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I am a developer attempting to move from NYC to San Francisco (for a whole plethora of reasons). The companies (mid-sized tech startups) I've interviewed with don't offer a relocation package. Are there any alternatives I can ask for besides a relocation package?

For instance, can I ask for a few weeks' salary upfront? Or, alternatively, could I ask for relocation assistance as some sort of a signing bonus, and offer to have the employer cut out some percentage from my paycheck each week? This way, the company is not paying me any additional amount for relocating, since the upfront amount is eventually coming out of my salary, but my relocation expenses are covered.

Are there any other alternatives you know of that can help me out?

  • Did the companies know that you would be relocating during the hiring process, or is this something you have revealed to them after you got the offer(s)? – Masked Man May 19 '18 at 10:29
  • No, I haven't received offers yet - I'm still in second round or so interview stage. I have my current location on top of my resume that I send in the application, and I tell the companies I'll be relocating from New York to San Francisco during the initial phone screen. – Moe C May 19 '18 at 19:10
  • The problem you have with CA is they graduate a lot of techies that want to stay. Maybe ask for a loan? – paparazzo May 20 '18 at 20:43
  • @paparazzo, I've be very reluctant to take a loan from a new employer because it may effectually make you indentured to a company don't know a lot about. – user86764 May 20 '18 at 21:12
  • @gwp Would you also not take a loan from bank you don't know a lot about? I suspect you don't fully understand how a loan works. – paparazzo May 20 '18 at 21:24
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Is there any alternatives I can ask for besides a relocation package?

For instance, can I ask for a few weeks salary upfront? Or alternatively, could I ask for relocation assistance as some sort of a signing bonus, and instead to cut out some percentage from my paycheck each week?

You can ask for anything.

Certainly the alternatives you suggest are reasonable requests.

You might ask what others have done in your situation. Many startups in San Francisco employ workers from all over the world. They may have already employed folks who needed such assistance.

Since you have already learned that the company doesn't offer any formal relocation assistance, they may not be willing to do anything to help out. But it wouldn't hurt to ask anyway.

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As Joe said "You can ask for anything." They need a reason to set the rule aside for you. You should try to help them say yes.

If they simply don't want to spend the money then there is little you can do unless you are willing to compromise on something else. You suggested some ideas yourself. Perhaps you could suggest you could start earlier if they provide relocation, or perhaps you there are tax advantages to them in providing you say € 15k in relocation in lieu of a € 10k signing bonus.

If they really want you and then they may be willing to provide relocation if it doesn't create a precedence. HR wants to guard against hiring managers making special deals with hires. This can be overcome if there is something genuine unique about your circumstances. Are you moving from an unusual location that has special needs for relocation, for example moving from Alaska to the continental United States. Perhaps you are truly unique and that uniqueness is associated with the location you are in. For example, if you are an expert in Japanese contract law, then you could suggest that the only realistic way a company in London can hire are expert like you is to get someone to relocate from Japan.

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