5. Get to know headhunters in your field, if you don't already. "Recruiters often specialize in a particular function or a specific industry," Anderson points out. "They tend to look for candidates over wide geographical areas, and they may be trying to fill openings near you for big client companies that are based elsewhere."
A fifth suggestion: If at all possible -- maybe on the weekends -- do try to get involved in a nearby community organization. Churches (or synagogues, or mosques), the local Red Cross, the YMCA or YWCA, the PTA, and many other kinds of groups often have lots going on, even in very small towns. They're great places to start getting to know your neighbors, including those who might know of job openings.
Granted, all this research and reaching out on your part will take time and patience (although it might also be kind of fun). While you're looking, why not try negotiating with your current employer to let you telecommute for at least a day or two each week?
"We're seeing more and more managers doing this," Anderson says. "The technology available now makes it practical, and companies see real benefits to productivity when people have less stress and less wasted time stuck in traffic."
Who knows? If you could rearrange your current schedule to let you work from home some of the time, your commute -- on the days when you still have to do it -- might be a little easier to take.
Talkback: Do you have a long commute to and from work? If you've found a job in a small town, how did you do it? Leave a comment below.