3 Tips For Navigating A Corporate Relocation

Maybe your employer has offered you a promotion that's conditional on you agreeing to move to a new city or state, or maybe you've been offered your dream job by a new company – if you're willing to move to take it. Either way, you have a big decision to make. Making a long distance move for a job isn't easy, especially if it means leaving your hometown and most of the people you know. However, some jobs are worth it. Take a look at some tips that will help you navigate this major change in your life.

Negotiating a Relocation Package

Before you formally agree to relocate, you'll want to find out what your company is offering you to make the move. Even if you're getting a raise or new title with your relocation, you can ask about moving assistance as well. Many companies offer a standard relocation package. This may include a lump sum that's intended to be used in any way you see fit, or an allowance plan with varying levels of constraints when it comes to how much you can spend and what you can spend it on. Some companies will directly pay for your moving or travel expenses, which usually means that they choose your moving company, airline, and other vendors.

While the lump sum and allowance plans are usually intended to cover basic expenses, like movers, transportation, storage, temporary lodging, and real estate services, you can also negotiate for other things that can help make your move easier. For example, your company might be willing to help you locate day care or a suitable school for your children. Or, if you have trouble selling your old home, you may be able to negotiate a bridge loan so that you can purchase a new home in the new location. Some companies also offer job placement assistance for their employee's spouses – something that may help get your family on board with the move. Be sure to talk to your company's HR director about your specific needs so that your relocation package can be customized as much as possible to meet your needs.

Coordinating Your Move

It's important to pay attention to the details of your physical move. If you're using a moving company chosen or recommended by your employer, make sure that they can handle moving any specialty items that you own. Not all moving companies handle specialty items like grand pianos or large glass-topped tables, so you may need to work with a third party to get items like this moved safely.

If you're making a long distance move, you may also need to make arrangements for moving your car, as well as any other vehicles you have, like a motorcycle or a boat. For this, you may need the assistance of a freight forwarding company. Freight forwarding is commonly used for people making overseas moves, and your household goods are packaged in containers and shipped to your new location by boat, train, or airplane. Because your items will take longer to arrive when you use freight forwarding, you'll want to start making shipping arrangements as early as possible.

Settling In

A long distance move is stressful, and not just because of the hassle of packing or finding a place to live. You'll be starting over in a place where you don't know the people or the neighborhood, or even the best local pizza place. If it's possible to do so, it's a good idea to spend some time exploring your new area before making the final move. Your company may be willing to pay some or all of the travel expenses for you to take a pre-move trip to your new location.

If you can't visit before making your move, at least spend some time learning as much about it as you can. Research local events and fun spots for the family, and look up practical things, like hospitals, pharmacies, and stores near your new neighborhood. That way, you'll have some ideas about what to do and where to go when you get there. See if your employer can put you in contact with some of your future coworkers, through email, phone, or social media, so that you'll have contacts in your new location who you can ask when you need to know something about your new city.

If it's the right job for you, you'll be glad that you took the leap once the move is over and you've had time to settle in. Until then, some advance preparation can make your relocation go much more smoothly.  

For more information or additional reading, contact local household moving companies or relocation businesses.