Hi Folks,

It's been a while since I've checked in with you.  That's not to say I haven't been listening and lurking the forums.  The reason that I have been so busy is that in the last 4 years, I have had the pleasure to have moved three times as opportunities have presented themselves.  The first relo was due to my company getting acquired.  The second was for a promotion and the third was for a more secure global position within the organization.  I have Manager Tools to thank for being able to survive and even thrive during these transitions.

I was thrilled to hear Wendii's discussion of relocation packages and had some comments based upon my recent experiences.  My company has three basic types of packages.  Commuter assistance, lump sum and executive.

Commuter assistance consists of a monthly stipend for travel expenses when relocated to a new office in the general region (>60 miles) for a fixed period of time.  Sometimes this type of arrangement can be negotiated for external/internal hires to soften the blow of long commute times.

Lump Sum packages consist of a few things:

  • a grossed up (they pay the taxes) lump sum amount given directly to you without any strings attached.  You can use it for whatever you want (or bank it).
  • Household goods services - basically a mover to pack, move and unpack you.
  • Relocation Services - information and support as Wendii described.

Executive Packages:

  • Home relocation - The company or it's designee service provider will find you a new home, help with the down payment, and even help get rid of your old home including buyout if you can't sell it within a specified time frame.
  • Expenses - All relocation related expenses covered for you and your family.  Travel, babysitters, kennels, car rentals etc are all covered by the company.
  • Household goods services - basically a mover to pack, move and unpack you.
  • Relocation Services - information and support as Wendii described.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Don't underestimate the impact on your family.  I did!  It's not pretty.
  2. DON'T BE SHY!  ASK for what you think you need even if it seems outrageous as long as you can justify it.  My first package was truly about half of what was required to move me and when they offered it to me I was like WOW this is too much...LOL.  My next package was triple what that one was based upon my hard won experience with the first.  My third, well you get the picture. 
  3. Get your family involved with the local community right away!  My wife participates in events specific to her interests as soon as we land.  This has lessened the impact on her substantially as she feels less alone and isolated.  Remember, you have work as an outlet...your family needs something too!
  4. Ask for time off when you need it to take care of move things.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can concentrate exclusively on your new role. They don't expect you to be a corporate ninja as soon as you arrive in your new role. Happy wife = happy life
  5. My company outsourced everything.  Remember that outsourced service providers typically does not share the same motivation that your company does despite assurances to the contrary.  Do not be afraid to escalate back to your company when dissatisfied.  It helps!