December 19, 2000, 3:51 PM — Kevin Sweeney, the systems administrator/MIS director for Mt. Lebanon, Pa., a town of 15,000 just outside of Pittsburgh, says he's been looking for an MIS director position at a mid-size company. His Web searches indicate that Atlanta and Philadelphia are good bets for that type of job. And, the pay's better.
"Relocating is a big step," says Sweeney, who just redesigned his town's network from scratch. "The biggest thing to worry about is, what if you fail? So you make sure the company pays for your moving, and you always have something in the back pocket just in case."
John Walker, a network engineer for the Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court, is focusing his search in Silicon Valley and San Diego. He's visiting Web sites associated with those geographical areas, as well as the major online job boards. And because he and his wife have to consider the quality of schools their children will attend, Walker says he also reviews high school graduation rates and test scores from various communities.
"Everything's a factor [in whether to accept an offer]," Walker says. "I've got to make sure we find the best places [because of the schools], but I also want the best job."
Fernando Montalban, the network and systems manager for the University of Louisiana-Monroe business school, is doing a laid-back job search with the help of a Web-based keywords search. If a job is posted somewhere that matches his qualifications, he'll know about it. Location isn't that important, says Montalban, whose wife is expecting their first child, but a good company, a competitive salary, and flexibility on the job are paramount.
Montalban used some online calculators to figure comparable salaries in other cities, and checked out Fortune magazine's surveys that rank companies on such things as employee satisfaction and company benefits.