So you've landed a job in a new city and your future employer has offered you a relocation package. Great news! Right? Relocation packages are a great incentive to accept a job offer but it's important to consider the whole picture – cost of a move, finding jobs and schools for your family, etc. – before accepting an offer.
Although they all vary by situation, typical relocation packages will likely include:
- Family/Spousal Assistance – Including assistance in finding employment for your spouse and good schools for your children
- Travel Expenses – Including a pre-move visit to check out housing and schools
- Temporary Living Arrangements
- Moving Costs – Including packing, unpacking, shipping and storage fees
- Housing Costs – Including costs associated with leaving like a fee for breaking a lease or help with selling your home
Although your relocation package details may include many other things, it should at least have these basic items. Relocating for a job can have an impact on the whole family so the offer should keep them in mind also.
Do Your Research
Just like anything else, research will help you better understand your needs and, in turn, how much support you need. Research the local economy and cost of living (you can use our cost of living calculator) to make sure the proposed salary will still allow for a comfortable lifestyle. Explore different neighborhoods and consider whether the region will be conducive to the kind of lifestyle you want. How important are things like entertainment, the arts, and recreational activities to your lifestyle? You may need to consider the caliber of local schools and crime rate. There are many things to consider before moving so do your research to be sure the move is right for you and attainable with the relocation package.
Take time to review the details of your relocation offer thoroughly. If you don't feel your relocation package is going to help enough with your move, you should negotiate the benefits with your future employer before you accept the job. Do your research (see above) and ask about the conditions of the package. Are you required to use movers specified by the company? Will expenses will be paid in full to each vendor or will you receive a lump sum? Will you be reimbursed or will the company pay for everything up front? If you can't afford to pay it all initially, a reimbursement plan may not be the best option for you.
Get it in Writing
As you gather your research and begin negotiation with your future employer, be sure to get every aspect of the offer in writing. You don't want to be caught off guard when the employer forgets something they verbally promised and there isn't any documentation to back it up.
Relocating for a new job can be an exciting change for you and your family. Be mindful of you and your family's needs and don't be afraid to negotiate the specifics to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible.