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Relocation, relocation, relocation

If you’re moving and looking to change careers, take full advantage of the Internet.

Dear Molly: I’ve been a registered nurse for about 26 years now and am burned out. I know it’s time to change careers. I have used computers in my job for more than 11 years and have worked with the government for 17. I currently live in Florida, but my husband was recently transferred to the Hampton, Virginia area. Are there any companies there that would hire and train me?

Molly says: Your question gives me a great opportunity to point out that people who are relocating to another part of the country and need to find employment can get a substantial jump on the process by using the Internet.

I suspect you will not be able to find a company that will hire you and pay to train you in computers, so you will have to find a company that is happy with your computer skills as they are. Now is the time to get your computer resumé together and send it out to companies in the Hampton area. To get started compiling a list of those, find the Web sites for the local and major daily newspaper in the area and look through the online classified listings. You may also have to write to them and pay for the last couple weeks’ worth of Sunday papers, as many smaller newspapers don’t have large online ad sections.

You can also contact the local chamber of commerce (http://www.hrccva.com/) to see if they can provide you with information and a local business directory.

While you’re looking for a permanent job, sign yourself up with some temporary help agencies in the area. Temp agencies will not only provide a source of income, but also may provide training in some computer programs. To find those that serve the area, order a copy of the yellow pages guide from the telephone company in the Hampton area. You can also search the Web to find out if the national and large regional chains have offices that serve that area. Computer Help is one that serves your new home base.

Once you feel somewhat “settled” in your new area, use the experience and contacts you’ve made doing temporary work to make the next decision about the computer field. You may have to take some classes either locally or online to further your IT education. But make those decisions after you see what computer skills are needed locally.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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