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Paradox1's avatar

Should I fly to Chicago to seek employment there?

Asked by Paradox1 (1167 points ) March 18th, 2012

Sooo I’ve been looking for financial type work in the commodities and equities markets but there really isn’t a lot of opportunity for what I want to do where I live – Los Angeles. Chicago or NY are the places to be for the types of jobs I want. I have been applying, and in my cover letters state I am happy to fly out to interview and excited to relocate, etc. however I feel that my current location is a detriment to my chances at even being considered. My resume is ok, but it is not stellar. I am great in person and can talk the socks off of the people in the industry, but of course, that won’t come across in the resume or cover letter.

My question is—or maybe it is more of asking for advice—do you think I should fly to Chicago for a week or two and apply to places before hand, state I am coming out to look for work, and request interviews? Should I just show up and ask to speak to the hiring manager? I understand this may reek of desperation, but I’m at a loss for what to do. I have not found a job in this industry in 3 years since graduation. I really believe that if I can get in front of the right person I can convince them to consider me for the types of positions I am interested in. Is that crazy?

—As an aside, I’ve been to Chicago twice before and thought it to be a great city.

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11 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I do not think you should fly to Chicago.

I would suggest you research the large discount brokerage house’s job listings, Schwab, Fidelity, etc… See where they have call centers you would be willing to relocate to. Those call centers hire recent graduates and put them through training to get their 7 and 63. Hundreds of stockbrokers in places you would not expect. Once you are already licensed, I suspect you would have more success applying for jobs in NYC or Chicago. Do not underestimate Boston as a financial center either.

trailsillustrated's avatar

If you are young of course you should! There is no reason why you should not have adventures and experiment and have all the experiences you could have. Good luck I think you will have a great time.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have been in your position in the past where I was applying to work far from where I was physically, and the lesson I learned is identical to what you are describing. They simply will not hire someone who is not there.

I did exactly what you are describing. I took an extended trip to the place I wanted to be. I sent out a ton of resumes ahead of time, and then I called the companies when I got into town.

It worked. I got a job.

I say go for it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Go for it?” In CHICAGO? Hardly!

“The unemployment rate in the Chicago metro area rose nearly 1 percentage point to 9.8 percent in November — up from 8.9 percent a year ago and 9.7 percent in October, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.”

http://www.suntimes.com/business/9600239-420/chicago-unemployment-rate-rises-to-98-percent.html

And this is from the government, which consistently underestimates unemployment due to people dropping out of the workforce ( i.e. no longer seeking employment ). I would estimate actual unemployment in the Chicago area at about 14%.

keobooks's avatar

Personally, I think you should fly to any place you are considering to relocate to.

Just FYI, this weather is unseasonably warm and may give you a very false impression of the reality of Chicago winters. I love Chicago 7 – 8 months out of the year, but the winters are REALLY BAD because of the Lake effect. Even living just 40 miles away makes a big difference.

I know a lot of people who fell in love with Chicago and left after their first big winter. It’s not just the snow and ice, it’s the bitter cold to the bone temps and the ugliness of the pollution on the snow after a day or two. Its also big chunks of ice that sometimes fly up onto the streets from the lake.

marinelife's avatar

Change your cover letter approach. Tell them that you are relocating to Chicago. (that way you don’t seem to require relocation assistance and you may not get stuck on the “out of town” pile.

A job hunting trip is a good idea. Set up informational interviews with a few key players in your field. Hand them your resume. Tell them that you are planning to relocate to Chicago.Search the want ads before hand and see if there are any openings that you can apply for.

rojo's avatar

Personally, I would not go to Chicago looking for employment but then again I am not a big city type of man. If you think you want to live there, and can make it an employment-seeking vacation then give it a shot.

wundayatta's avatar

Why not just move there? It seems to me that being there for a couple of weeks is barely any better than applying from out of town. If you’re committed to Chicago, you should move there.

Paradox1's avatar

Thanks for your responses. We’ll see, I’m not doing anything on impulse but I am considering it as well as my other options.

@wundayatta I can fly there for free (southwest credit card thank you!) and I can stay there using AirBnB for two weeks for $500 or less plus the cost of food, public transport, and maybe some entertainment. Moving there with NO job and not more than a month or two’s worth of savings and signing a lease (even month to month) seems incredibly high risk.

wundayatta's avatar

Makes sense. Can you accomplish what you need to accomplish in 2 weeks?

Paradox1's avatar

I think it’s a reasonable amount of time, unless they ask for a second round interview 2½ weeks later!

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