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VOL. 39 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 20, 2015

Relocation compensation not what it used to be

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Moving for a new career, or the potential of a new career, can be daunting.

You’ll have to sell your home. Your children will need new schools. Your belongings will have to be boxed, moved and unboxed. You’ll need to find new service providers, including doctors, hairstylists and child care.

I recently received a question from a reader on the topic of relocation. Whenever she applies for an out-of-state job, the company representative says, “After you relocate, give us a call.”

The reader asked if this was how other people are finding jobs, as it seems to be an unstable approach.

I empathize with this situation. Relocating can be a tricky topic. And, moving with no job is unstable.

I don’t recommend it if you depend on your income to pay your bills, which most everyone does.

Companies expect to pay relocation for certain types of workers, and shy away from it for others. Those in technology are almost always relocated.

As a college intern who majored in engineering, I received both a salary and relocation.

But, if I were applying for a marketing role today, I don’t know with certainty that I’d receive relocation, even after many years of experience.

Executives also receive paid relocation. If your responsibilities include managing a large number of people or a huge budget, relocation should be included.

Another important factor to consider is where you want to move. If you’re interested in a popular city like Los Angeles, Denver or New York, for example, you may have to foot the bill.

There are more people who want to live in those cities than available jobs.

As an employee, you’re competing with many talented people who are already there. What incentive does a company have to relocate you, when they have so many local choices?

If you want to be paid to move, you’ll need to fall into a few categories:

  • You’re willing to relocate to a less-desirable city.
  • You’re open to moving to a city that isn’t on anyone’s radar, your future company may be happy to move you. That’s because they’re having a tough time finding qualified local candidates.

Otherwise, you need a skillset that’s unique.

Technologists, strategists or other highly skilled workers fall into this category. If you have skills that are hard to find, a company will be willing to relocate you.

If relocation is on the table for you, know that big corporations have multiple relocation packages available.

A starter package could be a few thousand dollars for driving a moving truck cross country on your own. An average package could be to send packers and movers to move you.

An advanced package could include movers, packers, an extended-stay temporary residence, a Realtor, assistance selling your current home and weekend trips back home until you’re settled.

Wherever you fall on this spectrum, it’s important to be informed so you can make the best choice for you and your family.

Angela Copeland is CEO/founder of Copeland Coaching, CopelandCoaching.com, and author of “Breaking The Rules & Getting The Job.” She also hosts the Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Copeland Coaching on Twitter (@CopelandCoach) and Facebook (facebook.com/CopelandCoaching).

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