Expert Advice for Negotiating a Killer Relocation Package

October 7th, 2019
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Would you be willing to move for the right job? Economic forecasters say workers need to go where they can get the best jobs, and that might not be where they currently reside.

Whether you’re heading to the coast to further your manufacturing career or going to the Midwest to tap into your health care talents, moving for work is a major life change. Certainly it can be a good change when you get a good job making a good salary, but moving itself is expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining.

When considering relocation, it’s important to research the area thoroughly. Some important basic questions to ask yourself include:

  • Does this area appeal to my interests?
  • How does the cost of living compare?
  • What is the housing situation like?
  • What are the schools like for my family?
  • What are the job prospects for my spouse?
  • How does this location play into my Fifteen-Year Vision?

When a move is required for a job, you can typically negotiate to help curb the cost and ease the process. The hiring manager will likely give you a basic understanding of what assistance is typical for relocation hires, but don’t let this limit you. You have negotiating power, and if they want you and your skills, they will be willing to work with you to meet your needs.

The first step is to ask about standard relocation policies. Established companies should be able to provide written guidance on these policies. This may be plentiful, yet you may find you have additional needs you’d like met for your move.

Negotiating relocation benefits is just like any other negotiation. Make sure to do your research, focus on collaboration, and note how each “ask” will benefit you and the company. If you need help, work with your GetFive career coach.

Here are some things you may want to negotiate when relocating for a job:

  • Moving costs: Will they provide you a lump sum or reimburse you for a certain amount? Is this a whole-house transport (i.e., they pack your belongings) or just a moving company (drives your goods)?
  • Scouting trips: Will they pay for a few trips for your family to explore the area? This is beneficial if trying to get buy-in from your family.
  • Temporary lodging costs: How long will they provide temporary housing? A range of 30-90 days is typical.
  • Job search assistance for spouses: Getting the job of your dreams might mean your partner has to give up theirs. Ask about assistance for job hunting, such as recruiter referrals or outplacement services.
  • Assistance in selling and buying a home: Will the company help you sell your current home while you locate your next one? Will the company pay for storage of your household goods during the transition?
  • Cash stipend: Do they provide a fund for miscellaneous expenses?

Once you reach an agreement regarding your relocation package, make sure to get it in writing. A verbal affirmation is not enough. A simple signed letter is adequate.

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