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Reasonable Time to Relocate for a Job

Not all job opportunities around us are perfect. Sometimes, a job that’s meant for us is thousands of miles away. With all the economic challenges and companies shutting down, it can be a pain trying to find a place of work. So, when we’re presented with a chance to work, we grab it with both hands even if it means moving across the country.

After getting the job offer, it’s time to embark on your new adventure. But how long is the best time for an employer to allow you before starting a new job? It depends on a number of factors and whether you’ll still continue working with your current employer or have been accepted for a post at a new company. 3 weeks to 1 month is a realistic time to scout out and move into a new location

Job relocation can be a painstaking task. This article reviews three possible scenarios and how they impact the decision your employer is going to make.

Case 1: Current employer is asking me to relocate

Every year, many people find themselves facing the decision to relocate when asked by their employers. Financial difficulties have made companies struggle to operate in high cost living areas.

Moving to low cost areas is a viable option to cut down the cost of running the business.

As an employee, it’s important to think carefully before making your official decision.

When your employer asks you to move, your situation will be guided by the terms of your contract of employment.

A mobility clause within the contract stipulates among other things, the places you can move to, considering the time and cost of travel.

About when you should begin working in a different city totally depends on where you’re moving and how urgently you’re needed there.

Typically, employers give enough notice and will be considerate to facilitate this change.

For a change as merely as moving to a different department, an employer can allow 4 weeks to completely shift. 

Even so, expect an employer to communicate to you about the transition just 2 weeks in advance.

Be open to discuss all issues that make it uneasy and uncomfortable to do the sudden switch, as long as your employers are not annoying and irritating people. 

If you’re afraid to lose your job, you can pack a few of your possessions and proceed to the work station in the other city. Later, you can arrange with a moving company to get the rest of your belongings.

Case 2: New employer is asking me to relocate

Companies that are on the market for new talents give one month to report to work after accepting their offer.

But that’s not the same with every employer out there. As such, there’s no one size fit all solution.

In fact Patti Charron a former registered nurse, admits that from her experience, there’s no typical time allowed.

She reiterates that even though there’s room to work out something with the employer, he still has the final word.

Most likely your employer hired you because they need you as soon as possible. But they’ll be reasonable about it.

However, don’t assume that the transition is a paid leave. In a few instances, an employer will offer a fixed lump sum for transfer. But that’s not always the case.

On the other hand, some companies will even take care of your accommodation until you find a place to settle.

That was the case with Kee Nethery, a Control Systems Engineer in Calif. The arrangement was, he stays in a hotel for a short time while going to work every day. After a week, he took the advice from his colleagues to get a place for a year or so, until a time when he was familiar with the city.

While it’s important to think ahead about how the work atmosphere and what the employer offers will be, remember to also pay attention on the commute. Better and worse days at work are determined by how much time it takes to get to and from work, which can be frustrating.

Case 3: I’d like to hand in a transfer request. How much time do I ask in the proposal?

If you want to keep your job but simply relocate for certain reasons, then, you can ask your boss for a transfer. 

But before your boss considers your transfer pitch, they’ll want to know whether it’s family or health related. Such reasons carry more weight.

For instance, your employer will want to look into your situation if your spouse lives out of town or you have a sickly relative that requires constant care and supervision.

Similarly, you can raise the issue to your employer about your spouse or child who suffers a medical condition that could benefit from a change of climate or moving closer to a specialist.

Occasionally, your superiors will be willing to welcome a proposal for career change or development within the organization that would see you apply unused skills in another branch of the company where they are needed most.

Once you develop a strong case along logistical, organizational, professional and legal lines, it’s time to present the matter to your boss.

While discussing the possibilities, your employer will also want to know the timeline.

The position at your desired office will determine how quickly it needs to be filled. And you might be required to relocate quickly if it’s still open.

It’s not easy to arrange an opportunity at a new site and find a replacement for you at the same time. You may want to allow some time, up to 4 weeks or more for your employer to fulfill their promise.

Adityavardhan Kakrania, Co-Founder at Scoar, advises to stick to your full time position in the company for at least 1 year before sending in your proposal, if it’s your second or third transfer. 

You want to demonstrate you’re committed to adding value in your current position, unless you have a compelling reason as we’ve discussed.


Relocating to a new city is an exciting experience as is embarking on a dream job. But before going down that path, it’s essential to think about the time it will take you to pack up your life and move out.

Whether you’re starting a role in a new company, or simply transferring to another department, you and your employer need to discuss the time and logistical implications. 

Agreeing on these issues gives you a clear understanding of what to take into account during the packing process, selling you home, finding new schools for your kids and locating movers.

Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.