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Careers often unfold like an adventure. Travels to distant locations to capture unprecedented opportunities. However, COVID is making those change of venue much more complicated. As you look for the perfect position for you, the pandemic is impacting cross-state job searches.

Cross-state job hunting might seem like a relatively narrow problem, especially given the widespread impact of the coronavirus outbreak. But, especially now, these longer-distance opportunities could be the key to reinvigorating your career.

With many businesses still not at full capacity and the labor market flooded with qualified candidates, local job openings may be scarce. To maximize your career, you might need to make major changes. However, given the environment, the perfect opportunity might not exist in your hometown, forcing you to search elsewhere for the ideal position.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has made this difficult. Travel restrictions and continued worries about infection have created barriers to movement. In these ways, the pandemic has dramatically impacted cross-state job searches.

Taking Some of the “Pan” Out of the Pandemic

Time for a little high-school vocab lesson. The word “pandemic” comes from a Greek term pandēmos. “Pan” means “all” and “dēmos” means “people,” as in a disease that affects all of the people.

We can certainly see the literal truth of this term in the way the COVID pandemic has played out. Almost everyone has had their lives impacted by COVID-19. But not all the effects have not been entirely “pan.” Some areas of the country were hit harder by the economic repercussions of the outbreak. Infection rates and government responses differed from region to region, leading to different outcomes for businesses in various parts of the U.S.

As a result, there is a vast discrepancy in local labor markets. For instance, government statistics show that Utah’s unemployment rate sat at 4.5% in July, the lowest of any state. Surrounding areas, like Montana and Idaho, had similarly low jobless figures (comparatively speaking), with both those states sporting a number below 7%.

On the other side of the spectrum, Massachusetts had an unemployment rate of 16.1% in July, the highest in the nation. The nearby states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania had figures above 13%. Clearly, the labor market is much tighter in certain parts of the country.

Ready to Move?

The unemployment figures point to a possible job-search strategy: if you’re having trouble finding a position in your area, why not move? With positions hard to find in Massachusetts, why shouldn’t a job seeker in Boston start looking to relocate to Salt Lake City? There, they could take advantage of the lower unemployment rate.

This is certainly a rational response. It’s not unusual for people to react to a tough job market by expanding their horizons. Of course, relocation can be an expensive and emotionally painful decision. Still, at the same time, it also opens the door to new opportunities.

Different Restrictions

While moving might represent a rational strategy, it might not be immediately possible. Interstate travel during the COVID outbreak is complicated. Infection rates vary from state to state, leading to complicated, ever-shifting state government restrictions about long-distance movement. At the same time, the CDC has issued warnings about traveling in general.

As you look at possible out-of-state opportunities, you should investigate the current travel rules. Even open positions within easy driving distance can cause complications if you have to cross state lines. It’s still possible to take advantage of these potential career-boosting chances. You might just have to adjust your approach to fit the current restrictions.

Embrace Remote Work

Yes, the pandemic has made interstate job searches more complicated. However, there is one potential bright point that has come about as a result of the outbreak. The COVID response had forced companies to embrace remote work as a new normal. This opens up new possibilities for you to take positions that don’t originate in your geographical area.

Companies have become much more flexible about where people do their work. Jobs that might have previously required you to move to a new location now might be available for remote work. Be ready to embrace this possibility. Ramp up your remote-working capabilities and you can increase your chances to land a cross-state position.

Finding a job during a pandemic is certainly a complex endeavor. It helps to have the right support system. By teaming with the right staffing agency, like PrideStaff, you increase your chances of finding the perfect assignment for you.

Contact PrideStaff today to learn more.

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