. She thought I had potential so she recommended me to the Content Strategy Director at the agency.

If there are specific ad agencies that you’d like to work for, then use LinkedIn’s company search function, and then scroll through the names and message individuals who work in a discipline that you’re interested in. Don’t forget to introduce yourself before blatantly stating that all you really want is a job, because that can make professionals feel like a means to an end.

       Contact an Ad Talent Agency

There are number of agencies that specialize in connecting professionals with ad agencies that may fit their professional background and skill set. What’s so unique about these agencies is that they do a majority of the heavy lifting for candidates including setting up interviews, salary negotiations and weeding through opportunities. However, involving a third party could add complexity to the hiring process which is already fairly time consuming. Or, it could simplify the process by easing the stress for employers and potential candidates. What are your thoughts?

       Request Informational Interviews

If nothing else, informational interviews are an excellent way to meet face to face with professionals in the industry, especially if you’ve just relocated. Beyond that, informational interviews are far less intimidating than “real” interviews. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions about the agency such as  “what’s the atmosphere like? Are employees expected to work on nights, weekends and holidays? How’s the coffee…. No, but really how’s the coffee? Are dogs allowed in the office, if not why? Can a junior level employee walk up to a creative director without getting nasty glares or comments? Describe the most stressful day you’ve ever had at your agency.” Remember that any job is a two way street, you can leave at any time and the employer can let you go if you’re under-performing. So it’s important to get those questions out in the open so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises.

     Stay Calm and Keep Tweeting

Sometimes it’s difficult to get motivated to tweet and read about the industry if you’ve taken a hiatus or if you are simply burnt out. But in either case, it never hurts to continue dipping your toes in the water, because you never know when you might want to go swimming. Please excuse my trite analogies, as you can tell it’s easy for me to get fired up on this subject. A lot of job opportunities, especially in advertising and communications are shared directly on Twitter. Occasionally, recruiters even share their email addresses in the tweet. If you are interested in pursuing opportunities with x company, but don’t see any positions that match with your interests and qualifications, then feel free to tweet at the recruiter and tell them what you are looking for.  A tweet can be an informal way to introduce yourself if you haven’t had the opportunity of meeting the recruiter in person.

Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and questions as they relate to relocating while working in the advertising industry.

Image courtesy of kenjonbro via Flickr

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One Response to “How To Relocate, Build a Network and Maintain Sanity”

  1. Stanton June 28, 2013 4:38 pm #

    I completely agree that in today’s job market you must be a bit more creative and tenacious. Defy convention and don’t limit yourself to only those job posted.

    Congrats on your move and good luck on your own job search!

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