While many professionals may see a corporate relocation as a necessary step in their career path, that doesn’t mean it’s not a major change. The company you work for you is expecting you to leave your network of friends and family behind and abandon the home you may have known all your life for a strange new city. While it may be the best opportunity for you, that doesn’t mean you should simply accept your move as the cost of doing business and take whatever your boss offers. Relocation negotiation is a complicated dance, and individuals who go into the process unprepared may walk away with a bad deal.
Relocations are becoming more and more common as companies become global, but even if it’s a standard process for your company, don’t expect there to be a plan in place. You may have to initiate the negotiation yourself, and you should come prepared with terms.
The Cost of Relocating
Relocating can cost a lot of money, particularly if you’re crossing over state lines, and that’s one of the key factors when determining the value of a relocation package; but companies are looking for hard numbers when they enter a negotiation, so come prepared. Take an inventory of your belongings and get quotes from a commercial moving company so that you can provide your employer with an accurate estimate.
Researching Your New Home
Your employer may think it’s personally reasonable for you just to pick up and move at the promise of a new job opportunity, but are you sure you’re ready for the change of environment? Finding housing isn’t always easy, and using the justification of searching out a new home or apartment can be a great justification for your employer to fly you out to the city. It can also be a great means to get your feet wet and explore the local culture.
Terms Within Reasonable Expectations
There are probably at least loose parameters regarding what your employer will offer you for a relocation package, but they wouldn’t be in a good negotiating position if they were transparent with that information. Seek out other employees who have received benefit packages, and try to learn more about the terms they took. This can help you determine how much room you have in negotiating your own deal.
Look at Your Specific Needs
Ultimately when a company decides to pay out a relocation package, it comes down to simple finances. The specifics are less expensive to your employer than the raw cost of the package. With that in mind, make a list of the objectives that matter to you and carefully prioritize them. This could mean the cost of breaking a lease, the need to provide a spouse or partner with assistance finding a new job in their new city, or temporary housing until you can settle on a new rental or mortgage agreement. Whatever you terms are, determine the very least on which you’re willing to settle on and make this your line in the sand. Then, using the expectations you’ve gleaned from other employees, set your non-mandatory goals as bargaining chips.