Things College Grads Should Consider Before Relocating for Work

Relocating College GradsSummer moving season is here! With the one year anniversary of my college graduation right around the corner, I have been thinking about the job hunt that this year’s graduates are facing. That, and the fact that I work for a relocation company, had me wondering what it would have been like to relocate for a job as a recent grad and new hire.

College grad hires typically receive the fewest relocation benefits, so it’s important that this group understands relocation and the implications of a move. It’s easy to get very excited about a move and a new job, but grads should always weigh the pros and cons of moving and ask a lot of questions about what support, if any, they will be receiving to move. If you are a recent college grad, or know a recent college grad considering relocating for work, ask the following questions.

What will be covered? Human resources should explain any relocation benefits you might be receiving. To be perfectly honest, as a new hire and a recent grad, the package will not be glamorous. But, a lot of companies will cover the major expenses, including moving your stuff to the new location. Some may even cover a lease break, depending on your current living situation.

Other questions worth asking include:

Will you be driving or flying to the new location?

Will travel costs and/or shipment of your automobile be covered?

How long do you have to prepare for the move?

Will there be home finding assistance?

Don’t be shy. It’s important that you know exactly what to expect and what your costs will be.

What do I do with the money? Relocating college grads often receive relocation benefits in a lump sum. Getting a few thousand dollars from your new employer may feel like a bonus, but it is not. It’s intended to help you move. It’s important to use the money to hire a moving company, pay for travel, break you lease or anything else that you will need along the way to move successfully. Here is an article on moving with a lump sum.

What is the location like? Moving can be exciting, especially if you are moving for a great job opportunity. But think about your personality and your values. Do you like your new city? Will you be able to handle moving for work if it means you are far away from friends and family? What is the population like in the new location? Just as you want to be happy in your new home, your employer wants that too. If you are uncomfortable, homesick, and/or unhappy, you won’t be as productive as you could be at work.

Is the job right for you? Obviously, it is hard to determine whether or not a job is right for you until you spend some time doing it. I’m not saying to make sure this job is your one and only career. But you should consider a few things. For example, are you using the position as a stepping stone for something else or are you hoping to advance within the company?  Relocation is stressful for all parties involved and it is very expensive for the employer. If you don’t have any intention of staying with the company for a while, it may be best to decline. An employer will not be pleased if they shell out a large sum of money to move you only to have you leave less than a year later. In fact, in this case, you may even have to pay the money back. Regardless of your career intentions, it’s never a good idea to burn bridges with an employer.

Relocating for work can open up a lot of doors. It’s also an exciting opportunity for somebody just getting out of college. However, it shouldn’t be a snap decision. Be sure to think about not only the questions I’ve just listed, but take some time to develop any questions you may have about the opportunity.

Good luck and congratulations!