Negotiating Your Interstate Relocation
Congratulations on taking this exciting step in your career! Whether you are moving to a new job or for a current job, moving costs can add up quickly.
You will want a relocation package that gives you peace of mind. The right relocation package will reduce moving stress immensely and help you settle into your new home. The first step to getting that relief is coming to an amicable understanding with your employer through negotiation.
Of course, be sure to schedule a negotiation with your employer well before the move. Once you have found your moving company, paid the price, and gotten on the airplane, there’s not a lot you can do but pay the expenses yourself! Put a plan in place months before your relocation whenever possible.
Relocation Package Options
Before you begin negotiating your relocation package, you should understand the possibilities that lie in front of you.
Some employers offer a lump sum amount upfront so you know exactly how much you will be getting towards your move. Or they may offer to cover your moving expenses up to a certain unchanging amount.
Alternatively, you may agree upon an approved receipt payback process. In this case, you will decide with your employer which costs are covered and which you will personally pay. As the move progresses, you can bring those approved receipts to your employer and get refunded for those amounts.
Topics of Conversation During Your Negotiation
First and foremost, start with your new salary and benefits. Next, discuss your travel plans and how you will get to your new home. You will also want to address professional movers and the best way to transport all your belongings.
Once you have covered these necessary parts of the moving negotiation, you can also ask about other assistance based on your individual needs. Some of these topics of conversation might include:
- Lifestyle changes: Will your spouse be giving up their current income and seeking a new job for the first few months after the move? Will you be going through the hassle of putting your children into new schools and programs?
- New home needs: Consider any installments or repairs you will need in your new home. Discuss security measures if they company is relocating you to a dangerous area.
- Health insurance: Don’t forget to discuss your health insurance plan, because coverage often changes from state to state. Talk about your current coverage and what will change in your new area.
- Housing research: Most employers require their employees to research the real estate in their new area themselves. However, some employees may offer a stipend for visiting the area and house hunting.
- Time off: You might need to take some time off for house hunting, packing, or preparing. Be realistic about the time you need off and talk to your employer about it.
- Living costs: In relation to your new salary, do plenty of research on the cost of living in your new area. Ask your employer about their thoughts on any changes when it comes to living costs. If the cost of living is significantly higher in your new area, your salary should naturally follow suit.
Moving Reimbursement Items
If you and your employer opt for receipt reimbursement, make a list of what you might need repaid. Be specific with your employer and write down items they are willing to reimburse. Some of these items might include:
- Travel: Airfare and fuel can be expensive over the course of an out-of-state move. Many employers are willing to pay for travel costs.
- Professional Moving Services: Your employer probably understands the hassle of loading and unloading all your belongings. Ask what they offer as far as professional moving services.
- Packing and Unpacking: You might inquire if your employer will assist with packing materials or hiring professional packers, especially if the move is rushed.
- Other Services: What else might you need help with over the course of your move? You have options like professional cleaning services, assistance with yard sales, organization experts, real estate agents etc.
It is polite to be reasonable with your requests, but if you are curious about something, don’t be afraid to bring it up. Most employers want to make your move a seamless experience.
Opportunities are Endless
Go into your relocation negotiation with an open mind. There are countless ways the move can be handled. For example:
- You might negotiate temporary housing if moving into your permanent house is not an option immediately after the move or if time is insufficient to find a permanent home.
- Consider transportation in your new area. If your new commute will be lengthy due to legitimate reasons, inquire about assistance with fuel. Some employees may need to sell their automobiles and purchase new transportation in the new area, and this can be up for discussion if reasoning is sound.
- Be sure you are on the same page if your company is paying for “professional moving services.” Remember that there are dozens of moving services you can hire out, like packing and unpacking, disassembly and assembly services, and basic loading and unloading.
- Some companies may be unable or unwilling to pay for a professional moving service. If this is the case, you can discuss alternatives like purchasing moving supplies, hiring hourly help, renting a truck, and shipment options.
Be creative during your negotiation. Thinking out of the box might be the best way to come away with a deal that both you and your employer are happy with.
Know Your Moving Costs and Needs
Before you even go into your relocation discussion, do your homework. Read up on your company’s relocation package policies. They might do the same thing for every employee, so be make you understand which areas are rigid and which are flexible, so your questions are well-informed.
- Numbers: Before going into a negotiation, you will need exact numbers for what you believe every moving need will cost you. It is best to have figures to back up your selected prices, for example, quotes from several moving companies.
- Needs: It is equally important to understand your unique needs. Which services will you need to make this move possible? Be prepared to discuss every specific concern with your employer. Don’t overlook things that might be neglected in a relocation package, like temporary housing or house hunting trips.
- Timeframes: Ask your employer about exact dates for receipt returns, refunds, etc. You don’t want to miss out on your window to receive the relocation package. In addition, understand other timeframes like when you are expected to return to work, how long you will be working in the new area, etc.
Before you walk away from your negotiation, get a written agreement written up so you can leave with total peace of mind and preparedness to make your move.