Author Topic: I got a job relocation offer yesterday  (Read 1921 times)

ysette9

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I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« on: March 17, 2017, 11:56:15 AM »
I work for a large company located all across the US and the world. I recent took a new role on a new program within the company, and two months later the program announced that they were moving everyone from the Bay Area (where I live and work and want to stay) to Locations A and B. My role was only expected to last for a certain period of time which is shorter than the time frame for when the relocations will be starting. Thus, I expected no relocation offer and was totally fine with that; my career progression has been such that I move roles and programs every year or two anyway.

It turns out that someone high up in the program decided I was "key talent" or something, and decided to offer me a relocation anyway. There was a moment where I was flattered and then another moment where I was glad I could satiate my curiousity of what a relocation offer actually looks like. It doesn't matter all that much, but I have two questions all the same:
  • Is there a standard level of generousness for this type of relocation? Mine offers paying for actual relocation costs (moving crap, up to 30 days temporary housing, some incidentals, a house-hunting trip once you've signed the dotted line) plus a 40% salary bonus after being in the new location for a year. I have no reference.
  • What is the etiquette for how long to wait before declining the offer? :)
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shaybro

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 12:13:38 PM »
Corporate relocations are cushy. You can hire help for literally everything (cleaning old house, packing things, trucks, etc.) and the company pays for it.

Do you think you can get a comparable salary bump by staying in the Bay Area? All the Californians who I went to college with in Western Oregon complained incessantly and all moved back right after college. If you do that within a year there will be no salary bump and you will need to relocate again; a huge hassle. Maybe you can talk to your employer about taking a month off or taking a few weeks vacation in the new location. While there, live like a local (don't too all the fun touristy things at once) so that you have a better understanding of day-to-day life there. If, after this time, you feel like you could adjust then ask for part of the 40% salary bump up front and the rest after the year has elapsed. Moving is a huge emotional hassle even if everything is paid for and there should be some immediate financial award. Their offer is more akin to extortion than incentive.

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bullcitybro

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 12:41:56 PM »
I work for a large company located all across the US and the world. I recent took a new role on a new program within the company, and two months later the program announced that they were moving everyone from the Bay Area (where I live and work and want to stay) to Locations A and B. My role was only expected to last for a certain period of time which is shorter than the time frame for when the relocations will be starting. Thus, I expected no relocation offer and was totally fine with that; my career progression has been such that I move roles and programs every year or two anyway.

It turns out that someone high up in the program decided I was "key talent" or something, and decided to offer me a relocation anyway. There was a moment where I was flattered and then another moment where I was glad I could satiate my curiousity of what a relocation offer actually looks like. It doesn't matter all that much, but I have two questions all the same:
  • Is there a standard level of generousness for this type of relocation? Mine offers paying for actual relocation costs (moving crap, up to 30 days temporary housing, some incidentals, a house-hunting trip once you've signed the dotted line) plus a 40% salary bonus after being in the new location for a year. I have no reference.
  • What is the etiquette for how long to wait before declining the offer? :)

Decline it after you've lined up your new job, ideally - otherwise there's not a good rule.  If you're making Bay Area $$$ and the company is going to pay to relocate you to a lower cost of living area, it could be worth it.  Balance that against the opportunity cost of maybe losing access to your current professional network in the Bay, and the lower salaries in wherever you are going.

Could always be worse.  IBM "relocated" everyone in their marketing divisions recently. I think only 30% or so took them up on their horribly one-sided offer (based on my super unscientific browsing of LinkedIn connections)

ysette9

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 01:09:04 PM »
Quote
Oregonian who loves hearing Californians complain about rain

I am a Californian who complains that we don't get enough rain! I love the rain and sometimes think I should be moving northward.

I probably could be clearer: it isn't a salary bump but a one-time bonus worth 40% of my salary, to be paid out after the first year. I am not even considering the relocation for a number of reasons including that I don't want to live in that location and I don't want to raise my kid in that location. Considering that I want to stay in the Bay Area, the most effective path to making that happen is for us to both remain here earning our HCOL salaries and banking as much $ as we can.

The situation is interesting in that they want responses by summer of this year, but the actual relocation isn't until 2019. In my perspective that is plenty enough time for me to complete what is expected of me in my current role and then move on to the next thing before the bulk of the relocations start happening. With one major program moving it does put stress on the people who want to stay to find other positions elsewhere within the company (same site), so there will be increased competition there, but things have always worked out in the past, so I am not particularly worried. Having such a big cu$hion and being close-ish to FIRE is a huge confidence boost to being able to say "it'll work out one way or the other, I'm not going to get excited". Thank god for this site.
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shaybro

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
Thank god for this site.

Amen. If you have a working spouse and a child then definitely don't take the relocation. Unfortunately you should start looking for a new job now. Searching internally will be difficult because, like you said, most people will not take relocation so competition will be high. Don't limit yourself to only looking internally. One advantage of living in the Bay Area is lots of employers so the odds are really on your side. You don't know if the company will keep you around until 2019 or just walk you out the second you say, "No thanks." Odds are they'll want to keep you around but you might as well start looking at other jobs now. Getting a new job with a pay bump will be just as satisfying as a relocation bonus. Good luck. Don't come to Portland.

bacchi

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 01:32:21 PM »
If you're key talent, will they let you WFH in SF and travel to the new location maybe once/month?


ysette9

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 02:00:27 PM »
Quote
If you're key talent, will they let you WFH in SF and travel to the new location maybe once/month?

I would be very surprised; the whole reason for doing the relocation is to move somewhere where labor is cheaper. Letting people stay here and work from home doesn't get them into the lower salary tier of the new location and therefore doesn't save any money.

The offer was clear that if I say no, then I stay for the normal duration of what this role is expected to be, which is another year or so. This aligns well with my own plans since I tend to get bored in positions anyway.

I don't share the same concern about finding a new position as others here do, but what I will do is be smarter and go talk to my mentor about all of this and get some advice from someone higher up the food chain.
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Chris22

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 02:43:02 PM »
I have a friend who took a relo package, and then got a new boss who was a real terror, and when he started looking for a new job found he had a 2-year clawback provision, not pro-rated, where he could be held responsible for paying the company back his 6-figure* relocation package if he left or was fired for cause.  Not a good place to be.

*6-figures is not that hard to hit on a corporate relo when you consider what can be paid for, house closing costs, market-value true-up, gold plated moving expenses, lodging while searching for a house, etc.  This guy wasn't THAT high up the food chain. 
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ysette9

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2017, 02:46:46 PM »
Two years is a long time, especially in a job that sucks. My letter says 1 year for the bonus, but doesn't specifically say anything about a clawback for the rest. I would expect it to be a year because that is reasonable.

I'm going to email my mentor's admin now to get on the calendar....
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mm1970

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 05:10:52 PM »
Quote
If you're key talent, will they let you WFH in SF and travel to the new location maybe once/month?

I would be very surprised; the whole reason for doing the relocation is to move somewhere where labor is cheaper. Letting people stay here and work from home doesn't get them into the lower salary tier of the new location and therefore doesn't save any money.

The offer was clear that if I say no, then I stay for the normal duration of what this role is expected to be, which is another year or so. This aligns well with my own plans since I tend to get bored in positions anyway.

I don't share the same concern about finding a new position as others here do, but what I will do is be smarter and go talk to my mentor about all of this and get some advice from someone higher up the food chain.
Why not? It's not like they are cutting your pay if you move, right?

Different salary tiers based on where you live.  Pretty standard.

ysette9

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 08:15:10 PM »
They wouldn't cut my pay if I moved but I would also be so much over the top of the new (lower) salary range that I wouldn't be eligible for another pay raise. Staying local I would be eligible for pay raises each year. The thing is, I don't love this position and am looking forward to moving on once I have fulfilled my obligation and learned everything I can from this new job. This is a good temporary stepping stone but it is really to break me out of my former organization and expand my horizons.

In a note of good news I got a mentoring session scheduled for next week to talk this all over with someone smarter than me. I'll hold off declining that tell offer until then. Thanks for all of the perspectives.
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RobFIRE

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2017, 05:22:23 AM »
In short, if you don't want to relocate, then don't.

As has been mentioned, I would be wary of undertaking a relocation paid for by my employer if I weren't committed to the company in the medium term. There will be conditions in the contract, so doing the move then regretting it isn't going to be a situation you want to be in I think.

If the company considers you valuable then I still try to keep the door open to other options. The company might want you involved in the project based on making trips rather than relocating. So as much as possible I'd firmly and politely decline the relocation (you simply say your family is settled and likes the current area etc.) but state you'd be interested in discussing other options. Even if no other options are likely, or you don't think you'd want them anyway, it hasn't cost you anything to say you would be interested in discussing.

chasesfish

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 06:52:56 AM »
So I've done this three times corporately.  Was really happy with the first relocation because it got me to a big city and it was a great career opportunity.  It couldn't have gone any better.

Then the next two were tough.  Your offer is generous, especially the 40%, but I understand why you wouldn't want to move.  I think this blog post sums up most of my thoughts, she's brave enough to write about her job while other people like me won't blog about work while still employed:

http://millennialboss.com/2016/11/never-relocate-for-job/

Hotstreak

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Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 10:55:06 AM »
Quote
    • Is there a standard level of generousness for this type of relocation? Mine offers paying for actual relocation costs (moving crap, up to 30 days temporary housing, some incidentals, a house-hunting trip once you've signed the dotted line) plus a 40% salary bonus after being in the new location for a year. I have no reference.[/l][/l]

    • It varies widely.  My company doesn't give relocation for *most* internal transfers, especially at lower to mid levels.. but you can usually get a few days paid time off (without using vacation).

      If you're really important you can get a great relocation package, easily in the 6-figure range.  It adds up: realtor costs (on both ends), white glove packing and moving, multiple round trip flights for house hunting, temporary housing as needed somewhere nice, career placement assistance for spouse, etc.  It sounds like you don't want to take your offer - but it's a pretty good one.  The 40% bonus is a great incentive.  You could rent in the new place for a year, collect the bonus, save a LOT of money, then move back home.  It could be an adventure (sounds like you don't want to do this though).

    Goldielocks

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #14 on: March 18, 2017, 11:51:08 AM »
    Relocation monies I have receive / offered in the past (various companies)

    Co-op students, junior new hires - gas money reimbursed, and 1-2 nights at hotel plus food.

    Manager relocations with a large company that expects managers to relocated every 2-4 years to unattractive locations:
    (gold standard)
    - pay the difference if you are losing out on your home sale.  (up to a max)
    - pay realtor selling fees
    - pay utility connection fees
    - pay lease break fees, and mortgage break fees.
    - may offer a low cost loan (top exec) to buy a house, or help with a "step up" mortgage if moving to HCOL area.
    - pack goods service, moving, and unpack service
    - house hunting pre trip for 3 days, including flight, and up to 1 month of temporary accomodation at new location.
    - pay for visa / legal fees.
    - No transfer or signing bonus. May have a HCOL supplement to salary until you are moved again.

    New hire - VP level, manager levels --
    - relocation to an area that he said he wanted to move to, and was therefore applying to new jobs in the area.
    - signing bonus, with a 3 year retraction clause, pro rated.  This was to step into the new lower salary than he was askin for, however, with the intent that he would be good enough for great bonuses or promotion within 3 years.
    - $10k cash transfer allowance.   He could spend as much or as little of it as he liked.

    Management New Hire - Director level
    - $10k moving allowance, cash.  spend as much or little as we like and pocket the rest.
    - moving to an area of the new hire's choice, where we had an active opening.

    Josiecat

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #15 on: March 18, 2017, 05:02:38 PM »
    So don't sell your home in SF.  Take the relo and rent in the new location.  Stay one year.  Pocket the bonus and move back. 

    ysette9

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #16 on: March 18, 2017, 05:43:54 PM »
    I appreciate the info on various move packages at other companies. While we don't own here yet, even a rough calculation in my head shows us saving a lot less money than we would if we stayed should I take the relocation, even with the bonus. My husband earns as much as I do and we bank over half of our take-home now. My kid will be starting school when the relocation is expected to take place and the new location doesn't have what we are looking for in public schools (language immersion) so we would have to pay for private. If the long term goal were to relocate then this would be a great deal. Hopefully for my company, someone will decide to take the offers!
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    Gondolin

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 07:47:38 AM »
    Quote
    2-year clawback provision, not pro-rated

    This is a really brutal and unusual provision from what I've seen (3-4 Fortune 500 companies). The usual provision is 100% clawback if you leave in the first 6 months and 50% if you leave before 1 year.

    One point that I haven't seen mentioned is that the "golden" corporate relos are usually handled by a third party agency who handles all the logistics and reimbursement. Basically, you get a concierge who handles your movers, shipping, flights, etc. All you have to do is set dates and show up.
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    Dicey

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 08:05:36 AM »
    Meh, moving there and back would expend a metric crapton of life energy. I think your plan to stay put, then slide into something else is a good one. Oh, and I think it rains a lot up there ;-p
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    Seadog

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 08:20:58 AM »
    I've done a few relocations with a company that sort of prided itself on moving people around. Sort of so you can see how other places operated, and bring your expertise. F500 company in Oil Field Services.

    Upon hiring, they provided company housing until you were running jobs on your own. Covered flights out. If you had a home, they would cover cost of moving stuff to where ever.

    First transfer to the US. Paid mileage, hotels and food on the way down, would have paid for movers and all that, but trying to be a minimalist, everything fit in my car and I rented furnished places. Also got a flat two months salary to help with incidentals. This job generally sucked, bait and switch at last minute to a different city after my things were down there. 

    Second one was to Indonesia, fully provided housing (ie a room in a corporate house), they would have covered storage of my things if I had a lot, but again just drove to my parents home and dropped stuff off. No 2 months salary since I was going international expat package which increased salary by 100%, 17% flat tax, no expenses, vacation allowance etc.

    Final one was back to Canada. Flights were covered, had to fight to get my things from eastern Canada to Western Canada since I never formally "stored" them. Despite saving the company 2.5 years of storage and transport fees, as far as they were concerned I had nothing in storage. 2 months pay again for incidentals, along with a special one time 33% salary bonus.

    All had the provision that if you leave within a year, you needed to pay it back. Researching it in Canada, I'm not sure how enforceable it is. In Indonesia where good paying jobs are scarce and employee abuse is the name of the game, it was extended to 3 years, and also included paying back all of your overpriced corporate training. De facto slavery until one guy emailed one of the continental VPs and forced the country to stop it. 

    That's sort of the other thing I was sort of surprised about. My relocations were all generally <$5k. I thought the company would be happy and thankful for this considering many others easily run into 10X this. However when something out of the ordinary came up (like storing things at my parents) they attempted to throw the book at me.

    Pennycounter

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #20 on: March 22, 2017, 06:09:50 PM »
    I relocated to the Bay Area with a previous company. I was only 5 years out of college and negotiated a $50K relocation package. It didn't cover all of our "real" expenses including selling our home back east, moving a car, moving our stuff and having two residences for three months. 

    This was a move that we wanted to make though and so it made sense for us to take the package that paid for most of our expenses. Sounds like you already have a decision made, best of luck!

    I don't know what industry you are in but I would agree that the Bay Area job market is strong.

    pknap

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #21 on: March 23, 2017, 04:54:30 PM »
    I've done several relos, all company paid for even though they weren't all for the same company so here's my background.

    1st - Entry level job at a large aerospace company. They paid for all the moving expenses, packing, crating, home/apt finding trip, car transfer and a plane ticket to the city where I'd be working. Rental car was provided until my car arrived and 30 days in hotel and 30 days of storage for my household goods. There was a 2k bonus at the time to help me set up utilities etc. At the time I was single and couldn't be happier with someone packing my stuff and making it as seamless as possible.

    2nd - Left large aerospace company after 8 years to go to another smaller but still big aerospace company.  This time "we" were home owners.  Smaller company offered the same as above plus they paid for home sale/closing costs and a larger bonus to "set utilities" up.

    3rd - Left smaller aerospace company after a little over a year(one year was required otherwise I would have to pay back all the things they paid for which was a lot of $$) and went back to the big one.  Same as above, home sale closing costs, moving, packing, unboxing, 30 days of hotel and storage of goods and an even larger bonus.

    4th - This is the last move we make until the kid is done with High School or else("Wife 2016").  1.5 yrs later I left the large aerospace company(1yr was required or you pay them back) We rented in the LA area so a home sale was not required.  They offered a 15K lump sum for a 85 mile move to their location plus a bonus. We took full advantage of the packing/unpacking.  We've been spoiled with the moves and I refuse to pack another box or move a TV.
    « Last Edit: March 23, 2017, 04:58:31 PM by pknap »

    Capsu78

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #22 on: March 23, 2017, 05:15:12 PM »
    Financially that sounds like a very nice relo... but if you can't project the move as part of your families "arc of history", then it is a non starter.

    As a child we relo'ed a couple of times and I think it really added to my life perspective- knowing there are other places and new friends to be made.  As a parent, we accepted one relo (out of a much different Bay Area) when my children were 4th grade and preschool and now are firmly rooted here, still living in the house my "no longer exists as such" company paid to move us into.

    In addition, have had multiple opportunities to move back to CA and turned them all down...

    ysette9

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    Re: I got a job relocation offer yesterday
    « Reply #23 on: March 24, 2017, 11:39:25 AM »
    I had a good meeting with my new ne for and after reflection, he got back to me on my question about how to turn the job down. Thankfully he says that the management chain is totally understanding and it won't reflect poorly on me. I didn't really think it would, but it is good to be sure. I have some homework to do of people to talk to on the next step of my development plan, trying to figure out what next role might be a good fit for my career. So, full steam ahead for the next 1-1.5 years, as previously planned. Hopefully whatever comes next will be more fun. :)
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