Labor and Employment

Relocating for a Job

Are you considering relocating to a new city or state for a job? Before you make a final decision about whether or not to relocate for a job, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages and the costs involved.

Both moving and starting a new job are very stressful, so you can try to alleviate some of the stress by making sure the pros outweigh the cons and by making sure your are financially prepared for a move. Make sure you can afford the move before you accept a relocation offer.

Make It a Family Decision

If you have a family, make sure that your decision to relocate is one made by your whole family. It's important that you take your family's wants and needs into consideration. If you have a spouse, will he or she be able to find employment in your new destination? How about your children, will they accept relocating to a new area where they will need to make new friends and attend a new school?

Pros and Cons of Moving

Here are some of the things to consider when you are thinking about relocating for a job:

  • Cost of relocating
  • Selling your home
  • Leaving family and friends
  • Cost of living
  • Work environment
  • Weather
  • Culture
  • Crime rate
  • Work commute

Here are some additional things for you to consider if you have a family:

  • Ability of spouse to get job
  • Schools
  • Activities for the children

Although you should weigh many factors in reaching your decision, sometimes the necessity of finding work trumps all other factors, causing you to move to make a living even if everything else weighs against it.

Ask Employer about Relocation Expenses

Many employers pay to relocate their employees so don't be afraid to ask about relocation expenses when you interview with a company. If the relocation is for a new job, you'll want the hiring manager to view spending money on your relocation as an investment rather than as an expense, so try to convince the hiring manager that you will be an asset to the company.

Negotiating a Relocation Package

You can negotiate a relocation package with your manager if your current employer is asking you to relocate or the hiring manager if you would need to relocate for a new employer. Get quotes from movers and calculate the difference in the cost of living between your area and the new work location. This should be helpful during the negotiating process because it shows you're interested in getting the best deal for both you and the company. However, don't negotiate relocation expenses until the job is offered to you.

Plan for the Move

After you have successfully negotiated relocation expenses, you'll need to plan for your move. You may want to rent initially because it allows you to learn more about the area you're relocating to without the commitment of home ownership. It also gives you time to get acquainted with your new job and new city. If you are planning on renting an apartment, you can use the Internet to view photos and take virtual tours of apartments, check availability information, research community information and even complete the entire rental process without leaving home.

If you own a home you'll need to either sell it or rent it out since selling may be difficult in today's housing market. You'll also need to choose a moving company, unless your employer pays for the move and selects the mover for you.

Try to stay organized by creating a file that includes a detailed timeline for the moving process, move-related documents and important contact information. Keep detailed records about all aspects of your move and keep those records handy.

Non-Compete Agreements

Be aware of any non-compete agreement you have with your current or former employer. You may have signed one when you were hired or promoted. Sometimes non-compete agreements are part of a severance package. A non-compete agreement may prevent you from working for competitors.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • Do I have any options besides moving or quitting if my current employer asks me to relocate?
  • Can my former employer keep me from working in the same field in another state if I signed a non-compete clause?
  • I am divorced and am the custodial parent of my children, do I need to get permission from the court before I can relocate?
  • Should I have an employment contract? Should I have any safeguards in place in case the employer decides to withdraw the offer or eliminates my position within a short time of my move?
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