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HR In Color: Relocating

How exciting and sometimes nervewracking it can be to move to a new city. Most young professionals (seasoned ones too!) look forward to starting fresh in a new city.

I've put together some guidelines on what to add to your checklist if you ever decide to relocate for work.

First and foremost, it is imperative to have the terms of your relocation assistance added to your offer letter. Here are three things to look out for in your offer letter:

  • Verbal agreement with a recruiter is included in your offer letter, this is to ensure that if the players who are/were a part of your onboarding are no longer there (bummer!), you have a hard copy of the agreement.

  • Understand the terms - if you decide that the role isn't for you, are you responsible for paying a portion back if you don't honor the contract terms? What is the timeframe obligation? Is it one year? Two years?

  • Repayment Options - similar to number two (2), what will you have to repay if you move on? You may be responsible to pay the whole dollar amount back, are there repayment options available to you?

Some other things to consider are selecting the right moving company, researching the neighborhoods, housing, and attractions: lounges, restaurants, trails, etc.

Get more bang for your buck! I recommend asking for a list of reliable moving companies they're able to refer you to, this is oftentimes done for executive members. The goal here is to get more bang for your buck, you may very well receive a discount utilizing a recommended company. Further, be clear on what your relocation assistance covers, most companies only pay for materials and not actual movers, i.e. moving trucks, boxes, pallets, etc.

Prior to researching for an area to live, a question to ask yourself is--is your preference to live alone or share expenses, i.e roommate? Be sure to research thoroughly the surrounding neighborhoods for safety reasons: crimes. If you wish to go with the former route, living alone, schedule an appointment with the leasing office for a tour (this can be done if you have a face-to-face interview in your potential new city, preferably after your interview). During your tour, ask your agent about discounts. Most housing apartments have special rates they'll promote within a certain mile radius of your workplace. Use social media as your tool, especially Facebook, there are a plethora of groups created specifically for the city where individuals advertise [affordable] housing, needing roommates, and to make new friends. People are very honest about their experiences in urban/rural areas from restaurants, bars, malls, physician offices, hospitals, rentals, etc.

Helpful Hints:

  • Be sure to lock in the non-emergency police contact in your phone

  • Find out how long it takes police officers to arrive at your residence/neighborhood

And it’s important to find out the distance between the grocery stores, parks, malls, attractions. This will help save you time driving long distances if you don’t need to.

Here are some additional tips to ask during your interview:

  • If you have to pay for parking at work, make sure to negotiate that in your offer letter.

  • Opportunities - learn about your company’s competition, how close are they? If it doesn’t work out because the role isn’t what you thought it’d be doing you have a backup plan?

  • Definitely learn the organizations that hold mixers for networking events as well to build your network and to potentially make new friends.

There's a lot to consider but you've got this!

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