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Ask Erica: “I’m Moving to Be With My Partner. How Do I Spin That for a Hiring Manager?”

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Q: I’ll soon be moving to a new city to be with my boyfriend. For now, I’m starting the job search from across the country. I worry that if potential employers ask why I’m making this move, sharing the true answer won’t sound professional. Is there a way to be truthful and still make a great impression? Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

A: How much you share about why you’re moving to a new city is completely up to you. If you’re asked why you’re moving and you ultimately feel comfortable mentioning your relationship, mention it once and then move on. (“My partner and I think XYZ city is the best place for us to be right now” or, “Personal reasons are bringing me there.”) The important thing is to keep the conversation about you. If you’re not comfortable mentioning your relationship, think about why this city might be good for your career (a good idea in general) and then work that knowledge into your answer. For example, if you’re working in finance and happen to be moving to New York City, you could say something like, “I think a move to the financial capital of the world will help advance my career.” Or if you’re moving to San Francisco, you could say something like, “I’m really passionate about the tech space and want to experience Silicon Valley.” As long as you’re confident and well-prepped for the interview in general, the hiring manager will likely be happy you’re moving and in the job market—for whatever reason that might be!

[Related: College Grad Correspondent: “What Moving Back Home Has Taught Me About Moving Forward”]

Did you miss last week’s Ask Erica column? Read “I Just Started a New Job, But Now My Dream Company Wants to Interview Me.”


#Moving Job Search #Ask Erica Career Advice
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Michelle Heinsimer
Michelle Heinsimer

My husband's job has led me to relocate twice in four years and both times I was honest with hiring managers about why I was leaving my current company / moving to their city. I didn't dwell on the reason and instead talked about the great experiences I was bringing with me. I actually found they were supportive of the move since it meant I had a reason to put down roots in a new city and wasn't as likely to take the job and then quit if it wasn't exactly what I wanted.

I have experience with this from the other side. My job has caused my husband to follow and relocate 3 times coast to coast over the last 10 years. He has also always been open about why he was looking, and landed jobs, as it's one of the better reasons you can have for leaving your last job! The story can also create rapport and make you naturally happy and confident looking in an interview, because you are genuinely excited about why you are relocating!

Devina Horvath
Devina Horvath

I've been in this situation with my (at the time) boyfriend. When I was asked, I stated that I was moving for personal reasons and that my current employer did not have positions available for transfer in the region to which I was relocating. The conversation moved on, and I think that indicating that it was not for any unsavory work issue or other related reasons helped. I agree that the worry over professionalism exists when you're discussing a boyfriend over a husband, even though it should not in this day and age! I would say you'll be able to get a vibe during the interview that will indicate whether you can be comfortable explaining more or whether you should keep your response succinct.

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