California had a gross domestic product in excess of $2.7 trillion in 2017, making it the fifth-largest economy in the world, ahead of both Britain and France. California continues to be a draw for entrepreneurs despite recent wildfires that have ravaged across its magnificent environment, with the most recent inferno regrettably ranking among the worst in state history. According to data provided by the American Immigration Council, California, known as the “land of opportunity,” is today home to over 10 million immigrants, or more than a quarter of its population and about double the US average, who make up more than 30% of its labor force.

How to Get a Job in California

Although the state is known around the world for its relaxed attitude and emphasis on health and wellness, its productivity is unmatched. The state’s growing tech culture, which has a less stigmatized view of failure than most industry-driven locations and fosters an environment conducive to accomplishing ambitious goals, is sometimes credited with the state’s economic success. Some of the most significant and creative figures in the fashion technology industry call this state home, such as Katrina Lake of Stitch Fix, Michael Preysman of Everlane, and Moj Mahdara of Beautycon.

In addition to expanding job options, California’s quality of life is what keeps it so popular both internationally and domestically. Leading industry stylists Elizabeth Saltzman, Petra Flannery, and Karla Welch are now residing there, but it is also luring other fashion entrepreneurs to establish their design enterprises in-state. Tamara Mellon, a shoe designer, established her business in California in 2013 and relaunched it with a new concept in 2016. She aimed to challenge the established seasons by combining permanent and drop-based product lines.

With companies like the premium upcycling label RE/DONE and the sustainability-focused Reformation offering new job options and the chance for more environmentally conscious work, California also attracts the industry’s growing number of environmentalists. Similar to this, biomanufacturing businesses like Bolt Threads are breaking new ground by developing natural alternatives to synthetic materials, pushing the envelope while also opening up exciting job options.

So what are the initial procedures for migrating to California? BoF compiles all the information you require to begin your preparations, with tips below for both international talent and Americans.

How to Get a Job in California

Non-American Residents

Starting Your Visa Journey

Unlike the procedure for American citizens, people who reside overseas need work permits, which are often granted based on an employment offer.

According to the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, there are roughly 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas available each year for suitable candidates. You should preferably fit into one of the five preferred groups for employment-based visas, which range from “multinational managers or executives” to “skilled workers and professionals.”

It should be mentioned that prospective employers frequently need a Department of Labor clearance for a labour certification. They must then apply for an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services after receiving this approval before hiring you.

How to Get a Job in California

Find the Right Visa

Working visas for the United States are widely separated into categories and subcategories, with names like H-1B — for someone in a specialty occupation, including fashion models of “distinguished excellence” — to O — awarded to a person of remarkable aptitude or achievement.

For instance, O can be divided into O-1B and O-1A, where O-1B is normally for people with demonstrated remarkable talent and achievement in the arts and O-1A is for people with demonstrated extraordinary skill in science, education, business, or athletics. An O-3 visa is applicable to O visa dependents, such as a spouse or kid, to further the sub-categorization, but it does not grant permission to work.

The terminology and classification of visas might be perplexing, so do your homework using the Directory of Visa Categories on the website of the US Embassy and Consulates. If you still need help figuring out which category you fit into, you can discover regulated immigration advisers. For instance, the Register of Regulated Immigration Consultants maintained by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner contains a list of approved advisers in England and Wales.

How to Get a Job in California

Research Your Visa Application Requirements

The O visa demands continuous national or international acclaim as well as letters of reference and acknowledgment from other professionals in the industry because the eligibility requirements are stringent and require evidence. As an alternative, “exceptional skill” might be demonstrated by receiving a pay that is higher than those in a comparable position, providing proof of significant unique contributions, or winning a prize or award for excellence.

It can take a while to gather this proof, and a lot of other people’s time is also required. Plan ahead of time and be sure to maintain your connections with former employers to ensure that they will support your application.

Along with medical examination papers, you must submit formal paperwork with your application and carry it with you to the immigration visa interview. Your application will be sent to the National Visa Centre, which will give the applicant instructions on how to fill out a form for an immigration lawyer and pay the necessary costs before processing the official paperwork.

There are fees associated with certain acts, including the filing and processing of petitions as well as other services that could result in additional expenses such translations. For every application, prices change. For instance, the fees for Employment Preference applicants are close to $350, and all fees are non-refundable and non-transferable, regardless of whether a visa is granted or rejected.

How to Get a Job in California

Prepare for Your Interview

Only until the immigration office is satisfied that all necessary papers has been submitted will your interview be scheduled. These meetings are performed by a consular officer who will assess the applicant’s eligibility at the US Embassy or Consulate in the nation where you are currently residing.

You must also show during your interview that you have no intention of assuming public office in the US and that you only intend to temporarily relocate there in order to continue working in your field of competence.

Familiarize Yourself with the Restraints, Rules and Regulations

Until the yearly numerical limit for the category is met, all employment-based immigrant visas are issued in the order of application submission. Some categories may have a significant amount of oversubscription, resulting in a lengthy waiting period.

You only have a maximum of six months to enter the US after your visa is valid. Your visa will become invalid if you don’t do it by the deadline.

You should also be aware that the consular official will hand you your passport, which contains the visa, as well as a sealed packet holding the official documents you submitted with your application when you receive your visa. When you enter the US, a US immigration official must open the visa packet because doing so invalidates your visa.

How to Get a Job in California

For citizens of the United States

Do Your Research

East or West, the expense of living on a shore is often much higher than elsewhere in America. San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland in California rank as the nation’s top, third, and fourth most expensive cities to live in comfortably in 2018, surpassing New York, according to research by personal finance company GoBankingRates. California is also the most expensive state to live in. In San Francisco, the average monthly rent is $3,300, or about $40,000 annually.

Although California’s enormous cities are spread out far from its expensive centers, there are still some affordable places to reside there; nevertheless, commuting times must be taken into account. Avoid signing a long-term lease before having a job secured; just because you live close to a work opportunity does not mean you will have a short commute.

Taxes are another expense you should take into account because combined city, state, and federal taxes differ from state to state and city to city. Be careful of the tax rate shift from your present state and locality. If you reside outside of a major city or a coastline state, your tax rate will likely be lower.

California has a high cost of living, although average salaries are often greater. The average yearly wage in the arts, design, entertainment, and media is just under $60,000 in California, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, while, a website that compares salaries, pegs the average artist salary in America at little over $53,000.

To Begin With, Consider the Bi-Postal Commute

Large corporations with headquarters in other states and important locations like New York or Chicago may be bi-postal, giving you the option to divide your time between the two states. With California luring many who want improved weather and a wellness-oriented lifestyle, this can be the option for you. Particularly for in-demand talent, you may have greater freedom to choose your place of choice.

By taking this path, you would have the stability to apply for a job in your native city or state and then test the climate of California as a potential location for a long-term migration. At the interview, you should consider the possibility of dividing your time between different states, and you should indicate your interest in moving early on to show that you are serious about the transfer.

Risking The Right Time to Move

Typically, candidates who live closer to the site of employment are favored, unless you are going for a specialized or senior level position. Employers frequently inquire about applicants’ commute times, which should ideally be under two hours. The longer the journey, the higher the danger that the employee won’t be able to keep up with job demands, making the hiring decision riskier.

Additionally, even if you offer to relocate for the position, the employer would still view you as a larger risk than choosing from the already sizable pool of applicants in California. If it doesn’t work out, what then? What happens if the worker is unable to locate housing? Even though some businesses provide relocation packages, these are less prevalent and typically offered by larger businesses.

A local address on your resume will help your application if you move to California before obtaining a job, perhaps staying with friends or family, to maximize your chances of changing careers within the Golden State if you are an American citizen living outside of California. then subsequently find a residence.

The Complete Guide to Getting a State of California Job

This manual will assist you in obtaining employment with the State of California. You will need to take a number of actions in order to work for the State. Although the hiring procedure for the State of California can be a little complex, this information should help you get started. Online, there are a tonne of excellent resources (like the California Job Blog). There is a wealth of useful information about the hiring procedure and job requirements on the CalHR and CalCareers websites.

  1. Examination
  2. Eligibility
  3. Vacancies
  4. Apply
  5. Interview
  6. Clearances
  7. Notes

How to Get a Job in California

  1. Complete the test

Exams are the initial step in beginning a career with the State of California. You can only be eligible for a classification after passing an exam. The hiring process often starts with an exam, with a few exceptions (see below). All hiring for California State Jobs is merit-based, and the examination process establishes merit.

Written exams, oral interviews, extra written exams, performance tests, and evaluations of your educational background and work experience could all be part of the exam type for which you are applying. Your exam’s nature will depend on its classification and the organization conducting it.

Numerous tests can be completed online, while some others can be registered for online but taken in person. Mailing paper applications is still a very prevalent practice.


You must first create a CalCareer account before you can apply for a position or register for an exam online. You have the access and verification needed to take an exam using your CalCareer account. You will require this account to apply for open positions once you have passed a test. In our post How to Create A CalCareer Account, learn how to get started with it.


A few professions are categorized as non-testing classifications. This indicates that you can apply without taking a test. One class that does not require testing is Student Assistants. You are eligible for reinstatement if you held a specific classification of employment with the State, made it through probation, and then left the State or changed jobs. You are regarded as “permanent” and have the right to continue working in the same classification after completing probation without having to reapply. You are eligible to move departments if you are currently employed by the state. It is not necessary to have successfully completed probation in order to switch departments and remain in the same classification.

Transfer Laterally.

It is also feasible to switch to a new classification that, in terms of compensation, obligations, and job scope, is extremely comparable to your current classification. The transfer here can be lateral. If you are qualified, your eligibility is decided by the department to which you are applying for a transfer. Declare on your State Application (STD 678) that you are utilizing Transfer Eligibility for your application.

Exam Schedules.

A bulletin outlines the application process as well as the Minimum Requirements (MQs) for taking the exam. The announcement will provide the deadline for applications and the address to send them to. You can see exam announcements online at CalCareers ( In the Test/Assessment Search area on the homepage of the CalCareer website, you can look for an exam under a certain category.

Read the employment and exam notifications carefully. They frequently give specific guidelines on how to submit an application and/or any additional paperwork you’ll need to provide.

Send Your Application In.

Applications for numerous tests must include a State Application Form (STD 678). The State Application can be found here or by searching for “Std. 678” on the CalCareers website. In July 2019, the State Application was revised. Ensure that you are utilising the most recent version.

An application that is blank can be downloaded and filled out on a computer before being printed. However, if you register for a CalCareers account, you can complete your application in the Job Applications section only once, saving time by updating or printing it as needed. Even better, you can make and save up to 10 templates. You can also submit an application through your CalCareer account. The State is moving away from paper and more people are submitting applications electronically.

Carefully Read The Exam Announcement.

Some tests can be taken online (such as Training and Experience Evaluations). Additionally, you can self-schedule several tests online using your CalCareer account. Exams taken online are also becoming increasingly common. You can take the extremely popular Office Technician and Associate Governmental Program Analyst examinations online and continuously.

Pay attention to the day and time that scheduling becomes available for tests that you can self-schedule. If the exam is administered in person, there is a limited number of slots, and they frequently fill up quickly. It is a good idea to be online, logged in, and prepared to register as soon as scheduling becomes available if the exam hasn’t been offered in a while.

Take The Test.

A departmental HR analyst will examine your paper application if you submitted one. You will receive notification that your application was accepted and a test date provided it satisfies the classification’s minimum requirements and was submitted in accordance with the exam bulletin’s submission guidelines.

If the test is online, you’ll first have to respond to an electronic questionnaire to see if you qualify for the job. You will also be informed if your application is denied since it was found that you fall short of the requirements. If you submitted a paper application, you will receive an email or letter informing you of this, and if you submitted an electronic application, you will be alerted right away.

How to Get a Job in California

Employment Requirements.

After creating and logging into your CalCareer account, you will see an Exam/Assessment Records tab on the left. You may view all of your exams, along with your results, here. A section titled Conditions of Employment will appear if you click on the List Code of a test you’ve taken. Make sure the county where the post you applied for is selected in the Locations part of this section. You must first make this alteration if you intend to apply for a position in a county that is not ticked. The Tenure/Timebase tab needs to be checked again as well. You must alter it if you are applying for a Part-Time position but only have Full-Time ticked.

Limited-term or permanent employment are additional possibilities in the Conditions of Employment section. Limited-term employment contracts may expire at any time. If a post is designated as a limited term, it will specify how long the appointment is. The typical duration is 12 or 24 months, with 24 being the maximum. However, limited-term roles have no set duration and could finish earlier than 12 months. However, there is a chance that LT jobs could eventually turn permanent. If you want to be considered for Limited Term, Permanent, or both, you can check the box.


Your exam results, if you took one online, will be made accessible to you right away. Your exam results, if you took it in person, will be available in a few weeks. You can check the exam results from within your CalCareer account after the administration department scores them and posts them on the employment website. You might receive your results in the mail at the same time. You must have passed the test successfully and achieved a score high enough to appear on an eligible list in order to continue in the procedure.

  1. List Eligibility

Ranks are assigned to state eligibility lists based on exam results. Candidates who receive the same score are grouped into the same rank. Only applicants in the top three ranks are often regarded “reachable” and eligible for appointment to a classification. If your score puts you lower than the third rank, don’t give up. The lower ranks advance as candidates are hired, drop out of consideration, or decline a post. For instance, after the applicants from rank one are cleared, the fourth rank will become rank three. The candidates in that category are reachable once rank four rises to rank three.

  1. Look for an Open Position

The first stage of the recruiting procedure is over if you pass an exam and are included in a list of eligible candidates. Finding open employment and submitting applications are the next steps after becoming eligible.

  1. Apply

In the upcoming years, more departments will only accept the State Application (STD 678) in its electronic format, however for the time being, applications can typically also be submitted on paper. You can mail your application to the location listed in the job posting or drop it off at the HR office of the hiring department. You can find all the information you need to apply in the advertisement, including how to get in touch with HR personnel if you have any queries. A list of duties should be included in the job posting. If it doesn’t, you have the right to ask for one. You must complete a number of crucial tasks when completing your application. You might find some advice for completing a state application below.

  1. Participate in a hiring interview

The selection analyst will review every aspect of your application to ensure that it is complete and that all qualification and eligibility requirements have been met after you have submitted it but before an interview is set. They will verify that your license is active and valid if the classification for which you are applying calls for a particular license. You’ll be informed of the date and time of your interview if all the conditions are satisfied. Please carefully read the notification, and be aware that it can instruct you to bring additional paperwork to your interview, such as a license, diploma, or certificate.

How to Get a Job in California

  1. Pre-Employment Clearances

Before being appointed to a post, every prospective employee of the State of California must pass a number of pre-employment clearances. There are different clearances for each department, and some classes have additional criteria. These clearances could consist of:

  • In general, reference checks are necessary for every prospective State employee. Even if you already work for the department, your supervisor will likely be notified if you are employed.

  • Fingerprints. Many departments demand that prospective workers submit to fingerprinting as part of a background investigation into their criminal records.

  • Physical. Some departments need a pre-employment physical. For some categories, this can involve drug testing. Most agencies require appointees to submit a health evaluation form before employment, even if they don’t demand a complete physical.

  • Verification of employment eligibility. An applicant’s identity and employment authorization are verified using Form I-9. The State of California requires this as a general qualification for jobs.
  1. Additional Information

The hiring procedure for the State of California might occasionally be rather perplexing. You can find some notes and advice to assist you get through this trying procedure below. The California Job Blog and CalCareer both provide a tonne of resources.

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