Five things everyone should know about relocating
The lackluster job and housing markets has brought corporate relocations to a near halt. Companies have never been as uncooperative in relocating out-of-state employees as they are today. The Society of Human Resources Management found that 58 percent of companies have reduced corporate relocations, while 42 percent have either frozen or eliminated these programs altogether.
While this news is discouraging, the positive side is that employees and job seekers have some control over their fate — that is, if they’re willing to make themselves into appealing and relocate-able candidates.
(1) Be Prepared to Pay to Interview
To increase your chances of finding out-of-state work, consider temporarily relocating to that city and spending time pounding the local pavement. Be prepared to foot your own travel bills as few companies pay to fly in out-of-state applicants for interviews, after all, they have plenty of applicants in their own backyards! Consider searching for a job in a city where you have friends or family to stay with to cut down on your costs.
(2) Don’t Expect Relocation Costs to be Footed by the Company
Few companies pay to relocate individuals these days. The Worldwide ERC, a workforce mobility organization, reports that the average relocation costs for a homeowner is $60,000 and $18,000 for a renter. Most existing corporate relocations programs cap relocation costs at $10,000.
To make yourself an appealing candidate, express to your interviewees that you’re prepared to foot most or part of the relocation bill. This takes finances out of the equation and enables you to get judged and hired based on your talents.
(3) Prepare Your Home
Few employers interview out-of-state applicants because they don’t want to deal with individuals struggling to sell their homes. Today’s turbulent housing market creates delays in relocations and undue stress for all.
The good news is that employees can plan ahead to take potential delays in selling their house out of the equation. Consider putting your house up for sale before you even snag a job. If you sell your house prior to getting a job, put your furniture in storage and rent a short-term corporate rental.
If you prefer to wait to sell your home until you secure a job, get your house in order to sell. Take some time to de-clutter and stage it. Take care of deferred maintenance, which can create hold-ups in the sale process. Hire an inspector to spot potential problems before you put your home on the market. Also, interview a few real estate agents who you can call on a whim to get the ball rolling.
(4) Consider Becoming an “Accidental Landlord”
If you do snag an out-of-state job, but can’t sell your home, consider becoming an “accidental landlord.” The furnished rental market is strong and can help you capture higher rental fees from a tenant than you could capture from a traditional, unfurnished rentals. It also enables you to store your furniture in your home and doesn’t tie you into long lease agreements (most corporate rentals are monthly). In the meantime, you can list your house on the market even with a renter inside. In your new location, consider living in corporate housing until your home sells to avoid carrying two mortgages.
(5) Keep Moving Forward
Appealing job candidates don’t give up and tweak their plans along the way. Perhaps you wanted to work in a big city, only to find the city’s job market to be hyper-competitive. Instead, consider employers in smaller cities who might have trouble attracting solid talent and might be willing to pay for some or even most of your relocation costs.
Making yourself an appealing job candidate cross-geography requires some thoughtful preparation — but planning now can make you an appealing candidate wherever life takes you.