Is it unrealistic to ask my employer to let me relocate

SeductivePig

Senior member
Dec 18, 2007
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So long story short, I'm an engineering consultant, been at the same company since graduation, for 8 years. Making $100k, with company car, transit paid for. I've been 100% billable for the past 8 years and manage everything on my own with the client , and have been working remotely at the client site for the past 7 years (oil/gas).

The work I do can be done remotely, but it's nice to be near the client for facetime. I'm there 2-3x a week. At this point, I'm so well known, and people are usually traveling so much, that reducing my facetime wouldn't be a big deal.

Now, my girlfriend just got into a residency program in NYC. She wants me to move there with her for 2-3 years, then move back. Reason being, she wants me with her, and she also can't afford the rent there (her salary would be between $50-60k).

Do you guys think it's unreasonable to ask my employer to work there for 2-3 years then come back? My plan is to ask them to fly me in once a month to keep in touch with my client.

I trust my employer a lot, but I'm still doubtful that it's a good move to ask this without having a job offer in hand. We are shorthanded right now and I'm the only one with deep expertise with my client, but that could change at any time. Problem is, I'm stuck in a lease until next March and wont' be able to move until then anyways. I'm thinking about bringing this up in January.

Also, this is a long shot, but is there any way I can negotiate a cost of living increase, or relocation assistance? I wouldn't expect so, but just curious.
 
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Platypus

Lifer
Apr 26, 2001
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It doesn't hurt you to ask, it's extremely unlikely they would do anything retaliatory for you asking. You also go on to say they're already shorthanded so I would worry even less about that. My advice is to talk to your boss, explain the situation with your partner, and then ask to relocate.

I would not consider asking the long shot question at the same time personally. It's probably better to ask for that when you're already in NYC and doing the job well remotely in my opinion.

You've got time to chew on it for a while, that timeframe seems reasonable to me.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
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It depends... how invaluable are you? Are you "the guy" that everyone depends on? If so, you got a shot.
 

Viper GTS

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
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Make sure you fully understand the cost of living difference. $150-160k doesn't go very far here. Speaking from experience, it's worse than you think it will be.

Viper GTS
 
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TXHokie

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 1999
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I did a similar move years ago. My approach was to lay the ground work early to let them know I was going to move anyway and proposed how my work remotely would not impact the work product and no increased impact to the company. I did kind of laid it on thick on how much I enjoyed working for the company and would prefer to stay with them but would resort to having to look elsewhere if I had to when I move. It helped that I was working in a unique position that required lots of internal knowledge and expertise. While not really irreplaceable - it would've caused quite a bit of pain and time to get someone else up to speed. I presented my case as a full proposal with ROI since part of my job was also to prepare statement of work so I did made the entire thing professionally presented. This was enough for my boss to go to bat for me with the director (who wasn't really a fan of letting me move) and got me the green light to allow the move and kept my job.
Granted I paid for my own relocation and the key was minimal impact to the company. It has worked well for both sides: me to WFH near the beach, moved to a lower cost of living area, and the company had no disruption of work.
 

MaxDepth

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Ask.
1) If no, then what are plans for you and your GF? She'd have to find a rental that'll include room-mates. That's also 2-3 years of your relationship as 'long distance.' I don't need to know details; this is just something for you and she to consider.

2) If no, are you considering this company for the long haul? Have you looked at other opportunities?

3) If yes, hooray?
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
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I did a similar move years ago. My approach was to lay the ground work early to let them know I was going to move anyway and proposed how my work remotely would not impact the work product and no increased impact to the company. I did kind of laid it on thick on how much I enjoyed working for the company and would prefer to stay with them but would resort to having to look elsewhere if I had to when I move. It helped that I was working in a unique position that required lots of internal knowledge and expertise. While not really irreplaceable - it would've caused quite a bit of pain and time to get someone else up to speed. I presented my case as a full proposal with ROI since part of my job was also to prepare statement of work so I did made the entire thing professionally presented. This was enough for my boss to go to bat for me with the director (who wasn't really a fan of letting me move) and got me the green light to allow the move and kept my job.
Granted I paid for my own relocation and the key was minimal impact to the company. It has worked well for both sides: me to WFH near the beach, moved to a lower cost of living area, and the company had no disruption of work.
This is similar to my approach, I started letting them know a move was in the planning stages a couple years ago. I'm fortunate in that my company also has a location in the area where I plan to move, and I've already done a bit of remote work here.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
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If you're as valuable as you think you are, it won't hurt to ask. However I don't have a feel for the culture of the company. Some bosses would consider it 'disloyal' to even ask. Either way you're announcing that you're possibly leaving the company even if you don't move. That means your boss is going to either a) freak and want to find ways to retain your or b) start looking at ways to manage you out so it doesn't hurt when you eventually do leave. Does your company have other remote employees? Are they in similar departments? Sometimes being allowed to go remote has very little with it impacting the job and more to do with management culture at the company.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Relocate? Sure - Most companies (including mine) don't care where I live as long as I'm working for a client and charging hours.

Pay for relocation or cost of living adjustment? Not a shot in hell. You can try if you want, but I'm fairly sure no employer would go for that unless you were some kind of golden turd.
 
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gorcorps

aka Brandon
Jul 18, 2004
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Relocate? Sure - Most companies (including mine) don't care where I live as long as I'm working for a client and charging hours.

Pay for relocation or cost of living adjustment? Not a shot in hell. You can try if you want, but I'm fairly sure no employer would go for that unless you were some kind of golden turd.

Agreed with all of this. There's simply no reason any company should be expected to pay you more when you're going to be even further away, be able to check in less often than they get now, and get no extra work than they're already getting. Also, the only way I see them agreeing to pay for flights to chicago is if you no longer get a company car. A once per month flight to chicago plus rental car is probably a wash with what the OP is getting now.

I think this is possible, but you have to keep your expectations in check. When you propose this, I imagine they're also going to start preparing for the possibility of you never leaving NYC. You can swear up and down you'll be back in 3 years, but that's a long time to be in a city... certainly long enough to grow some new roots and start considering a higher paying job in the area.
 
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highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
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ATOTDC...dissapoint.....


pics of GF?

Agreed with all of this. There's simply no reason any company should be expected to pay you more when you're going to be even further away, be able to check in less often than they get now, and get no extra work than they're already getting.
this

Some years back, an employee bought a new car. Then told the boss she needed a pay raise to be able to afford it. Didn't happen.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
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A girlfriend asking you to uproot your life and move to New York for 2-3 years to live with her is basically her asking you to marry her.
 
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K1052

Elite Member
Aug 21, 2003
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Make sure you fully understand the cost of living difference. $150-160k doesn't go very far here. Speaking from experience, it's worse than you think it will be.

Viper GTS

This. Very much this.
 

ctbaars

Golden Member
Nov 4, 2009
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It's all been said in this thread already based on the information provided.
I'd just like to say that most employers will look positively on the fact you support, with your time and money, your wife's dream and aspirations. This won't get you a raise but the unselfishness of it will inspire your employer to say yes to the relocation if there had been any doubt.
 
Jun 18, 2000
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In light of your other thread detailing a tenuous relationship with your peers and boss, I'd say yes it might be unreasonable.