Move It or Lose It

Why you should reconsider relocation — from the Cubicle Coach, Marie Claire's HR guru.

It was easy to turn down your boss's offer to relocate when unemployment was at 4 percent. Today? Go west, young woman — or south, east, or north for that matter. Take it from the Coach: Unless you're a proven superstar, this is the time to go where you're needed. A few questions to ask first:

1. Do I get a salary bump to move from Hattiesburg to Hong Kong?

You don't need a huge raise, but be sure you don't end up making less because you're spending more on your dim sum and shoe habit.

2. Will I be guaranteed employment for a prescribed length of time?

Get it in writing, ideally for a minimum of two years.

3. Will they pay for trips home, or for my family to come visit if they don't come along?

They should; it's cheaper than moving the whole brood.

4. How will HQ know I'm still around?

Establish a schedule for communication with the home office, and measurable goals to shoot for.

5. And if business goes south at home while I'm away?

Vet the new city and make sure it's healthy. It's one thing to hunt for a software job in northern California, quite another to be a laid-off condo broker in Miami.

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