When to Negotiate a Relocation Package
While relocation packages are not as common in today's economy, many employers recognize that it's less expensive to pay to bring in the right employee from elsewhere in the country than to go through a string of bad ones who happen to live near the offices.
The time to negotiate a relocation package, if one is not immediately offered, is after you are offered the job, and after salary negotiations. You probably don't want to take a lower salary in exchange for relocation assistance.
Relocation Packages Come in Many Forms
When you're considering moving for work, you must be prepared to pay all expenses, up front, yourself. The relocation package should be a bonus, not a necessity. In addition, you may wind up having to pay for your move in its entirety up front and receive reimbursement.
Some companies will pay for a move, but call it by a different name. Signing bonuses are often disguised relocation packages that employees can use to cover moving expenses. Remember, you're liable for the taxes on any bonuses or relocation packages you receive, so when you negotiate, factor those costs (as much as 30 percent) into the amount you request.
Selling Your House before a Move
If you're a homeowner, relocating can get even more complicated. You'll want to talk about options such as home sale assistance in your relocation package. If you are a new hire, accepting the job should not be contingent on the sale of your home. But your new employer might be willing to offer assistance with selling or renting your home while you focus on moving and your new job.
Moving day when you're relocating is much like any other moving day, except you have the added stress of being back to work on Monday and showing up as the superstar they believe you are.
Don't attempt a do-it-yourself move if you are relocating as a new hire. Let professional movers handle the details, have them unpack your mattress first, and turn in early so you can focus on your new job after a good night's sleep. Employers call this a “return-to-productivity” and it helps them justify the costs of that generous relocation package.