Relocation costs money. So unless you are super qualified, experienced, or talented in a job where there is a big demand or in an industry which is growing faster than it can find applicants, it’s a tough sell to get an employer to pay for relocation. But you may need to relocate either because your location doesn’t have the job opportunities you want or because of some other personal reasons. So what can you do?
1. Relocate Anyway
I don’t recommend moving to a new place without a job unless you have a financial safety net and emotional support from family and friends. But I do advise a bold – maybe controversial – move. Buy a cell phone with a phone number in the new location and find yourself an address either with a friend or family member or even through a mail box service.
OK, I know lots of recruiters and HR types are probably jumping up and down, saying that this is not right, it’s lying, it’s bad, etc. Yep, you may be right.
But desperate times sometimes mean desperate measures. If you send an application from your home address and the job is in another part of the country, the organization is probably going to reject you. If you can get the employer to talk to you then you have got through the first round. At the interview, you can play it two ways – you give the impression that you live in the location or that you are planning to move there in the near future. Either way if the organization offers you a job then you had better be ready to move yourself over there and not ask for a handout to help you. It’s a risk but it could work. In fact, I know people who have done it.
2. Be Upfront and Honest
If you don’t want to go the first route, then you need to let the employer know that you will relocate – at your own cost. You also need to make sure that the employer knows that you will settle in to the new location fast and not suffer any problems such as being homesick. You need to sell to the new boss that you have the move planned out, you are ready for the challenges and you have financial and emotional support available.
If you take this choice you need to use your network so you don’t rely on an online application. Chances are that if you don’t have the contact, your resume will get rejected as being out-of-state and therefore out-of-the-question.
3. Be Special
If you are the only candidate who fits the employer’s need for an Italian-speaking, industrial engineer with experience of North Africa, a Masters in Solar Energy and Nobel Peace Prize (OK not the last part), then you can ask for relocation help – a lot of it probably.
But for the average person it is possible to get financial help moving. However, you must make great contacts who know you personally and see that you are exactly what you they need for the company, and you have to offer something unique that other people don’t have. It’s hard, but it’s possible too! You need to do a great sales campaign so that the additional cost of relocation is just a minor detail because you are exactly who the company wants.
Relocation is tough in this economy. But it’s not impossible. Make sure that you keep you options and your mind open. We never know what is possible.