Why you should look for a job in another location

When it comes to your career, being all over the map isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Why you should look for a job in another location

If you’re looking for a job within only a 10-mile radius of your home, you’re likely missing the boat—or the plane, train or automobile. And it turns out, you’re not alone.

According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, fewer workers are relocating for jobs. It’s understandable why you’d want a job that doesn’t require you to uproot yourself. Yet, as a former recruiter, I can offer a few reasons why you absolutely should think beyond your current geographic scope for your career. 

You can jumpstart your career

For the biggest, most obvious reason, searching beyond your zip code might help you advance your career. If you’re stuck in a rut with your current employer or are unemployed despite numerous attempts to get a job, well, that’s compelling enough consider broadening your horizons. 

Let’s face it: If you’re currently limited by very few job options, by expanding your reach to another state, you’ll likely see many more open doors.

As for the time and effort involved to find the right job, see what’s out there and set up job alerts for geographic locations based on places you would consider living. And don’t forget to take industry hubs into account. (If you want a job in energy, by all means set up a job alert for Houston. If fashion’s more your thing, consider New York or L.A. Looking for IT work? You’re wanted nearly everywhere!).

You can earn more

Another reason to move for a new job: Cold, hard cash. Consider this: The Society for Human Resources management anticipates a 3% salary increase for employees this year. That’s it.

By looking outside of your area for a new job, you’re setting yourself up to ask for a salary increase from your potential new employers. But if you remain in your current job too long, I can predict the inevitable: You’ll have a stagnant income sooner rather than later.

Need another motivating factor? Job hopping is no longer considered taboo. In fact, it often leads to bigger bucks.

You can grow your social circle

If you feel like your current professional network could use a few fresh faces to open new doors for you, you can either plug along hoping to find them locally, or you could cast your net much wider and see your chances increase exponentially. Not only could this be a boon for your career right now, it could also benefit you years down the road.

Consider this: The Brookings Institution study found that states with more significant declines in social trust also experienced drops in labor market movement. Meaning, the fewer people you trust, the less likely you are to relocate. Well, how about the flip side this time? The more people you trust, the stronger your foundation becomes, the more you move around. And the more you move, the more you open yourself to new experiences—both in your career and in life.

Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi has more than 15 years of experience in corporate recruiting and HR and is author of Big Career in the Big City. Follow her on Twitter at @vickisalemi.