|Has your employer asked you to relocate for a job? Before making this life-changing decision, there is a lot to consider--and find out! While your concerns about accepting the job may vary, it's definitely important to ask the following questions before deciding if you will take the position.
Am I getting a RELO package?
When asked to relocate for a job, most employees will receive what is known as a relocation, or RELO package. Essentially, a RELO package is monetary compensation or other benefits your employer will provide in exchange for you accepting your position. Moving for a job is a drastic life change with many expenses, so it's often expected for your employer to provide you with benefits.
What's covered in the package?
Once your boss confirms you will receive a RELO package, it's important to find out what is included so you can decide if the move is a good decision for you. RELO packages are also negotiable, so be sure you are being offered sufficient benefits.
Compensation and benefits commonly offered in a RELO package include:
- Moving costs. Most companies will cover all moving-related expenses, such as moving company costs, boxes and materials, transportation costs, and even auto transport. This is usually the bare minimum offered in a relocation package--at the very least, you should not have to pay out of your pocket to move your family and your belongings to your new city.
- All-expense paid trip to look for housing. Companies will often pay for you to fly out or travel to your new city before the move to check out the area and look for potential housing. During this trip, travel costs, lodgings and other incidentals should be covered.
- Paid temporary housing. If you are unable to find a permanent home right away or are only relocating for the job temporarily, your company may pay for your hotel or rental for a determined period of time.
- Paid closing costs. Some employers offer incentives to purchase a home in your new city by paying some or all of your closing costs. Depending on your value as an employee (or how badly you are wanted for this position), your employer may also buy down the interest rate of your new home's mortgage or offer you a loan at a low rate.
- Assistance selling your home. Many employees are hesitant to relocate because it may be difficult to sell their homes after the real estate crash. Your employer may offer you aid when selling your home, including providing a choice of real estate agents, and/or payment of fees, closing costs and real estate commission.
- Covering the loss. With the real estate market in a slump, you may be forced to sell your home for less than what you owe, especially if you have refinanced your mortgage or taken out an equity loan. In this case, your company may offer to cover your loss. After a buyer makes an offer, you will sign the grant deed over to the third-party RELO company, and they will sign the contract with the buyer. Some packages may also offer what is called a "perceived loss on sale"--if you don't owe more than you will get for your home, but feel you could sell the home for a greater amount at another time, you could be compensated for the perceived loss of value.
- Guaranteed Buy-Out. If you are an especially desirable asset to the company, you may be offered what is called a "Guaranteed Buy-Out". A GBO eliminates all risk if you cannot sell your home in a certain time period. The RELO company will hire two appraisers and buy your home directly for the average of the two amounts. If the home is unable to be resold for the amount the company pays, they suffer the loss, not you.
How will this position differ from my current title?
Once you have negotiated your RELO package and determined the benefits are satisfactory, you may want to learn more about your new job. Your location may not be the only thing that will change. Will you be taking over a new job title or position? How will it differ from your current job duties?
- Different responsibilities. The main difference between your current job and your new position will likely be your responsibilities. Will you be in a position of higher authority? Will you have more duties? Will you oversee more employees? Will the type of work differ? Will you be working in a similar department as you currently work? Make sure your boss provides you with a detailed description of your new position and what will be expected of you so you can decide if it is the right job for you.
- Team/office size. Aside from your new position, your new office may differ as well. Are the accommodations nicer? More amenities? Is the office larger or smaller? How many employees are there? How many people in your department? If you will be overseeing employees, how many will be working under you? How many people will be working above you?
- Dress code/office culture. If you will be working for the same company, the office culture will likely remain the same. However, it is a good idea to ask if the atmosphere will differ in any way--your new office may be either more casual or more formal than your current office. Ask about dress code and office norms to ensure it will be a place you will feel comfortable.
What is the salary?
Of course, one of the most important questions you will be asking about your new position is about your compensation. If you are considering moving for work, you are probably being offered a raise to do so. Be sure to think about how much money you would need to accept this position and live comfortably in your new locale.
- Consider cost of living. Even if your new salary is considerably more than your current salary, it's important to take your new city's cost of living into consideration. Be sure to do plenty of research on the area, including housing costs, utilities, insurance, groceries, gas and other expenses to determine if your pay increase will be worth it.
- Negotiate. If you aren't being offered what you feel you deserve, be sure to ask your boss for more! Negotiation is important when you're making such a major life decision. Tell your boss your concerns and let him or her know what you need to accept the position. Uprooting your life for a job that will not pay you sufficiently will only lead to unhappiness, stress, and low morale in the future.