Dear Huddie

Dear Huddie: Negotiating Relocation Expenses and Salary

September 13, 2013

Back for installment 17 of Dear Huddie – a bi-weekly column to assist engineer job hunters in their pursuit of happiness.  Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!?

That’s funny from the internet….

engineer adjustment and reset tool


Dear Huddie,

I am currently working at a place that I like, but don’t love.  I was softly searching for other opportunities that might be out there and stumbled across one.  Things have gone well in the interviewing process; the one downfall is I would need to move.  How hard should I push to get a nice salary increase and have my move covered?

Window Shopping


Great question – and you might have found the ideal situation. You are currently employed, so you do not have to be steam rolled to take whatever they offer – with one twist – you like, but don’t love, your current position. The generic question really is “how can I negotiate here?”
This can be a slippery slope; I have a friend that thought for sure this company that gave him an offer loved him and would pay what he wanted….and that backfired. I also have a friend that thought the same thing – but was correct, so he got every wish he asked for.

Below are some things to keep in mind when bargaining:

  1. Careful shooting too high, especially in a job you truly want. A better question in this case it “how much money would it take to keep me financially secure in a position I will be happy with?”
  2. Moving expenses – this can be tough, but in most cases there simply might be company policies that won’t allow the hiring manager to give into your demands. Most companies will understand the cost of a move, and might cover the entire move – but don’t be surprised if the protect themselves with a clause stating you pay back moving expenses if you work less than one year.
  3. Salary – always be honest with your current salary – this way the company knows if they can afford you. I have been in two “salary” positions, one in which a company wanted me fresh out of college, but before flying me to their headquarters to meet with higher ups and present an offer they asked if I had any open offers. I did have an offer, which turned out to be 30% higher than what they could offer, so they passed on me. At the time I was disappointed, but they did the right thing – seriously, who would work for 30% less? The 2nd position I was in became very frustrating. My old company was trying to hire me back; they reached out via phone and said they would like to meet for dinner. We met, I was upfront with my current salary and let them know I was happy with my position, but would entertain their offer. They came to me with an offer 20% less than what I was making and offered me a U-Haul that I would load and un-load myself, but they would pay for gas – awesome guys, you nailed it! Wasted my time and theirs! Had they listened to my current salary we could have saved time. So – be up front with current salary, and hopefully the company interviewing will be smart enough to understand in most cases – 99.99999999% – we don’t leave a job for less money!

Thank you again for listening, that’s it for now, next installment in two weeks – don’t forget to send your Dear Huddie questions to