Tips for Relocating for a Job

If you're not finding the job you want in your hometown, you might want to consider looking in a different city or state for more opportunities. According to a new study from and, conducted by Harris Interactive, one-third of employers say they have paid to relocate an employee from another area to their company's location in the last two years.

When asked how much they'd be willing to spend to relocate an employee, 40 percent say at least $1,000 with one-third willing to spend at least $2,500 and one-in-ten willing to spend more than $10,000.

"Given the shortage of qualified workers, 14 percent of the employers we surveyed say they're more willing to pay to relocate new employees from another area to their company's location this year compared to last year," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for "Therefore, job seekers shouldn't be afraid to ask about relocation expenses during the interview process. The key to getting the best deal is really showing the hiring manager how much of an asset you'll be to the company during the interview portion so that they view spending money on relocation as an investment rather than an expense."

From the employees' experiences, 42 percent say they've relocated to another city at least once, and 32 percent say they've relocated to another state, province or region at least once. Of those workers who have relocated for a job, 31 percent say their employer paid for it.

In terms of workers' current desires to pack up and go, 59 percent of employees say they'd be willing to relocate to another city for a new job and 44 percent say they'd be willing to relocate to another state, province or region for a new job. The top five states employees say they would like to relocate to are Florida, California, Arizona, North Carolina and Colorado.

Haefner suggests the following tips on how to negotiate a relocation package during a job interview:

Have research on your side

Get quotes from movers and calculate the difference in the cost of living between your area and the area in which the company is located. Knowing these numbers can help you when you're negotiating with the employer because it shows them that you're interested in getting the best deal for both you and the company.

Wait for the right moment

Wait until the job is offered to negotiate relocation expenses. Ask if the company is willing to consider including relocation expenses in the package and ask for a range of how much they're willing to spend.

Express your enthusiasm

Don't take for granted the importance of expressing how much you want the job and how excited you are at the prospect of joining the team.

When asked about the type of living accommodations workers chose when relocating for a job, 41 percent said they will be moving into an apartment, 36 percent said a house, 5 percent said hotel, 4 percent said a condo and 16 percent made other arrangements.

For workers who have all ready successfully negotiated relocation expenses into the benefits of your new job, Kevin Doyle, Senior Vice President and General Manager of, explains how the Internet has made it easier for people who are relocating to rent an apartment sight unseen. "Renters can view detailed photos and visual tours of apartments, check availability information, research community information and complete the entire rental process without ever needing to step into a leasing office."

Doyle recommends the following relocation tips:

Rent initially

When relocating to a new city or state, it makes sense to rent first because it allows you to learn more about the area you're relocating to without the commitment of home ownership. It also gives you time to get acquainted with your new job and new city.Purge, purge, purge -- View moving as an opportunity to de-clutter by donating, recycling or disposing of those things you don't need or want.

Stay organized

When moving for a new job, time may not always be on your side. Therefore, you need to plan ahead as much as possible. Create a file that includes a detailed timeline for the moving process, important contact information and any necessary documents.

Keep records

From your job offer, to specifics about your relocation package, to phone numbers to photographs of your new apartment -- keep detailed records of all aspects of your move. Be sure that you keep these records handy -- do not include them in the items that will be transferred by the movers.

If you're thinking about relocating, but aren't quite sure where to go, you might start by researching opportunities in the following cities. As of June 2008, these cities had the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they all fell far below the national average of 5.5 percent:

  1. Idaho Falls, ID - 1.9
  2. Logan, UT-ID - 2.1
  3. Sioux Falls, SD - 2.5
  4. Bismarck, ND - 2.6
  5. Iowa City, IA - 2.6
  6. Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA - 2.7
  7. Midland, TX - 2.7<
  8. Ames, IA - 2.8
  9. Casper, WY - 2.8
  10. Fargo, ND-MN - 2.8
  11. Lafayette, LA - 2.8
  12. Rapid City, SD - 2.8
  13. Billings, MT - 2.9
  14. Lincoln, NE - 2.9
  15. Pocatello, ID - 2.9

Copyright 2007; updated July 2008

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