I have just accepted my first job abroad and I will have to move around various AirBnB and hostel forms of accommodation for the first few months as I do not have enough money saved up to pay for the deposit on rented accommodation.

This is obviously going to impact my work and in the worst case force me to leave the job and return home if I can't find anywhere cheap enough to live.

I asked my new employer about the possibility of a relocation allowance but they said they did not provide such a thing. Is this normal? Should I push the issue further as I know this is going to have a negative impact on my work and make me unhappy in my new position or just suck it up and hope everything works out okay?

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    This is usually the kind of thing you talk about before you accept the offer. – Erik Feb 7 '17 at 13:09
  • I was not willing to turn down the opportunity. I would rather try and fail than not try. – Moses Feb 7 '17 at 13:11
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    "Normal" is a bit of loaded word. It's normal to provide one and it's normal not to. So you can't "push" for it as if it was something you were owed, at least not without sounding naive and unprofessional. – Relaxed Feb 7 '17 at 13:26
  • This is very normal and if you are willing to fail and already made up your mind then go with it... you may have set yourself up for failure but that is your own choice. Good Luck. – Matthew Whited Feb 7 '17 at 20:55

Is this normal?

Yes, it's normal that employers don't care if you want to relocate. Whenever there is enough talent (whatever the employer thinks that is) available, there is no incentive for the employer to offer relocation benefits. After all, the employer pays for your attribution to his business. Your move is not an attribution to his bottom line at all.

When it gets harder to find the people the employer wants to have in the company, he may consider offering relocation benefits. So in areas where it's notoriously hard to find good people, relocation benefits might even be seen as normal.

You will have to decide for yourself what you want to do, we cannot make this decision for you. If it does impact your job, maybe taking a credit might be an option. If you leave a bad first impression because you are stressed out by your living conditions, it's hard to remedy that later.


I asked my new employer about the possibility of a relocation allowance but they said they did not provide such a thing. Is this normal? Should I push the issue further...

I've just (in the last 6 months) made a move from Europe to North America. The feeling from most employers was that there was no relocation assistance available.

A few who did offer it were usually upfront about it (like a certain alphabetical online store), a few would offer partial assistance, but most offered no help.

The ones who did offer money usually came with conditions (so you're tied to them for a year for example), and in the case of money it is usually taxable (and mostly only a small percentage of the real cost of such a move) so what you get is really just a drop in the ocean. I ended up not taking a relocation assistance offer with the job to avoid the conditions (they ended up giving me an extra 5K on my salary, which shows how little they could offer).

Be under no illusion, an international move like I made, if you have a house and family, can easily cost upwards of $30,000 US. I had to ready property to sell, pay off accounts, sell cars, sell property, pay moving fees, airlines, temp accommodation, pay additional months upfront for rental house as no credit history in destination, buy cars, additional furniture, pay through the nose for car insurance as no driving history in destination, deal with currency fluctuations when transferring money etc. You also need to have reserves. When I was in hotels the area played host to a number of conferences and the few hotels available (often 60 miles plus away from work) tripled their rates over those weeks.

But the key thing is to be upfront at interview time, and when negotiating discuss assistance. Approaching them subsequent to accepting an offer is going to get the "No" answer you got.


It's not unheard of but certainly not a given so it's completely normal to provide one but also completely normal not to. It can be something you can negotiate individually before you take the job or something that is available to all new hires under certain conditions or provided for in collective bargaining agreements.

But if your contract and/or company rules don't foresee it, you are out of luck. It's not something you can expect or that your employer necessarily has to provide. You can always ask (but it seems you have done that already) but there is no point in pushing it, especially if, as you wrote in a comment, you are not willing to walk away.

Another solution to your rental problem however could be to ask for a salary advance from your employer. Unlike a relocation allowance, it will probably be taxed like regular income and you would have to pay it back in the coming months but it could save you money compared to staying at hostels and avoid a lot of stress. This is something I have seen in your situation (new hire from abroad who need money for a deposit - as opposed to being in debt or spending it on something crazy).

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