Dave Jensen wrote:Thanks Nate.
I'm trying hard to make my answer something more than "network, network" but in DX's case that advice (classic as it is) comes across as sensible and correct. There ARE some other options. I'm trying to think of those right now, just as Abby is.
Colorado is a good example of one of the problems, not a solution. That is, it's a great State to live in for reasons that have nothing to do with work. You enjoy your life when you live there -- you have options outdoors to hike, climb, bike, ski and everything under the sun. It's the kind of place where companies can build up a presence (Amgen) and then lay people off, and the entire group of laid off people start driving cabs instead of going elsewhere and relocating for work. I don't have a quick answer. I'll talk to some experts and incorporate that advice into my column,
Since you mentioned the name (Amgen), i'll jump on. That's also the situation in Thousand Oaks, it's Global HQ. They do have a hard time attracting employees to move there but when they do, well many have described themselves as Feeling "trapped" or "on an Island" industry wise and linked to desire for career next step, be it lateral or upward movement. There is one other choice - that's Baxter in a town near by (Westlake Village), so on the commerical and some R&D functions you'll see movement between the two.
Sure its Southern California but where that Location is, if you get a Job in San Diego (a biotech hub) or S.F., then that's a move.
So for the Company, at least in Amgen's and Baxter cases for that Location, there is a huge upside....employee Retention!!
Now I know Folks who've been at that Thousand Oaks/Westlake side for years and years at the same Job rank (middle Management). For what ever reasons they have not found the next step but in light of compensation, Quality of life, etc. they are able to "trade-off" some forms of career advancement, with willingness to "Keep their heads down", i.e. "shut up", and do the Job that is required for exactly that trade-off. They are reluctant to move, generally they have families and are "happy" wit thier outside work life.
So a great Retention tool being in a non-hub though for not necessarily the right reasons. Especially if Management is Aware of your personal situation (i.e. you're trapped) and trust me on this, they'll leverage that - Keep you where they want you.
We talk about hub and non-hub, but alot of this conversation also applies to hub-Areas were supply, outweights demand - you can find similar situations of Folks keeping thier heads down, making those trade-Offs in interest of their outside work life (i.e. Family). Those as noted, risks of not finding a Job is lower, though the risk still exists - I can think of one other advice than Networking.... be entrepreneural and start a Company servicing an outsourced Need that non-hub Company may have. i.e. a medical writing Service? or a supply chain logistics Service, or i don't know ..blue sky thinking here - with the aim to leverage you contacts in that Company to give you Business. Enter Networking again.