Moving to Chicago to Find Work

I am a recent college graduate and currently live in a small town. My degree is in business and management. I was looking to getting a retail management job, but after working at some local retail stores, I know I do not want to do that. I'd like a job where I have a steady schedule (no second shifts) like the banking industry or marketing. Chicago is very appealing to me and I have already planned out where I want to live, what I will do, etc. But I can't get past the first hurdle: getting a job. I went on an interview trip to Chicago about a month ago and both of the jobs didn't hire me. How do I compete? The Internet doesn't list that many jobs and I don’t have access to Chicago newspapers. I think I need to move to Chicago and then get a job but don’t have enough savings to make a comfortable move.

You sound like a thoughtful, organized young man. Chicago will be lucky to have you! Yes, you are in a tough predicament. If you are not here, you cannot begin to pound the streets of Chicago properly and would not be available for interview. There are no guarantees in the job search process and there is no way to know how long it might take you to become settled, and financially able to manage rent and expenses.

Check out temporary housing, like the YMCA, or a home sharing arrangement, or check listings on Craig's List. Chicago is a big city, with lots of jobs in a variety of roles and industries. Networking is always the best way to secure a position. If you move here, it will be helpful for you to participate in local career support programs or other networking events, start to meet people who may help you along the road.

Though you state that you are not interested in a long range career in retail, you might have to find a job doing just that while you are building contacts and experience in other areas. ChicagoJobs.org Job Listings site has links to most of the local newspapers and their classifieds including Chicagojobs.com, a website that provides listings from many local Chicago area newspapers. Rather than using the general websites, check out the main sites of the banks that are in this area.

Also, tap into your alumni association of your college, see if anyone lives in the Chicago area. The job search process is like a big jigsaw - you just keep placing pieces until the picture starts to take shape. I have a sense that you will be a success, but it takes one baby step at a time.

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