Making Moves: A Successful Guide to Relocation
You’ve just been offered an amazing career opportunity, but it requires relocation – now what?
For most, relocation can be a challenging and stressful experience due to the amount of time and resources it takes to undergo such a big change. Packing and unpacking, scheduling moving services, booking flights, breaking leases, buying and selling property, and family situations are just a handful of common hurdles that can be faced during the process. However, all the work and effort it takes to relocate can lead to a brighter future for your personal and professional life.
According to our 18th Annual Casino Executive Satisfaction Survey, 82% of respondents are willing to relocate for the right job opportunity. With so many open to moving, it is important to understand the decision-making and negotiating process for relocation to be as pain-free as possible. We asked our executive recruiters to provide their input when it comes to executives relocating for a new job.
Factors to Consider When Relocating
- Family – If you have family members that will accompany you in the relocation process, it is essential to keep in mind how the change in environment will affect them. Will your family be able to adjust well in the new area? Is your spouse willing to leave their current job? Does the location provide quality education if you have children? Alternatively, would they potentially not join you in the move? Continue to keep an open dialogue with your family to ensure a smoother process.
- Cost of Living – Research the difference in cost of living in your current location versus the potential location. If the daily cost of living is higher, ensure you will be sufficiently covered with your new benefits package and yearly salary. Evaluate whether the compensation will realistically allow you to sustain your current lifestyle. If your cost of living will reduce and the compensation is much lower in the area, make sure that the new salary still equates to an increase.
- Company Culture – Going into a completely new work environment without fully understanding the company culture can be risky. There is a lot of work that comes into relocating, so it is crucial to learn as much information through your own research and the interview process to decide whether the company will be a good fit for you. This is obviously important for a move to a new company, but the importance intensifies when it also involves uprooting and moving.
- Convenience – Consider the place you want to live and how far the drive will be for your work commute, distance to grocery stores and restaurants, schools, etc. How accessible is the public transportation if you prefer that to a personal vehicle?
- Timing – Think through the potential timing of the relocation. When should you inform your current employer of your leaving in order to plan and execute the move in time?
- Weather & Personal Lifestyle – Be prepared for any change in weather at the new location. Keep in mind your personal lifestyle and any hobbies that could be affected and if you are willing to make adjustments.
How to Negotiate the Relocation Package
Most of the time, companies offer a relocation package if you need to move for them, but keep in mind that this is not always the case.
If the cost of living is higher in the new area, real estate needs are one impactful area to carefully think through and bring up during negotiations. It can get tricky with different markets and figuring out what to do with current property. In rare cases, employers will offer relocation packages that offer bridge loans.
Relocation packages typically cover the moving of household goods, temporary housing and a couple of “to and from” trips to finalize the relocation. Relocation assistance is either reimbursed upon the submission of receipts or a lump sum check is cut upfront to cover the entire cost, similar to that of a sign-on bonus. The amount of relocation assistance, number of days of temporary housing and number of return trips can be negotiable.
Another potential factor is asking the ability to bring your spouse to a real estate visitation pre or post offer at the company’s expense. Allowing your spouse to garner maximum information about the local community, neighborhoods, and school systems can be a way to decipher together whether relocation can be a good fit.
Most companies will bend where needed to make the new hire’s transition easier. However, it can have a negative impact if you make too large of a request in any one area. Be thoughtful of what you would need to transition with the least difficulty possible, and be reasonable. Companies want transitions to be smooth, while having their new executives up and running quickly with as little distractions and complications as possible.
Relocation Resource Links
We put together a list of helpful links to start your relocation research.
*Note: For best results, use more than one calculator for comparison. Keep in mind that cities that are near each other can have quite different costs of living. Also, calculators do not always make a distinction between buying and renting, and this can significantly change the overall comparison.
State by State Taxes
Profiles of U.S. Cities
Home Affordability Calculator
Protecting Your Move
While relocation can seem intimidating, preparing, doing your research and having open communication with your potential employer will lead to a smooth and exciting process.
Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.
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