Author Topic: Requesting relocation with same employer  (Read 1287 times)

StiffUpperLip

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Requesting relocation with same employer
« on: March 02, 2018, 11:57:17 AM »
I love my current role and team but want to request a relocation to another office due to being able to live closer to work (meaning less time commuting and more time with my kids and lower childcare costs) and living close enough to both families to allow our kids to grow up alongside their cousins.

I need to make what my manager referred to as an 'air-tight case' to my grand-manager to gain approval.

I believe more than 80% of my role is location-independent, have laid out plans to deliver the remainder via video-conferencing and periodic visits to old-location.

Our team already has some presence in  the office I propose moving to with desk spaces aplenty, whereas my current office is bursting at the seams.

I also believe in the medium term that support from my type of role will increase in the new location.

Ask-a-manager has little on this topic as I'm requesting the transfer...

My grand-manager may baulk at the request due to perception and political issues within the larger business along the lines of "we don't want to set a precedent" (even though precedent already exists) or "could make others jealous/unhappy/want to move too" which I aren't business objections.

Can anyone help me figure out what else I should consider building into my case to give me the best chance of success?

I'm not sure what other details may help you help me so please ask and I'll do my best to answer any queries (anonymity allowing)...

JLee

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 12:23:51 PM »
Frame your argument under the premises of how it will benefit the company for you to relocate.

Can you find a new job that's closer to home?  Often job-hopping will increase your salary, which could also be a nice perk of going that route. Plus, it'd be really satisfying to tell them you want to change offices and then quit if they say no. :D

Better Change

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 12:25:42 PM »
You haven't made it clear if you want to move across town or across the country.  "Periodic visits" suggests that the new location is close, but I don't want to assume anything.

Be mentally prepared for your request to be denied.  Large companies are EXTREMELY reluctant to do things based on personal preference.  Usually there has to be a compelling "business reason" (the company wins!) to grant such a request.

I have seen one case wherein a guy managed a transfer halfway across the country, but he agreed to pay for all of his relocation costs.  Yikes. 

How willing are you to apply for other jobs in the desired location?  If you have a counter offer, you have significantly more leverage....

moneytaichi

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 12:50:06 PM »
A few ideas:
1. look for internal job transfer.
2. Tell your boss that one of relatives are sick, and you need to help out. Maybe even start with working remotely, then move to a full time basis.
3. Write a business case what benefits that your company will gain (not focus on your benefits).

Hope it helps!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2018, 01:20:02 PM »
In my experience, it is pretty close to impossible to get a company-financed relocation if you are doing the exact same job - it doesn't make financial sense for them.  I've seen companies pay for a relocation for someone who is moving to a different role, even if it is a lateral move.

I would, therefore, expect that you'd be paying your own relocation costs.

I did this once.  I told my boss that my family had decided to move to X city for personal reasons.  I would love to continue working for the company, but I'd have to do so remotely.  I cited an example of someone else who had done something similar.  If they were unable to accommodate that request, I'd be submitting my resignation effective X date several months from then.  They went along with it...but I was fully prepared to quit and they knew it.  If you don't want to make that commitment, then you could just tell the boss that you'd be starting to look for other opportunities within and outside the company.    This is risky.

In your case, my justification would focus on costs and potential benefits.  If they are going to lose money on this, they'll probably say no.
a) particulars about the office you plan to work in - especially about office space.  If they have to find you another desk that isn't already assigned to your group, then that's usually a charge to their cost center
b) What would change about your work?  Is the time zone the same?  Are the working hours the same at the other site as at yours?
c) how much additional travel would you have to do?  How much would that cost the company?
d) are there things about your role that you cannot do in the new location?  Are there things you could add to your responsibilities at the new location (new user base?)

I would also cite examples of others who had done similar things in the past...successfully!

Good luck!

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2018, 02:08:09 PM »
Frame your argument under the premises of how it will benefit the company for you to relocate.

Can you find a new job that's closer to home?  Often job-hopping will increase your salary, which could also be a nice perk of going that route. Plus, it'd be really satisfying to tell them you want to change offices and then quit if they say no. :D

Thanks @JLee

I have started to look for other jobs closer to family but I'm in a very niche field so it's few and far between. I'd like to stay with current employer as they do provide good salary and benefits and I really do enjoy my work and am invested in the team - I'm very much a people focussed/motivated person.

So plan A is relocation with current employer but I'm not so naive to not be looking elsewhere simultaneously on case it's a no...

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 02:14:20 PM »
You haven't made it clear if you want to move across town or across the country.  "Periodic visits" suggests that the new location is close, but I don't want to assume anything.

Be mentally prepared for your request to be denied.  Large companies are EXTREMELY reluctant to do things based on personal preference.  Usually there has to be a compelling "business reason" (the company wins!) to grant such a request.

I have seen one case wherein a guy managed a transfer halfway across the country, but he agreed to pay for all of his relocation costs.  Yikes. 

How willing are you to apply for other jobs in the desired location?  If you have a counter offer, you have significantly more leverage....

Thanks @Better Change

Oddly, using an existing offer to leverage the move would likely not go over well, it's a company culture thing, but I'm still looking into other options as you say...

The move would be approx 3 hours away, in the UK so while it seems a long way to me/us it's still feasible to do overnight or even day visits between offices.

There is zero chance of the company financing the move, I just want them to OK it!

I'm focussing on making the case that it's a net +ve for the company due to medium term growth in the support req at that location plus net neutral on the delivery of the rest of my work... do you have any experience if any other objections to such a move?

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2018, 02:17:48 PM »
A few ideas:
1. look for internal job transfer.
2. Tell your boss that one of relatives are sick, and you need to help out. Maybe even start with working remotely, then move to a full time basis.
3. Write a business case what benefits that your company will gain (not focus on your benefits).

Hope it helps!

Thanks @moneytaichi

In my niche field it is vanishingly unlikely for a vacancy to be advertised without it being fabricated for me so I'm stuck with the relocation plan, I guess I'm betting on them not wanting to lose the resource so basically a "you'd rather I worked from x office than have to start over with someone new"...

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2018, 02:22:52 PM »
In my experience, it is pretty close to impossible to get a company-financed relocation if you are doing the exact same job - it doesn't make financial sense for them.  I've seen companies pay for a relocation for someone who is moving to a different role, even if it is a lateral move.

I would, therefore, expect that you'd be paying your own relocation costs.

I did this once.  I told my boss that my family had decided to move to X city for personal reasons.  I would love to continue working for the company, but I'd have to do so remotely.  I cited an example of someone else who had done something similar.  If they were unable to accommodate that request, I'd be submitting my resignation effective X date several months from then.  They went along with it...but I was fully prepared to quit and they knew it.  If you don't want to make that commitment, then you could just tell the boss that you'd be starting to look for other opportunities within and outside the company.    This is risky.

In your case, my justification would focus on costs and potential benefits.  If they are going to lose money on this, they'll probably say no.
a) particulars about the office you plan to work in - especially about office space.  If they have to find you another desk that isn't already assigned to your group, then that's usually a charge to their cost center
b) What would change about your work?  Is the time zone the same?  Are the working hours the same at the other site as at yours?
c) how much additional travel would you have to do?  How much would that cost the company?
d) are there things about your role that you cannot do in the new location?  Are there things you could add to your responsibilities at the new location (new user base?)

I would also cite examples of others who had done similar things in the past...successfully!

Good luck!

Thanks @formerlydivorcedmom

I'm happy to finance the move, so I just want them not to veto it.

I'd not considered including much detail about cost of travel, office implications etc but will definitely include as I can see that they would need to consider these costs, I'd been focussed on delivery of work but the peripherals all cost the company too!

Thanks again!

Gilly

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2018, 02:28:05 PM »
I did this about 2 years ago.
1. I work for the government so I check my contact to find details. If you have something do that, it may guide you.
2. Depending on your relationship with your boss have him/her help. In my case my boss was able to make part of the case for me, and he wanted me to remain in my job. Like your job my physical location was not relevant to 95% of my work.
3. If there is any reduction in travel play that up.
4. If you work with people in the other office make a case on how you have started working with them more. It may be worthwhile to push off officially asking for a month or two and cultivate a stronger working relationship with that office. Once I knew I was going to have to move I started getting more involved with a particular project whose head was located where I wanted to move. I knew I was moving in March and didn't move until October so I had some time to work with.
5. Don't be afraid to include personal circumstance if it could appear to be a case of you need to get to that other location (ie your options are get there with your company or leave your company entirely). In my case I was getting married and my SO's job was 10 miles from our other office, so I was moving one way or another. This may be cultural to your company.

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Requesting relocation with same employer
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2018, 01:19:19 AM »
I did this about 2 years ago.
1. I work for the government so I check my contact to find details. If you have something do that, it may guide you.
2. Depending on your relationship with your boss have him/her help. In my case my boss was able to make part of the case for me, and he wanted me to remain in my job. Like your job my physical location was not relevant to 95% of my work.
3. If there is any reduction in travel play that up.
4. If you work with people in the other office make a case on how you have started working with them more. It may be worthwhile to push off officially asking for a month or two and cultivate a stronger working relationship with that office. Once I knew I was going to have to move I started getting more involved with a particular project whose head was located where I wanted to move. I knew I was moving in March and didn't move until October so I had some time to work with.
5. Don't be afraid to include personal circumstance if it could appear to be a case of you need to get to that other location (ie your options are get there with your company or leave your company entirely). In my case I was getting married and my SO's job was 10 miles from our other office, so I was moving one way or another. This may be cultuand ral to your company.

Thanks for your reply @Gilly

I had a positive initial discussion with my manager on Friday and she sounds broadly supportive, it's my grand-manager who we ultimately need to convince who might object but primarily on perception/setting precedent grounds I believe.

I've drafted a first pass request for consideration letter with a brief 'impact assessment backing it up which I'm planning to get my manager to look over for any gaps. I will also have the chance to talk more with a colleague based at the office I want to move to on Monday as he's come up for a workshop.

Thanks to you all for taking the time to help me put my thoughts in order, you've really helped me think through the case I need to make and hopefully get the tone right...

Keep you posted!