What to negotiate when relocating a job

Relocating for work can be a stressful process, whether you’re moving to a new branch of your current company or going with an entirely new employer. This is a big decision to make, and it essentially involves uprooting your entire life to start something different. A new home, a new town, new neighbors, and many things left behind. It’s exciting, sure, but it’s not something to take lightly. In fact, it is very common to negotiate with employers when going into these kinds of situations. The process of relocation is not only stressful, it’s expensive as well. Make sure to be a smart negotiator to get the most out of your new arrangement.

Draw up a realistic budget and list of expenses so that you can determine how much your relocation is going to cost you right off the bat. Include things like transportation, moving expenses, and time lost from work. If you are going to be seeking assistance in selling or leasing your current home, you may include this in your expenses as well. And of course, it is common to make one or more trips to your future hometown before relocating to look for new living arrangements. These are all expenses that result directly from your relocation, and you should have a total figure in mind when you go into negotiations with your future employer.

You may need to pay many of these expenses up front, which can cause additional strain in the relocation process, and your employer should understand this. Fronting the entire cost of relocating for work is unrealistic for many of us, and for this reason companies typically offer relocation assistance packages to their new hires from out of town. You would be right to ask for an advance on this package after sealing the deal so that you can cover some initial expenses. Depending on the offer your future employers make, you may or may not have to exercise your negotiation skills.

Be sure to talk about salary as well. There are many reasons to relocate for work, but if you’re not offered a salary that makes the whole process worthwhile, why should you go through with it. If your future employer’s original salary offer isn’t quite appetizing enough for you, don’t be afraid to bring this up in your negotiations. It’s better to get these things out in the open than go into a new venture unsatisfied. You won’t have your hiring revoked for bringing up salary, and your employer may even admire your drive. Whatever the outcome, it’s always best to shoot high.

Whether you’re going into Tanglewood real estate or Seattle software development, you want to make sure that your new life is satisfying for you in all ways. Negotiating is about trying to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. When you and your employer are both happy with the new arrangement, you’ve opened the door to a satisfying future with a new company.


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Jenni Proctor

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