Relocation for work: challenges and benefits
If your employer asks you for relocation, it is likely that he will offer you a relocation package. Basically, it's a compensation package that makes moving cost-effective for you. By helping employees with relocation, companies can increase employee retention and ensure that they attract the best talent to all of their positions.
Moving to a new city, state, or especially country is a major life decision. There are obvious things to consider before you do it (transportation, housing, etc.), but there are many specifics that remain behind the scenes. What else do you need to consider if you're leaving your current home for a job?
In order to make this decision in a considered and well-judged way, you should recognize that along with the benefits, there will also be some obvious difficulties. Stay open-minded and ready to talk about how you feel at the office and at home.
What is relocation?
Relocation in the professional sense is when an employer asks you to move to be closer to his office. It can be a full-time job as well as a remote or home office position, but in the same city where the corporate office is located. Usually, companies are happy to offer jobs to highly skilled or very specialized professionals. Sometimes executives want to promote you or think your knowledge and experience would be better used in a different location.
Problems of relocating
First and foremost, relocation is an expense. The cost of moving may be the deciding factor if your company is not willing to cover your expenses. However, some employers may offer a relocation package. Calculate travel expenses, the cost of renting corporate or temporary housing, and the penalty for breaking your rental agreement. Then compare these costs with your employer's offer.
Your partner may experience some difficulties. He or she may have to look for a job in a new city, and this may take quite a while. This stress can put both financial and emotional strain on your relationship. Experts recommend setting aside several months to find a job for your partner before you relocate.
You will need to look for housing in a completely unfamiliar area. If you don't have access to corporate or temporary housing, finding an apartment in a new city can be a big challenge. Research reviews for different districts of the city, and use all available online tools for a preliminary review. Preferably, make a trip to the city and drive through your chosen neighborhood during the daytime, evening, and night. First of all, consider rental offers — buying the property may be a premature decision. It is better to rent for 6 to 12 months, not longer. That way, in case something goes wrong, you won't have to endure an uncomfortable neighborhood and wait until your rental agreement expires.
You may have to get used to a different transportation system. If you are moving from the countryside to a big city, you may have to give up your car and learn a new public transportation system. Conversely, if you are moving from the city to the countryside, you may have to factor in the cost of buying a car, gasoline, maintenance, etc. GPS is your best friend when exploring a new city. After you move, try different routes to find the one that works best for you.
You may experience some culture shock. Experiencing a new city and culture can seem overwhelming and isolating. If possible, try to visit the area several times before you move to make sure you will be comfortable with the environment.
You will have to make new friends. Social integration can be difficult and especially challenging for those who are introverts or relocating alone. The easiest way to make your first acquaintances is by socializing with colleagues and attending various events.
You may need some licenses or documents. Even licensed professionals sometimes move and cannot work for a period of time until their paperwork has been locally reviewed and processed. Experts advise you to check the state requirements for your activities beforehand and ask your employer if he or she takes care of these concerns.
Integration can be difficult, and the job may end up being unsuitable. It can be difficult to fit into a new position. Psychologists believe the first priority is building trust in the work environment. If you try out your new position and end up deciding it's not appropriate for you, you should accept it and move on.
How does the relocation happen?
While preparing for the relocation, we recommend the following steps:
Discuss your relocation package. Before you accept a job offer or promotion, you should ask your employer how he or she plans to help you during the relocation. Find out if they have any services that will make your moving easier.
Explore your new office. Before you move, schedule a time to visit your new office. This way, you can introduce yourself to other employees and better understand what your workplace is like.
Socialize with your colleagues. Moving to a new city is an exciting opportunity. Since you may not know anyone there, reach out to your new colleagues. See if they would like to have coffee with you and have a chat about what they can advise you about your relocation.
Calculate the cost of living. Before you sign a new rental agreement, think about how much it will cost to live in your new city. Consider prices in nearby restaurants, transportation, rent, etc.
Forward your mail. Be sure to change your address and forward mail that is on the way to make sure it reaches you on time at a new location.
Relocate before you start working. If you have enough time, it's best to move into your new home before you start work. That way you can get everything organized and set up.
Keep track of all your moving expenses. Employers usually ask you to submit all moving expenses if they offer a relocation package. Be sure to keep all receipts in one place.
Research the local tax laws. When you move to a new city, state, or country, you may encounter different income tax laws. Be sure to study them, so you have a general idea of how much tax you may owe at the end of the year. Keeping this in mind will help you budget properly and evaluate your employer's offer.
Benefits of Relocation
- It can provide a guarantee that you will keep your job. In some situations, relocating is the only way to keep your job. If you decide to move, your employer may feel that you are loyal to the company. This can be a guarantee of keeping your job if your employer has to make layoffs in the future.
- It can be an opportunity for career advancement. In addition to job security, moving to a new location can be a career booster and lead to a promotion. Often the transfer of key employees to another office is associated with changes in the company, the launch of new projects, and so on. This can be a chance for you to develop your branch and move up the career ladder significantly.
- You can improve your standard of living and your quality of life. Often moving to a new place of employment improves your standard of living and well-being.
- It's very helpful for personal development and new experiences. Moving is an opportunity to start from scratch and rediscover yourself.
- You can make new friends. Moving is a great opportunity to make new, positive friendships and leave toxic ones behind.
- You can move to a better climate. If you now live in a cold place and have always wanted to live by the sea or vice versa, perhaps this is your chance to finally relocate. Moving to your desired climate can improve your quality of life.
Still not sure whether to move?
We have prepared a list of useful questions for you. By answering them you can make the right decision.
Questions for single people who are planning to move on their own:
- Will I enjoy my new job?
- Will this relocation improve my current career and future opportunities?
- Will it improve my financial situation?
- How far away will I be from my parents, cousins, siblings, and current friends?
- If my employer doesn't pay for the entire relocation, will I be able to afford the cost of the move?
- If I own a house, is it easy for me to sell it quickly without a loss?
- What is the cost of living in a new place?
- Will the new community provide sufficient social, cultural, and recreational opportunities?
There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages of relocating. As a rule, the problems are short-term, while the benefits can affect your life in the long run. Compare the pros and cons, and then you can figure out if moving is worth it or not.