The day arrives, the meeting is called, and your employer announces: it’s time for a corporate relocation. They’re asking you to move to a new city for your job, a prospect that is both exciting and daunting at the same time. Hopefully, your employer will be proactive and supportive in making this relocation as smooth as possible, but you as the employee also can be proactive in taking steps to ensure the details are covered. Check off these steps below and your moving experience will be just fine.
Find out about your corporate relocation package
Many large companies will have a set relocation package that lines out what they will do for you, and what you will need to cover. This is an excellent place to start as it gives you the foundation for asking further questions. They will likely take care of moving all of your office belongings, but will they pay for a full-service moving company to come and pack everything? How much time will they give you to make the move? Will they provide resources and information about your new home, possibly covering a flight to let you see your new city before the move? These are all important questions to ask, and they may be explained in your relocation package. Check with your HR point person.
Find out how you will be compensated for your relocation
Moving is a costly endeavor, especially if you have a family. Will your office pay for your move up front? Will you be reimbursed up to a certain cost with strict guidelines, or is there no ceiling? Will they pay for temporary housing while you find a new place to live? Some companies will reimburse you in one lump sum. In such a case it doesn’t matter how you spend the money, but there also won’t be anymore if, for example, you lose money selling your current home or incur significant closing costs. There is the opportunity to negotiate how much of your costs your employer will cover, particularly if they are mandating that you move to a new city for the benefit of the company. Find out how costs will be covered before you start spending any money on your move.
Find out what part of your move will be tax deductible
Since you are relocating for your job, the IRS allows you to deduct many of your costs from your yearly taxes. Consult with your HR point person to determine how much of your moving expenses will be tax-deductible, and determine how to properly track those expenses. If your HR contact can’t offer this support, consult your accountant. He or she will have the best information with regards to what the IRS allows for tax deductions for moving expenses.
Create a budget for out-of-pocket expenses
Your employer probably won’t cover all of your expenses, like buying updated furniture for your new home or getting a new license if you are moving across state lines. Create a budget that considers all of these additional expenses so they don’t stack up and surprise you, and you have all of the details covered. Things like getting an oil change if you’re driving long distance, updating your registration, or pet care while you are in transition should all be considered.
Find temporary housing ahead of time
Unless housing is covered in your relocation package, the transition will feel more comfortable if you find temporary housing before you go. Then you can rest assured that you have somewhere suitable to land as you get used to your new city, settle in at your new office, and start an exciting new life. If possible find something that at least has a kitchenette — eating out is fun at first, but you’ll eventually want the comforts of at least preparing your own toast. Establish some sort of timeline for moving into a more permanent home, employing a proper real estate agent to expedite the process. This might even be one of the costs your employer is willing to cover.
Hire a professional moving company
Again, perhaps your employer will take care of arranging a moving company. But if they don’t? Choose a moving company that is experienced, professional, and offers all the things you want to include to help with your move. If your family has a lot of antiques or heirlooms, for example, your movers can help ensure that they are packed safely and securely for the trip. Even if you don’t have delicate furniture, a full-service moving company will help you feel more relaxed about the whole trip and let you focus your energy on your career transition, your family, your friends, and all of the exciting opportunities ahead of you.