We all wish the perfect job was in our backyard, or better yet, we could all work from home. However, it is a fact of life that the perfect job is often miles away and you have little choice but to move to a new city, state, country or even continent. Sometimes your current employer asks you to relocate and fill a much-needed position at your company’s branch.
While you’ll be just as excited about the idea of a fresh start, new experiences and the possibility of adventure as I am, moving a job isn’t always easy. As they say, your current position, whatever it may be, is still the devil you know. However, moving a job opens you up to an endless list of exciting unknowns. It also affects the non-work-related facets of your life, such as your family and friends.
So, before you take the plunge, here are a few tips to help you before you make your decisions:
1. Determine the details of a moving package
One of the first things you need to know before agreeing to move is to learn about company policies for employee moving packages. Most companies offer some degree of help with the move. In my case, my employer paid my moving and travel expenses, in addition to a two-week hotel allowance.
In other cases, the company may only reimburse your moving expenses. Then it is wise to make sure that you have all moving receipts and documents for all your moving costs in order to claim the reimbursement of the moving costs.
If you notice that the company does not offer a moving package, ask for one anyway. However, ask these questions well in advance to allow sufficient negotiation time for the best possible outcome.
2. Choose the option of tax deduction on your moving expenses
Your employer may not offer a relocation package. Depending on where you live, you can still claim a partial reimbursement of your moving costs. In most cases, the requirements to qualify for this tax deduction are that:
You have moved to start a new job.
Your new job and your new home are more than 50 miles away,
You worked full-time for more than 39 weeks in the year of your move.
Are you self-employed? Then you must provide proof of more than 78 weeks of full-time work within the first 2 years after your move.
3. Visit your new office.
As far as humanly possible, make time to visit the proposed new office, meet some of your new colleagues, and even explore the new city. Such a visit will allow you to see the working environment and some of the changes you can expect.
When my employer asked me to move, I had a two-week transfer process one month before the date of my actual move. I made a specific trip to my new work location. I’m glad I did as it allowed me to meet my new colleagues and get a ton of tips and advice about the workplace, how to get around and absolute must-haves. This information made the move a lot easier to adjust.
If you can’t visit the new region in advance, find more information on the internet and social media. Better yet, your friends who may know the area or live in the new location. These online resources can be the government sites, tourism sites, online forums, blogs and newspapers of the region.
4. Determine the cost of living
The cost of living varies considerably depending on the state, city or country. It is therefore good to know what the cost of living is in the new region and to compare it with your salary offer. Knowing the cost of living will make it easier for you to budget accordingly. If living in the area is more expensive than where you are currently staying, ask your employer to adjust your salary accordingly.
Are you moving to a completely different country? Then try to find out the salary percentage for people in your industry in that country. Don’t forget to factor in financial benefits, incentives, and other region-specific costs, such as the cost of Spanish health insurance.
I would advise you not to make the same mistake I did. Trying to negotiate a raise after you’ve already moved may fail.
5. Determine the New State’s Tax Laws
Is the job relocation to a new state or a new country? Countries and some states have legal regulations that you must comply with. That is why it is beneficial for you to determine what taxes you will have to pay in the new state before you move. This tax information will help you know the range of salary expectations you should request and budget accordingly.
6. Think of your loved ones
It is important to remember that the relocation of your work affects your loved ones. Why not wait to sign the dotted line until you’ve considered the opinions of your loved ones? Honest and open communication is essential as it will go a long way in helping you find solutions.
Let’s take an example: you are married and have children. Your working spouse may have to leave his job for a while to look for another job in the new state. Remember that for some time before your spouse gets another job, you are only dependent on one income and not two. Your children must enroll in new schools. They lose the friends they have formed over the years. Depending on their age, it may be more difficult for them to adjust to a new location.
Some companies may offer you job postings that may be helpful to your spouse. Alternatively, the move can bring you closer to your family and friends.
In hindsight, this is another factor that I failed to take into account. I was so excited about the move that I didn’t stop to think about the impact of my move on my family.
7. Hold off on long-term commitments.
It is wise to wait before buying a house or entering into a long lease in the new condition until you are sure that you are happy with your new neighborhood or job. You may be able to sign a month-to-month lease. Take time for yourself and your family to get used to the new environment, workplaces and schools. Over time, when you are sure that you and your family will like the new location, make permanent financial investment decisions.
Check with your employer whether there is a facility for short-term business accommodation, so that you and your family have time to get used to your new environment.
8. Change your postal address
The list of things to do when preparing to move is long, and changing your mailing address may be the least of your worries. However, as you adjust to your move, you may receive messages or forms in your email about your move or your new job that you don’t want to lose.
Because the decision to move to a new work location is often a difficult one, it can be helpful to write down all the positives and potential negatives of the move. Research all factors that play a role in moving. Weigh the potential gains against the losses. You are in a better position to accept a job relocation offer, walk away from an unsuitable deal, or negotiate a better deal.
If you decide to go ahead with the move, stay as organized and efficient as possible. Keep a checklist to take care of everything before you move. You can then move to ensure a successful transition.
Wallet Squirrel is a personal finance blog by best friends Andrew & Adam about how money works, building sideline businesses and the benefits of investing the profits smartly. Featured on MSN Money, AOL Finance and more!
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