Job relocation is becoming more common in the global economy as more law firms are starting to expand to new locations both nationally and internationally. Atlas Van Line’s 46th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey stated that, in 2012, 61% of companies anticipated relocating employees, many being new hires and entry level. About 25% of firms expected international relocations, with Asia being the most popular. However, the cost and inconvenience of relocating to a new city can cause candidates to reconsider the position. Many firms do have relocation packages and policies that assist in the move. If you are considering relocating for a job, here are some tips to assist with the process and making your decision:
Do research. Look into the firm, how big it is in that city or country, and other aspects of the firm that are or will be important. Find out the cost of living for the city, such as housing, transportation, food, utilities, etc., with a cost of living calculator. If you are relocating to another country, look into the cost of living there as well, cultural customs, currency exchange, and any other information that would be useful. If you need more information about relocating, consult a national or international relocation specialist.
Visit the new area, if possible. This can be helpful in your decision making, especially if you haven’t been to a city before. If you are unable to travel to the location, using Google Maps street view option can also be useful and give you a sense of what life would be like.
Find out if there is a relocation package and policy. Does the employer cover travel expenses, temporary housing allowance, or moving costs? It is important to find out this information so relocating can be easier and less stressful, especially if you are moving overseas. It is also beneficial to look into storage costs. Temporary housing can be costly; some employers offer to pay temporary housing and storage expenses, or you can ask if they can pick up these expenses.
Prepare to negotiate. If there is something in the relocation policy you would like to change or add in, negotiate your terms with the employer. One of the main items negotiated is temporary housing, and should be mentioned up front if you have a concern about it or anything else within a relocation policy or package.
Relocating to a new city or country can be stressful, but with proper preparation, research, and negotiation, the transition to a new job location can go very smoothly.