Q: As remote work continues to grow, should I be applying to jobs in other cities if I don’t want to relocate?
A: Yes! As the trend toward full- or part-time remote work expands, you should not limit yourself to searching in your geography. While many companies still expect employees to return to the office, it likely won’t look the same.
Some companies say employees need to be in an office by X date after the work-from-home period ends, but I do not expect all employees will conform to that and stick around. Here’s why: pre-pandemic most employees who were asking for work-life balance perks and flexible schedules were from the younger generation. Now, all ages and levels of employees are asking for it.
The pandemic has changed things. So many of us are burnt out, stressed, and/or want more to our lives than being defined solely by our work. We’ve learned that life doesn’t have to fit around work; we can fit work around our life. Employers cannot ignore this. I suspect that many who have gotten used to and have been successful working from home will refuse to go back into the office and will find a new job if needed.
Smart employers recognize that they can attract the best talent only if they look beyond geographic boundaries. You may need to do more networking to try and get your resume to a decision maker, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to move but have particular companies or jobs in mind. If you have hard to find technical or other skills, you will have an easier time attracting the attention of employers in other locations.
Should you tell the employer you are not willing to relocate? Don’t discuss this unless it comes up during the course of conversations or interviews. However, prepare an answer and know your comfort level with traveling for work or training. Where can you be flexible? What’s a deal breaker for you?
You don’t need to go into extreme personal details. You can say something like, “I have family circumstances that I’ve been dealing with as I’ve been working full-time and I’ll have no problem doing that in a new role but I have to remain here. Is that something you are open to?”
If you want to hear more, check out our short video here.
Don’t limit yourself. The job market is flooded with candidates right now for these reasons, but recruiters are also complaining they have too many jobs to fill and not enough candidates, so it may take extra time and effort, but if you want a job you can fit to your life and not the other way around, it will be worth it.