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So, you’re hanging around Southern California, the sun is shining, good-looking people are walking down the boardwalk, palm trees are swaying, and you can wear shorts in winter. But you don’t have a job. You can’t afford to go anywhere except the library, you don’t have enough gas to drive to the beach, and you haven’t been out of your apartment since you were downsized/laid-off before the holidays.

So how’s that Southern California life treating you? Are you feeling the love from that 12 percent unemployment rate? These are tough times. You need to re-evaluate your job search. You have to make a 10-year plan which precludes future unemployment. If this means retraining, get it. If this means networking, do it. If it means moving, then face up to it.

So move already!

It’s time for you to start perusing the Internet for gigs in places where they might speak with an accent, or it snows, or they have mass transportation. Snow won’t kill you any more than the heat or Santa Ana winds. Look at a move to a new city for a new job as an adventure, because life without change is boring. And life without a job is sad, even if the sun shines 360 days a year.

Brian and Corinne Hunt of San Diego had both been trying for months to find new jobs. They had a mortgage and two children in elementary school. Finally they read an article about working in Australia. They both had skills that the Australian government needed so they rented out their San Diego home, packed everything up, and moved their family to Sydney.

“The weather is the same only opposite,” said Corrine who is a cosmetologist. “My girls love going to school here, and the people are so friendly. Will we stay here forever? Probably not, but until things get back to normal at home, this is home for us.”

But you don’t have to move to the ends of the earth to find a career that makes you happy. Here in the good old US of A there are still cities that are looking for skilled workers of every type.

According to a recent MarketWatch report, Washington, D.C. is the best city for finding a job, while SoCal didn’t even show up on the list until number 37. That would be after Omaha, Nebraska, (no. 2) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (no. 18) and even Tulsa, Oklahoma. (no. 27.)

In our nation’s capital it is estimated that there’s roughly one advertised job opening for every unemployed worker in the D.C. region, which includes parts of Maryland and Virginia. The nation’s capital has an unemployment rate of just 6 percent, according to the latest data. That’s the lowest among the country’s largest 50 metros, and 3.8 percentage points below the national average.

The point here is to be flexible. Be open to finding an opportunity outside of your geographical area and go for it.

Seek a professional headhunter or job coach if you don’t know where to start. Look at your bank account and how you’ve been living lately and get a reality check. Research (at the library if your cable’s been cut off) areas where there are jobs that match your background. Be willing to refocus and look at new geographic areas. The world is not and will not ever be the same so stop waiting for everything to get back to ‘normal.’

But don’t move without doing your homework. Before accepting a position in another city, make sure you do the research about your prospective new home – and know what you want out of the new job. Contact friends who live in the city and make sure you call the local Chamber of Commerce to find out everything there is to know about the area. Most important-think about what you would do in the worstcase scenario: you accept a job in another city, move, and for whatever reason, the job doesn’t work out. Make sure there are other job opportunities there.

So that’s it. Stop hanging around your house and get working on finding a job &mdash and a life &mdash in a new location. Just think; you can come back to Southern California on your vacation and be one of those annoying tourists, but when your two weeks are over you’ll be able to go back home- to a job.

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