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When relocating to another state, and you have absolutely no idea where you want to live or where you want to work, should you find a place to live first or find a job first?


Kimberly Rapoza Mattapoisett, MA

I'm relocating from Massachusetts to Florida. Retiring from the Air National Guard and leaving my civilian job after 22 years. I was stationed in Tampa when I was active duty and I was thinking I would like to go back to that area. I have no family or friends there. I am alone. I just don't know how to relocate.

30 April 2020 5 replies General



Ed Blohm Wilmington, OH

I would say the job comes first. If you find home location first, you have limited your job search to a radius of however far you want to commute to work. Unless you are able to find a wrok from home type position. The idea of a short term rental somewhere in Florida might be an option until you find your next job. Good luck on your search.


Joshua Heimann New York, NY


I can give you a bunch of ideas on the relocation issue, I have done it several times, including in and out of the US.

Let me know if yo want to chat.




Amit Chaudhary Cupertino, CA

Job first. Depending on location of office, yes CoronaVirus will go away too, get a house close to office.


Robert Jurasek Hollywood, FL

Dear Kimberly,

After suffering through 13 Chicago winters, I resigned from a 27-year career, and moved to Miami Beach (changes in latitude-- changes in attitude. Jimmy Buffett). Your move from MA to FL can be easier than you think with a little planning on your part.

I would recommend an inexpensive rental in the area you would like to live, mainly because the Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater area is somewhat spread out. And the most desirable job for you could be at MacDill AFB, or the VA at the Bay Pines Medical Center, or anyplace else in the Tampa area. Unless you are absolutely set on a specific location, the rental would give you the flexibility you may wish you had-- later on.

To get an idea of what Federal jobs are available in the area, simply go to and use Tampa, Florida as the only search criteria. The result will give you all of the open job announcements within the default 25-mile radius.

This research should give you a better idea of your daily commute (rush hour traffic for 9-5 office workers can be very tough in the Tampa metro area.)

For a civilian employer, you may be asked if you can start to work next Monday, and that would be great. But with Federal jobs, it easily could take four months from the time you apply until the time you see your first paycheck. Financially, you need to plan for this potential lapse of income.

As I mention in most of my posts, Federal resumes are very different than their civilian counterparts, and they need to be in a very specific format. If you decide to apply for a Federal position, there are several highly qualified Advisors who I think would gladly review your Federal resume.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Good luck with your transition and your move (I know you can do it!) I wish you all the best and thank you for your Service!

Bob Jurasek


Glenn Gesoff Houston, TX

Hi Kimberly,
I think that's a good question and sometimes difficult one. The veteran whom I mentored was based in Cape Canaveral and was interested in moving to Arkansas to be with family; but open to relocation elsewhere if that's where the opportunity was. He wanted to have the job first and then relocate.
Depending on how long you've been in MA you probably have a bit of an established network and friends that can help keep you energized during your search. I would much rather have a strong support group during my search, than move somewhere I ultimately want to be, but be doing it on my own.
Just my thoughts and best of luck to you! Thank you for your service!!

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