If your company offers you a promotion, but you have to relocate to accept it, should you take it? This is not a simple decision. A corporate relocation can be the best decision of your professional career, or it could be one of the worst. Your first instinct may be to jump on it, especially if it comes with more money or if you've been angling for more responsibility. However, there are important variables that you need to consider before accepting any employee relocation offers. Take a look at a few of the most important considerations you should take into account when deciding whether to relocate for a job.
Who Will Pay for Moving Expenses?
Moving isn't cheap, and if you're expected to jump into a new position as soon as possible, you may not have much time to save up, sell your home, finish out your lease, or shop around for the best prices. That means that your expenses may be even higher than they would be if you were moving on your own initiative. So how will those expenses be paid?
While company relocations are on the rise, surveys indicate that almost half of relocating employees were given partial reimbursements or lump sum payments, while 36% of employees were given full reimbursement for their moving expenses.
Make sure to read the fine print to find out how your company plans to help with moving expenses, and don't be afraid to negotiate for a better deal. You can do this by making a list of estimates of all the expenses you'll need to pay, including not just movers and transportation, but also things like the cost of breaking a lease, or storage costs. That way you'll have a ballpark idea of what you should be asking for.
Will the Move Improve Your Financial Situation?
Most of the time, a corporate relocation comes with some financial incentive, like a raise or bonus—however, that is not always the case. What's more, it's possible that even if you're offered a raise, it may not be enough. Find out if your cost of living will increase in your new location, and if that cost will be offset by your raise.
It's possible to receive a raise and still end up in a worse financial situation due to a change in your cost of living. This is especially true if you relocate from an affordable city to one with a very high cost of living, like New York City. If the position advances your long-term career goals, it may be worth temporarily sacrificing a higher standard of living, but you should at least do the research and find out whether or not your move will improve or worsen your financial situation before you accept the position. Don't assume that a raise necessarily means your finances will improve.
How Will the Move Affect Your Family?
If you have a family, you'll need to consider how the move will affect them, as well as how it will affect you. Compare the schools in your current area to the schools in the city you'd be moving to—will your children's education decrease in quality, or increase? What about childcare? If you've been depending on nearby grandparents for free childcare, for example, the added expense of paying for childcare in a new city may be a dealbreaker.
If your spouse works, there's also the question of how the move will affect their career. Some companies offer job assistance for "trailing spouses", and this is something you should ask your company about. Even if they don't have a formal program for helping spouses find work, they may be willing to extend themselves for your spouse if you ask.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you're offered a terrific-sounding relocation opportunity. Take the time to slow down and consider all aspects of the decision, and you'll be able to sort out whether or not the move is the right choice for you.