Relocating to DC? Get Relocation Assistance From a New Job

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While moving to a new area for work can come with plenty of opportunities, it can also come with a large amount of financial stress. This is especially true if you’re moving across the country or need to bring many of your possessions with you.

Oftentimes, though, your new employer will compensate you for your move so that it’s less of a financial burden. This is called relocation assistance!

It can be unpleasant (and sometimes awkward), though, to ask about your new company’s relocation package since moving costs can often run into the tens of thousands.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to ask for relocation assistance.

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Calculate Your Expenses

Sometimes, the best job for you isn’t in the city where you currently live. It’s not at all uncommon for companies to interview out-of-state applicants from over the phone or video conversations. 

In order to optimize your chances of getting as much compensation as you need, you’ll need to make an objective list of your moving costs. This number will heavily depend on a handful of factors, but typically includes:

  • How quickly you need to begin working at your new place of employment
  • The ease at which you can leave your current residence (breaking a lease, selling your home, etc.)
  • How easy you are to accommodate in your new city (just you vs. a wife and two kids)
  • Moving-related expenses (hiring movers, renting a truck, etc.)

These are just basics, though. You’ll also need to consider how high the cost of living is in Washington DC. If you’re coming from somewhere relatively rural to a more-populated area, then you’ll likely see a sharp increase in price when looking to rent/purchase a property.

Your spouse may also need financial assistance while searching for a new place to work in the city.

The better you can define your expenses, the better chance you’ll be able to successfully negotiate with your new employer.

Research Your Company’s Relocation Assistance

After you’ve got an idea of how much you’ll need in order to relocate comfortably, your next step will be to research what you can expect from your company.

To learn more, you can contact the business’s HR department and ask if they can provide you with a written statement with details of the company’s policy. If you don’t have contact info for this individual, you can contact your new employer.

For those who secured their position through a recruiter, the recruiter should be able to provide you with all of the information you need to have when it comes to relocation. 

If all else fails, you can research the relocation packages of similar firms in order to get a general idea of what to expect.

Different Types of Relocation Packages to Expect

You won’t always receive a check from your company and free reign of how you spend it. While this scenario isn’t uncommon, there are other types of packages you need to be aware of.

Let’s take a look.


Oftentimes, companies will reimburse you for your moving expenses as long as they’re reasonable in both price and context. For example, hiring professional movers is fine. Paying your friends hundreds of dollars to load a few items in the back of a moving truck isn’t, though.

Most companies also have a ceiling on how much they’ll reimburse, so don’t get too crazy with your spending. You’ll also need to keep your receipt for every moving-related purchase that you make.

Third-Party Relocation Assistance

Some employers will pay a relocation coordinator to handle your move. This company will provide guidance on living in DC, help you arrange for storing any necessary items, rental assistance, etc.

The amount your company is willing to spend will depend on your needs, such as whether or not you need to sell your home. In general, though, you’ll find that all of your moving costs will be covered.

A Lump-Sum

The previously-mentioned check that your company could hand you often comes in the form of a lump sum, which is a pre-negotiated amount to help you cover your moving expenses.

This relocation package is one reason why estimating your costs is so important, as having an accurate representation of how much you’ll spend on moving will ensure you get the money you need.

While you’ll have freedom in terms of how you spend this money, you often won’t get any other compensation after it’s gone. So, keep this in mind during your move.

Ask Your Employer

Once you’ve compiled the above info, you’ll be ready to approach your employer about relocation assistance (and also have an amount to start with during your negotiation). 

While your new company may not be able to accommodate you in the exact way you need them to, they’ll often be flexible with their policies. For example, if you need more money than their relocation budget allows for, you may be able to secure the rest in the form of a ‘signing bonus’ instead.

After you’ve reached an agreement, make sure to get a statement in writing to ensure that the terms are officially set.

Knowing How to Ask For Relocation Assistance Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about how to ask for relocation assistance in mind, you’ll be well on your way to having a conversation with your employer about your big move to Washington, DC.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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