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A company offered me an entry level job and I will be relocating to a new place. I was wondering what the best way is to ask the company to pay for my relocation costs (e.g. moving company) and the first 3 months rent or at least the first month's rent? How do I ask the company for relocation costs (advanced rent, moving) without coming across as entitled and overbearing? Also is asking this question risky for someone who received a job offer?

I want to ask for an advance on expenses like rent and deposit for accomodation because I may not be able to afford them until after the first month of working.

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    What sort of distances are involved? Moving 10 miles across town may be different from moving to a new country or continent. – Laconic Droid Jun 14 at 15:55
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    Depending on country of course, relocation reimbursement is usually put into the "perks" or compensation for a prospective job. If a company doesn't have it listed on their site/the job app, it may be safe to assume that you won't get anything for that, especially with an entry level position. – Kaizerwolf Jun 14 at 16:00
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    "I want to ask for an advance on expenses like rent and deposit" - this is a little different to asking for relocation expenses, and an advance on salary is often something a company will offer to new hires. – Laconic Droid Jun 14 at 16:04
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    Theses are things I would expect to be covered during the negotiation phase. If you've already accepted the offer, I wouldn't expect there to be much recourse at this point. – Joel Etherton Jun 14 at 16:12
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    @Fattie: I was hired on an entry-level helpdesk call center job, located on a different continent altogether. The company paid for my flights, provided a B&B for the first month and up to half a day PTO every week to find housing (and/or a car), and comped me a flat fee for rent the next two months. Nothing the OP has posted, nor wondered if it would be provided, is unusual. Your response is disproportionately dramatic for a posted question that is not. – Flater Jun 15 at 8:12
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The likelihood of getting relocation depends very much on the industry. High-tech firms will often pay fresh graduates full relocation. Other industries where the demand is lower? Less likely but still possible.

It won't hurt to ask. Only the most sensitive (or frankly insane) companies will give you a black mark for asking.

How to ask?

Just like you ask anything else:

  • Ask
  • Stay polite
  • Don't make it seem like a demand
  • Explain why you need it ("I'm starting in my career and I don't have any savings")
  • Don't get upset or try to argue if they say no.

If they do say no, then ask if they can loan you the costs ("advance on salary")

What might be covered.

Relocation packages vary, but the norm is either a) a fixed amount towards moving or b) covering extra expenses that you wouldn't have spent if you hadn't moved (up to a limit). First month's rent isn't usual to cover, because you would have had to pay for a month's rent if you hadn't moved, so it isn't an extra expense. Some places might pay for a hotel for a short time while you look for accommodation.

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  • Why explain? Who cares? – Alex M Jun 15 at 5:37
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    Because it makes it clear that you are not asking just "to get more money" but because you have a real problem. This makes them understand you are not just trying to milk the company for any money you can get. Also it increases the empathy the person you are asking is likely to have, which makes it more likely that they will agree. Which is your goal. – DJClayworth Jun 15 at 12:54
  • The likelihood the company will agree is a function of A) how much the hiring manager wants to hire you and B) how much room is left in the scale for the position. It's possible the hiring manager would care about a sob story, but it's very unlikely to make a whit of difference to HR/payroll/whoever has budgeted to hire into the position. In my personal experience I'd find something like "I'm just starting my career and I don't have any savings" to sound pretty unprofessional, though not likely enough to make much difference either way. – Alex M Jun 16 at 18:19
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    It's not about a sob story. If you just say "can I have payment for relocation expenses" the manager may think you just want more money, and will ask for anything you can get. If you say "I've got student debts, no savings and I need to spend thousands of dollars to move myself, can the company help me" they are less likely to think that. It's called the human factor. – DJClayworth Jun 16 at 18:26
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    Employers understand that many people just graduated and starting out in the profession often don't have savings. Saying why you need the money makes it clear that you are asking for a reason, and thus you won't be just asking for money at every opportunity you get (meaning you will be less 'needy'). If expenses are discretionary, then giving them a reason makes it more likely that they will give it to you. – DJClayworth Jun 24 at 15:25
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It entirely depends on the company whether they will or not. When I started right out of school in an entry level job with a large corporation, they provided relocation assistance - their headquarters was not in a top city, and they knew they were hiring right out of college so recruits didn't have deep pockets.

Ask whatever HR person you've been put into contact with if the company offers relocation assistance in any form. They may say "no" but it shouldn't drive the offer away unless you state it as mandatory.

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  • So what is the best way to word this question for the HR person so that they don't rescind the offer? – Sa2 Jun 14 at 23:00
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    “Does the company offer relocation assistance in any form?” Not rocket science. – mxyzplk Jun 15 at 0:16
  • The company say that they offer a relocation package which includes help with finding an apartment, and reimbursement for costs such as flight, luggage etc. There is no mention of relocation support for housing costs. So is it okay to ask them if they can loan me the costs for the first month's rent? – Sa2 Jun 25 at 11:01
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Generally it's best not to create any drama for an entry level job and handle anything like that yourself. Most places have a backpackers or other cheap accommodation to get you through until payday.

Nothing to stop you asking, but be prepared for them to lose interest in pursuing their offer.

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  • This is a good answer. Yes, I can see how they would interpret such a request as a prospective employee creating drama even before they have joined. – Sa2 Jun 14 at 16:49
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    They have made the offer. Any company who rescinds an offer just for asking the question is a) rare and b) not worth working for. It's not "drama" to ask, as long as you stay polite and accept that whatever answer they give is the answer. – DJClayworth Jun 14 at 18:51
  • @DJClayworth they didn't offer to relocate the OP, changes the whole ball game internationally. Perhaps not your locale, but huge logistics involved in some places so that discussion takes place before an offer is made. Here would be automatically ghosted if you wanted 3 months rent in advance for an entry level position. – Kilisi Jun 14 at 23:02
  • @DJClayworth what is the most polite and professional way to ask so that they don't rescind the offer? – Sa2 Jun 14 at 23:02
  • @Kilisi Depends on field, making this a bad answer. Every single one of my classmates got offers that included relocation when we left college. And none of them put anyone up in a hostel. These days they wouldn't remotely risk it- too big a chance a laptop with company info gets stolen. Ask, but look up what typical relocation packages in your field are first. – Gabe Sechan Jun 15 at 2:53
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NB: I'm answering the question as asked, without assumption.

In a negotiation situation - as in, you have an offer in hand, but have not accepted it yet - the way to ask a prospective employer for x is as follows: "Of course, I'm evaluating my options. What would make your offer an easy 'yes' for me would be if you were to include x."

It is easy. Practice in front of a mirror, or on the phone with a friend, if you think it would help you. Say it plainly and easily. It's entirely natural and expected to negotiate.

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