Seeking Relocation and advice on how that goes.

Hey everyone,

I’m a junior designer, out of school for over a year now. I’ve been doing freelance/contracted work and have a job in a somewhat applicable field.

I’m looking to find something more interesting and am anxious to live in a new area. Is it a long shot to apply for positions in different states/regions? With the state of the economy it doesn’t seem like companies are too interested in bringing young talent in. If anyone has been through this, I’m curious how the interviews were conducted and how the whole relocation process works. If you have any advice for accomplishing this I would really appreciate it.

Thanks everyone at Core77 for your help and involvement in this awesome community.

I’ve been relocated a few times in my career. These are the typical filters used for relo packages:

  • How high are you in the corporate food chain? [One year of experience - not very high]
  • How big is the corporation / consultancy? [Bigger is better for relo packages]
  • How many designers already live in the city? [Why move someone to a big city like NYC or Chicago unless they’re specialized or a high-level rockstar?]
  • Is the corporation / consultancy doing well? [Bad economy = cheap relo packages]
  • Are you worth it? [Are you a rockstar designer with talents?]

There are probably more, but these come to mind immediately.

Good luck.

Don’t mean to highjack your thread but I’d really like to hear some advice on the matter as well. My story is that I graduated last year and I’m living (stuck) in a city with no design consultancies or corporations with design departments (I’m talking about IndustrialDesign/ProductDesign). boo hoo.

Is it a long shot to apply for positions in different states/regions?

Definitely not. Go for it. Check C77 job postings that go up daily and respond to them left, right, and upside down. Write thoughtful well-scripted cover letters to any/all jobs that you see pop up that you’re interested in (and avoid the ones that call for more experience to save the person reviewing them the time). Keep in mind, if you apply for a job in a really shi**y town, you might just end up getting an offer to move there. Some may say to bite at 100% of all opportunities, but my method was to go for 98% of them.

I found that my professor’s words from Professional Practices are true (specifically speaking about jr designers/recent grads)…

If you send out 100 resumes/CVs you will get 10 call backs (or email replies), which will potentially lead to one interview. And that’s if your resume/CV/work is solid. Your work, your personality, and how well the interview goes will depend on you getting the job.

As far as companies not being interested in flying you to them for an interview for a jr designer position… Sell some of your belongings, rob a bank, work at a gas station, and save up your money. You can casually mention to the companies that you’ll be in town, or that you can come in town for an interview on your own dime. This method will make you very carefully review your overall skill set, how perfect your interview skills and portfolio are, your hunger, and your interest in that particular position.

Best of luck to you both. Stick it out, keep fighting through the down depressing time, make your portfolio better every single day, update it every day (jobs will pay attention to the “last updated” date on your coroflot portfolio. For me, it all looked really gray, then I saw a little light, then it went back to gray, then to black, and there it was… my first full-time designer position. I experienced ups and downs, but mostly downs. And it all paid off.

LOL, it’s pretty cold in MKE right now, not surprised you’ve got cabin fever! I’m a '95 MIAD alum, moved to Chicago in '97 for work at Insight, then later recruited and relocated to San Diego.

I’ve hired Jr. designers right out of (grad) school and paid for their relocation, so it’s certainly possible.

Another approach is to pick a city, pack up and go. I work with two people that did exactly that. But be careful to pick cities that actually have ID jobs.

Thanks Chris- This was my other thought. I’ve seen this work out, although it can be very rocky and definately uncertain. I guess if you really want to be in a certain location, go there and make it happen (with some research of course!)

Be careful Manty - Milwaukee can start to grow on you if you stay too long. Happened to me…

Agreed, definitely possible. A small consultancy is probably not going to do much for you, maybe a small check up front. Most big corps have policies based on level expertise and how bad they want you. My advice would be to apply for as much as possible, worry about the relo if you get the job. If you have an offer, then is the time to negotiate (not at the interview).