What If Your Company Asks You To Relocate?

3 things to consider before making a move for your new career.

Here it goes again...


I'm sitting at my desk now as movers work behind me to pack up all my belongings. It's a familiar feeling. But this time I'm not moving because I got new orders or am deploying. This is my first move for my civilian career and besides the usual moving headaches like getting a new address, shrink wrapping the couch, and juggling all the bills, there are few new things that I had to consider that was different from any PCS move I did in the military.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

1. Why?

Unlike my moves in the military, I had a legitimate choice to make when my boss presented me with the opportunity to leave and start a new sales territory. It wasn't something either of us had expected when I initially started the job, and it wasn't something he was requiring me to do. It really was completely up to me. And I loved where I was living and what I was doing. But the opportunity was a good one, and I felt that I was in a good position to take advantage of it, so I said yes.


2. Make them pay.

By them, I mean your employers. If the opportunity is attractive enough for them to want you to uproot your family, make sure that you are being compensated fairly for it. Sometimes, the opportunity may be enough. But also consider that you can often ask for a relocation bonus to cover the expenses of your move up to a certain amount. Depending on the timing, I think it is definitely worth renegotiating your contract, as well. Bring it up under the guise that before considering moving, you want to look at the original terms to ensure they appropriately cover the change in cost of living or that your salary is commensurate with the new position that you are taking. Your boss might all ready be offering some sort of package to you, but like I've suggested before on this blog, make sure it fits YOUR needs. Maybe you don't want a flat bonus but would like a slight increase in salary. Or perhaps a title change would go nicely with your new responsibilities. All I'm saying is, you need to consider it and ask.


3. Assess your position.

Going along with the renegotiation considerations above, don't forget to think about what this move will do in the context of your career. As I've warned before, as a veteran, career and life choices are completely yours. The freedom can be invigorating AND confusing. Does this move, RIGHT NOW, makes sense in the grand scheme of things. Are you chasing paychecks, or is contributing to your ultimate vision of where/what you want to be in life?


It might feel familiar, moving because of your job. But this time, I'm trying to make sure it works for me, not because I have to. And I get to move to wine country in California, one nice perk I didn't have to negotiate!