You've accepted a new job, but you'll have to move yourself and your family across the country. Or you've earned a promotion, but the new position comes with a catch: You'll need to move hundreds of miles away.
The good news is that many employers offer relocation plans that help cover the costs of company-mandated moves. Your job is to study your company's relocation package to make sure that it will adequately pay the costs of a work-related move.
You might think you know how much it will cost to move you and your family. After all, you've already gotten a bid from your movers.
However, have you considered all the costs associated with moving? For instance, if you are driving your family across the country, don't forget to factor in gas and meals along the way. Also, once you arrive at your new home, you'll inevitably have to add furniture and decor changes to your residence. Does your company help pay for those costs?
What if your new hometown has a significantly higher standard of living? You might want to negotiate a higher salary, if possible, before agreeing to relocate.
When your company offers to move you and your family to a new city, make sure to ask for its written relocation plan. Most large-size companies will have one. This plan should spell out exactly what costs your employer will cover.
In addition to the costs of physically moving your belongings across the country, your company's relocation program should cover the costs of temporary housing, which you might need as you search for a new home. It should also include the costs involved in returning to your previous home each weekend if your family is unable to move with you immediately.
You should investigate, too, whether your company will provide any job-search assistance for your spouse if he or she has to surrender a job to make the move to a new home with you.
This assistance could include covering the costs of hiring a job coach, providing referrals or providing interview opportunities inside the company.
A robust relocation package will include other benefits. Some, for instance, might provide you with paid time off as you settle into your new home after making a long move. Others might provide you with assistance once you arrive at your new home.
Some companies, for instance, will handle the important, but tedious work of setting up your utilities and garbage pick-up services. Others might provide you with information on the local public school system or area recreational activities with your children. When you arrive at your new home, some companies might even provide an employee who spends extra time with you to answer any questions about your new office and community. This individual might also be responsible for helping you to assimilate into the community.