I move in search of opportunity.

When I was young, my father worked for the government, and we moved because of his posting.

Then I moved to a different city so I could get cheap education. Later, I moved to yet another city to get a job. I have lived outside my home state more than inside, which makes me wonder if I can call it my "home state" at all.

Is there a (single) word for people like me who move in search of opportunities?

I found in Macmillan the phrase 'bird of passage' which is a hypernym, but not an exact match:

bird of passage [noun] [literary]

someone who keeps moving from one place to another

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    P.S.: I am aware of 'nomad', and that is not the word I am looking for. Besides, nomads move in search of food for their animals, which is different kind of move. correct me if I misunderstand, Thanks
    – Abhishek
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:12
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    The fixed expression / compound noun 'economic migrant' may be as close as you can get. Aug 28, 2019 at 10:48
  • There's another meaning to nomad apart from the primary, more common one. Look up the OxfordDictionary online (now Lexico lexico.com/en/definition/nomad). Note the example sentences, too. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:48
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    @EdwinAshworth Migrants usually do not keep moving about.
    – Kris
    Aug 28, 2019 at 10:49
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    @Kris Some species of animals (eg Monarch butterflies) migrate in stages, sometimes not completing (for the entire cohort) a full circuit. I've just thrown in this as an obviously closely related phenomenon, and indicated that it is a broadening too far ... but it's not way off target. Possibly a hyponym of the word OP is after (if it exists). Aug 28, 2019 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


You might consider itinerant:

working in one place for a comparatively short time and then moving on to work in another place


Here's what you might be looking for,




: a person who is staying or working in a place for a short time only.

Some example sentences -

Thanks to their dazzling diversity of color, furtive nature, and transient presence, warblers, and their fellow neotropical migrants monopolize spring birding.

Since 1999, the territorial government has been coping with hundreds of staff vacancies and a highly transient workforce - and few employees who want to stay in their jobs for long.

While the furthest camping section is the refuge of transient workers looking for an affordable place to stay, tourists are most likely to make use of the cabins and dorms.

Among other consequences, this has meant that the tourism industry has not been able to adequately access transient workers because there is nowhere for them to stay.

It is believed that permitting foreign expatriates to own their own properties encourages increased longevity of stay and contributes to a more less transient economic environment.

(From Oxford (now Lexico))

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