6 Things to Negotiate When You’re Relocating for Work

6 Things to Negotiate When You’re Relocating for Work

Whether you’re relocating for work out of necessity, getting promoted to the position of your dreams or just changing employers, it’s a huge life transition to pick up and make a new home for yourself in a different locale — and companies know this.

You might be surprised by how much your new gig is willing to financially help you with, especially since 87 percent of surveyed employers have a formal policy for relocation, according to US News Money. In fact, 65 percent of those surveyed offered full reimbursement for employees who are relocating for work.

To make things as simple as possible for yourself, it’s wise to speak with your workplace to see what expenses and perks they’re willing to negotiate with you on as you make your move. And if they’re not as flexible as you might like, that might be a good indication that the job isn’t the right fit for you. It’s really a win-win situation.

Here are six things you’ll want to negotiate on with your employer to not only incentivize you to relocate but to benefit the company, as well.


  1. Moving Services


Anyone who’s moved — even within the same neighborhood — knows that moving services (like a truck rental, professional movers and fuel) can add up really quickly. The good news is that if your company requires you to relocate, they’ll typically assist you with moving services.

But what you may not know is that many companies will pay for movers to pack and unpack of all your belongings, move exercise equipment and even move up to two cars. How’s that for convenience?


  1. Costs for Breaking a Lease


As the (new, made-up) saying goes, hell hath no fury like a landlord scorned. Depending on your lease terms, breaking your rental contract can cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars — not to mention the loss of your security deposit in many cases.

If you’re being asked to relocate for your job, you may have no choice but to cancel your lease early. Fortunately, most companies will pay (or reimburse you) for breaking your rental contract and giving up your security deposit in order to make the move.


  1. A Raise


If you’re relocating to a city with a higher cost of living than your previous locale, employers will typically adjust your base salary or hourly wage to make the increased expenses surrounding your new home affordable.

These income adjustments often incorporate everything from the cost of housing and food to gas and public transportation so that you can maintain the same quality of life that you had at your old abode.

Remember — everything is negotiable, so it helps to have a list of your current necessary living expenses (like food, transportation and housing, for example) so that your employer can get a better idea of how to adjust your income to meet the needs of you and your family.


  1. Trips to Find a New Place


It’s next to impossible to move to a new location (especially a big city) without a place to live already sorted out — not to mention a good school for your kids, if applicable. That’s why many companies will pay for up to several trips out to your new city so that you can scout out a suitable neighborhood. These trips can give you a good feel for the place you’re relocating to, which is invaluable if it turns out that the place just isn’t for you and your family.

Your employer might also pay for trips back to your old home if you have to move before your family does. It’s imperative during negotiations with your employer that you make these conditions known ahead of time, as most companies will require you to relocate within two weeks of an offer.


  1. Temporary Housing


If you’re not able to travel to your new locale because of work, time or family, you may have no other option but to take up short-term housing after you relocate — and if you’re staying at a hotel, those expenses can really put a dent on your bank account.

But of the employers surveyed, more than half of them provided financial assistance with temporary housing, often in the form of an allowance. It’s really just a matter of asking what your stipend for that expense is (and even that can be negotiated at many companies).


  1. Assistance with Job Searching for Your Spouse


Sure, it’s easy for you to relocate because you’ve already secured a job (and therefore a steady income), but what about your spouse? Since relocations tend to happen very quickly, it’s important that your spouse finds work in your new location as soon as possible after arrangements are finalized and in writing with your employer.

If you’re moving to a larger city, the job market can be extremely competitive, and securing work can be a trying and long process — which your household might not be able to financially sustain for an extended (or even short) period of time. But many employers include assistance with your spouse’s job search in their relocation packages or are otherwise willing to negotiate paying for the expense.


The Bottom Line


Since relocation packages can be vastly different from employer to employer, remind yourself that nothing’s guaranteed. It’s vital to ask about what they’re offering you as soon as you possibly can and then negotiate from there.

Find out whether they’re reimbursing you for some or all of your relocation services or giving you a lump sum that you can use at your discretion. These are key considerations if you don’t have a lot of cash to front the cost, for example. You can often negotiate the amount you get for these perks, in addition to how you’re getting paid for them.

Knowing these things in advance can really help your family ease into your new job and home without all the hassle and stress.

Megan Pantak

Megan Pantak is a licensed car insurance agent and content writer located in Phoenix, Arizona. She began her Esurance career in 2012 selling auto policies then changed teams to become one of their star writers. She spends her free time exploring the highways and side roads of Arizona and beyond.

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