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How to Tell Your Employer You Can't Relocate for a Job

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Relocation is something that happens quite often in the business world, and it's something that can happen at any time for any number of reasons. Whether the company is merging with another company or whether you are being transferred to another division in another city or promoted to a different position that requires you to relocate, it's something that many people will have to deal with at least once over the course of their careers.

But what happens when your employer asks you to relocate and you can't? If you have a family that can't be uprooted and moved at a moment's notice or you have other obligations preventing you from leaving, it's a strong possibility that relocating won't be a viable option for you. So how do you break the news to your employer without risking losing your job? This guide will provide you with a few helpful tips on how to tell your employer that you can't relocate.

Speak to your employer about the relocation

Upon learning of the plans for your relocation, you may want to spend some time discussing it with your family and weighing your options before you make your final decision and approach your employer about the issue. Make sure that you let your employer know right away that you'd like to discuss the matter in person and talk about your options, as waiting too long can complicate the situation and make things more difficult than they have to be. Here are a few things to remember when talking to your employer about the relocation:
  • Make clear your intentions of remaining with the company. Despite the fact that you won't be able to relocate, make sure that you emphasize the company's significance to you and your career and that you have no desire to leave your position. If not, your employer may misinterpret your reluctance to relocate as your way of saying that you are no longer interested in working with the company.

  • Outline your reasons for not relocating. Simply telling your employer that you won't be able to relocate won't really do the job, so it's best if you clearly explain the reasons why you can't make the move. If it's because you don't want to uproot your family and take your kids out of school and away from their friends, or if you have older parents or grandparents that require you to be nearby to care for them, then explain that. Chances are good that if you're clear with your explanations and your reasoning behind why you can't move, your employer will be more understanding of your situation and more accommodating.

  • Offer up some potential alternatives to relocation. If you're not able to relocate, your best solution is to offer up some potential alternatives to your employer. For example, you can suggest taking on some new responsibilities in your current position, make yourself available to travel more often, if needed, or volunteer yourself for additional in-office roles. This will show your employer that you're still a committed member of the staff and that you've weighed your decision and your potential options carefully.

  • Keep an open mind and consider all possibilities. After explaining to your employer the reasoning behind why you're unable to relocate, what happens next is ultimately your employer's decision. It's best for you to keep an open mind heading into the situation and carefully consider all of the possibilities and potential outcomes. Being prepared will show your employer that you're ready to take on whatever comes your way and that although you can't relocate for the position, you're willing to consider whatever alternatives are presented to you.

  • Approach the situation professionally and take it one step at a time. Relocation is a major change for anybody, and asking an employee to relocate for a position is a big request to make, no matter what the job. The best way for you to handle the situation is to be professional at all times and take things one step at a time. If you do, your employer is more likely to be understanding of your situation.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on November 29, 2018

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