If your sales career has stalled, it may be time to explore a new location. These tips can help you choose the right city for professional growth, one that has lots of sales jobs available.
You’ve been searching for a new sales job and you’ve hit a dead end. You’ve checked LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific job boards. You’ve asked colleagues, classmates, fellow alumni, and family members and you still can’t find any positions nearby. Is your location holding you back from the career you want?
In a survey of medical sales professionals by my employer MedReps.com, 35 percent of respondents said the most challenging part of their job search is the fact that there are not enough sales jobs in their area.
But relocating for better job opportunities can be scary, and starting the search for a new location is overwhelming.
Fight relocation fears with these tips to finding new sales opportunities in new cities: (Click here to tweet these tips.)
Look in top markets
Big cities with well-established markets are bound to the have the most opportunities. Glassdoor found that New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco had the largest amount of employers hiring overall in 2014.
Metropolitan areas also offer more Fortune 500 companies, which could mean big opportunities for the sales professional looking to work with large firms.
Large metro areas offer open sales positions in a variety of industries, but more jobs in a larger area will mean more competition. Plus, the cost of living in cities is significantly higher than suburban and rural areas.
Before becoming a little fish in a big pond, consider whether you’d be happy with a city lifestyle and if the cost of living and average salary for the position in that market fit your needs.
Find new markets
If big cities don’t appeal to you, look for jobs in smaller, emerging markets. Where is your industry growing? Are there new hubs of activity?
In the tech space, more companies are branching away from the Silicon Valley and starting up in new cities. CEB found that Phoenix, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Oklahoma City are emerging as new tech markets.
Pay attention to industry trends and which markets feature promising new activity. Startups and young companies will be looking for experienced professionals to move their business forward, and a growing market will ensure plenty of opportunities will be available in the future.
Although it may seem risky, getting in on the ground floor at new companies in burgeoning markets could be a career move that really pays off.
Identify the best companies
Instead of starting your job search with a location, try starting with a company. Who is your dream employer? Which firms are considered the best in the industry?
Check out their company culture, benefits and perks, commission structure, and, most importantly, which positions they’re hiring. Ignore location at first to open yourself up to more opportunities. Once you have a list of the employers you would want to work for most, then research their locations to see which ones would fit you best.
When you flip the job search like this, job satisfaction becomes the priority over location. While location is an important deciding factor, narrowing down your search by company will help you find a position you’ll thrive in, no matter the location.
Ask for advice
If you’re unsure about where to look for great sales jobs, the state of a certain market, or what it’s like to live in a particular city, don’t be afraid to ask. As a sales professional, you’ve built up a network of valuable connections at your fingertips.
Ask your connections on LinkedIn and other niche professional networking groups if they know of growing areas and promising opportunities, or if any markets are stalling or declining. Talking with people who have actually lived in an area will give you a better sense of what life is like than your internet research alone.
Once you find a new job opportunity in a new city, landing the position will be challenging. Hiring relocating employees is a risky move and the process generally takes longer. When applying to remote jobs, be up front with recruiters and employers about your intentions to relocate. Be sure to provide a realistic date for when you can start.
Despite these challenges, solid experience and a proven track record of strong sales skills will help you secure new opportunities in new areas.
What are your top concerns for relocating? What are your location deal-breakers?
Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Robyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.