Job Relocation: Costs to Consider When Making a Big Move

Job relocation

If you’re switching jobs, you might also switch cities. While it’s exciting to get a new start, you need to figure out the logistics of job relocation. Usually, a company offers future employees a relocation package to make moving easier. However, that package won’t cover everything. Some will barely cover the cost of a U-Haul.

Make sure you’re 100% prepared for the move by consulting this checklist before accepting the job offer.

Considering Job Relocation: Why Do You Want to Move?

Before you dive into the costs of moving, you have to first ask yourself this important question.

Why am I moving?

Even moving a few streets down is quite a hassle. Moving towns or across the country (or even an international relocation) costs a lot of time, energy, and money. So why are you putting yourself through all that?

Here are some common reasons people would state when deciding to move for a job.

  • The new job is a promotion.
  • The new job offers a higher salary.
  • You just need a fresh start.
  • You want to move closer to family or a significant other.
  • The new job is with a company you’ve always wanted to work for.
  • You just need out of your current job by any means.
  • The cost of living is more affordable there.
  • This job is in a new industry that you want to break into.
  • The job offers opportunities you don’t get in your current role.

While everyone has a different reason for considering a job relocation, knowing your own motivation will help you decide if the move is worth it. Sometimes it doesn’t financially make sense to make a move. But if you just got your dream job somewhere, then you don’t always have to let money be the motivator. Following your passion can come first.

I Love the Job But Don’t Want to Move

If you absolutely love the job opportunity, but hate the idea of moving, don’t resign yourself to doing something you don’t want to do. If the pandemic taught us anything, most jobs can successfully be done remotely. Don’t want to move? Ask if there’s any way you can do the job remotely. If the employer won’t budge, try to find a similar job that’s closer. Or one that’s further but will let you work remotely.

Before you consider the costs, you first have to know if it’s worth it in the first place. Then figure out how you want the company to help with your move. Would you like a lump sum? Advance on your first paycheck? For them to pay for the moving cost outright? That’s an important conversation to have with your future employer before agreeing to anything else.

Job Relocation Expenses

Employee moving expenses aren’t cheap. While it’s easy to think of the usual costs like moving vans and your new rent, here’s a pretty comprehensive list of things to consider from your current location.

  • Hiring moving companies and professional packers. You likely don’t want to ask your friends to pack your home. And if you’re moving to a brand new place, you likely won’t have friends there to help you move in. Hiring professional movers takes a huge load off your shoulders (literally). You can also look into moving container services, which double as a way to move and store your stuff during your transition.
  • Moving supplies. If you’re D-I-Y-ing this move, you need to consider everything from packing tape to renting or buying a utility dolly.
  • Transportation. How far is the move? Within driving distance? Or are you flying and moving people will bring your stuff in a van behind you? If you’re flying, are you getting your car transported? Once you get off the airplane, are you taking an Uber to temporary housing?
  • Lease break fees. If you have to break your current lease to move to your new home, look back on your rent agreement to see what you’ll owe.

Expenses on the Other Side of Moving

So you’ve paid all you need to pay to move away from your current home. Now that you’re in your new location, you still have a lot to pay.

  • Short or long term rentals. When you move, are you starting out in your new place immediately? Or do you have a few week waiting period while your rental gets vacated to accommodate the start date of your new job? Think about the cost of your new housing, but also the temporary accomodations you need while you wait for your new home to be ready.
  • First month’s rent, last month’s rent, security deposit, pet rent. If you’re moving into an apartment, remember that you’ve got a lot more to pay than just the first month’s rent.
  • Closing costs and realtor fees. If you’re buying real estate, think about all the costs related to closing on a home. If you’re also selling your current house, you need to consider those as well from the other end.
  • Meals. While you’re moving and don’t have a kitchen accessible, you’ll eat out quite a bit. Remember to factor that extra cost into your grocery budget.
  • Family relocation costs. If it’s not just you that’s moving, you’ve got a lot more to consider. You need to account for everything from baby-sitting to tuition fees at a new school if you choose a private education.

And this list doesn’t include the emotional and physical costs associated with movement. You don’t get paid to pack your life up into boxes for the movers to put in the van. And you don’t get compensated for missing the family you’re moving away from.

Your Company Should Make Your Job Relocation Easier

Not all companies have the budget to completely cover their employee’s expenses with their relocation assistance. While it would be great if your company could cover every cost, it’s not feasible for smaller businesses.

However, pay very close attention to the way the company treats you during this move. During the job relocation package negotiation, are they trying to nickel and dime you? Are they willing to help you find temporary housing if your lease doesn’t begin on time for your start date? Will they give you suggestions when you ask about local moving companies?

If your future employers do their best to make you feel taken care of during your job relocation, you’ve picked the right company to work for. If they don’t make you a priority or seem to care how you’ll do during your big move, maybe you need to reconsider if this job relocation is worth it.

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Author, Artist, Photographer.

Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.

She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.

She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.


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