applying for the same job as a friend, interview outfits in sweltering weather, and more

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. I feel bad applying for the same job as my good friend and coworker

I started a job at a new firm, and I have become really good friends with a colleague. We go out together and I’ve even met her friends and her mother and been to her birthday celebrations.

I always knew a office manager role would come up that I was keen on, but she previously had done the job on a secondment while the office manager was on maternity leave, so I always said she should go for it. When the position came up, she was not keen on applying. I encouraged her to, as I believed I would not be considered for the role — until today, when the management told me I would be selling myself short if I did not apply.

I really want to apply, but I feel really bad as she has been with the company for years and is very well liked, and considering I encouraged her to apply in the first place, I’ll feel like a horrible person if I apply.

Well, only you can decide if you want the position enough to deal with any potential awkwardness, but I’d encourage you to apply to. Just be up-front with her about it — and do that now, because you don’t want to keep it a secret from her and then only tell her if you get the position, which would rightly make her feel you’d been dishonest with her.

Say something like this: “Jane encouraged me to apply for the office manager position too. I hadn’t planned to, and I do think you’d be great at it, which is why I’ve been pushing you to apply. But I’ve given a lot of thought to what she said, and I’ve decided I’d like to throw my hat in the ring too. I hope this doesn’t cause any awkwardness between us, and I will support you 100% if you end up getting it. But I’d regret it if I didn’t try too.”

2. When I’m interviewing in sweltering weather, do I have to keep my suit jacket on?

I had an interview last Friday in the D.C. area. The temperature was 99 degrees with 80% humidity. I drove in my car and had my suit with me, but in that heat I couldn’t put the jacket on. Even once inside the building and sitting in the lobby for 10 minutes, I tried putting the jacket on and immediately felt myself starting to warm up too much and was worried my face would be flushed and sweaty if I left it on. I was otherwise dressed in professional interview attire: a conservative blouse with a camisole underneath, a knee-length pencil skirt, close-toed kitten heels, and my hair pulled halfway up, but had the suit jacket draped over my arm or the back of my chair the whole time instead of being on me.

My instinct tells me that anyone who works and lives in this area knew exactly how hot and humid it was outside and probably forgave me for not putting on a jacket, but is it possible that it read as unprofessional? In the future, is it better to be sweaty and flushed in a suit jacket, or look more composed but be missing the jacket?

Nope, that was totally fine to do. Everyone knew why your jacket was off, and no one thought it was a sign that you pooh-pooh professional norms; it was a sign that you dressed appropriately but the weather had other plans and you are human. It was hot. Don’t worry about it at all.

3. What to say to interviewers who ask whether my temp job wants to hire me permanently

I’ve been a temp employee at a large organization for the past year and a half. It’s different than the type of job I went to school for, and seemed okay in the beginning, so I decided to stay at least a year to see if I liked it. I’ve decided that I like the work, but not the organization itself (and as far as I know, they don’t plan on hiring me anyway), so I’ve been job hunting for a few months.

Today someone called me about a job I applied to, and they asked, “So, does your current job have any intentions of hiring you?” and I said, “No,” because as far as I know they don’t (the recruiter said to not ask about if we’re getting hired, so I haven’t). My supervisor keeps giving me good feedback, and I feel I’m doing well, but there’s a lot of temps doing the same job (up to a couple dozen at any one time) and they only hired two people within the last year, so my chances of being hired were always pretty slim.

I feel like the fact that I’ve been at an organization who doesn’t want to hire me for so long makes it seem like there’s something wrong with me. Is there a different way I should answer this question besides saying “no”? Do I need to explain their “business plan” is to keep a ton of temp employees since that’s cheaper than permanent employees or something?

I’d add a little bit of context to the “no.” Otherwise it could mean “no, because they don’t like my work” or “no, because I’ve clashed with all of them, and yesterday I told the head of finance to go to hell.” But I wouldn’t get into temps being cheaper than permanent employees; it sounds overly critical (legitimate as it may be).

I’d say something like this: “I like the work and I’ve had good feedback, but my understanding is that they don’t make many permanent hires on the team I’m on.”

4. Attending a colleague’s funeral

A high level colleague recently lost her battle with cancer. The services are happening later this week. I was not close to the colleague and didn’t know her very well, but had worked with her a bit. What’s the etiquette on attending a wake and/or memorial service? Our company has ~ 150 people. My attendance is complicated because I am moving to a new apartment on the days of the services. So I might be able to attend depending on how things are going with the move. Just curious if you or your readers have any insight into what the general rule of thumb is when it comes to this type of situation.

I’m on record as saying that I think you should always go to funerals, but I don’t think that obligation gets triggered here since you didn’t know your colleague well. (In the earlier post I linked to, the letter-writer described a closer relationship with the colleague.) I think it would be fine to skip it (and probably others at a 150-person company will too) — but if you can, send a card to the family.

5. Relocation package is way too low

My husband received an unsolicited recruiter call from an internal recruiter that lead to a slam dunk interview, and the verbal offer has been made twice now. My confusion is in the refusal to cover the move. They contacted him, they knew he wasn’t local, and so far they are only offering us $5k to move. After taxes, that’s approximately $3,350. There is no way to move us from Texas to Colorado on that little money. This strikes me as poor etiquette. Am I wrong?

It’s not really a matter of etiquette, although you could argue that it’s short-sighted management, if it means they’re going to lose their top candidate over it and he’s worth the additional expense. In any case, he can certainly try negotiating for more, though, and can point out that the move would be prohibitive without $X.

One other thing to keep in mind: While lump sum relocation payments are indeed taxable, payments made by the employer directly to the moving company aren’t taxable — and you could avoid being taxed on the whole thing if they do it as an expense reimbursement.

{ 264 comments… read them below }

  1. Stephanie

    #2 is timely. I have an interview tomorrow afternoon and it’s supposed to be 115. I’m like a little kid and like “Waahhhhh, I don’t wanna wear a suit!” I probably will just suck it up, however. (Company is pretty conservative.)

    1. the gold digger

      As anti-sleeveless in the office as I am, a suit jacket, even if it is not being worn at the moment, means, “Ceci n’est pas une sleeveless blouse.”

      1. Rat Racer

        Does anti-sleeveless mean pro sleeve? Now the word sleeve is starting to sound funny in my head….

        1. the gold digger

          Actually, I am anti-armpit at the office. And anti-toes and anti-heels.

          (Not that it would ever be warm enough where I live for any of these to be an issue.)

    2. TotesMaGoats

      #2-You were fine. If it’s blisteringly hot, humidity or not, most places aren’t going to hold not wearing a jacket against you. And TBH, would you want to work somewhere that did. If I was interviewing and it was 90+ degrees, I’d be wearing a sleeveless, structured dress. Still conservative in cut and color but I’m not going to add temp sweaty on top of nervous sweaty.

      1. K.

        I’m interviewing now and dresses and my two lightweight skirt suits (without pantyhose – I never wear skin-colored pantyhose, ever; if I had to choose between pants and those I’d wear pants) have been my MO. To my knowledge it hasn’t been a problem – the dresses are very much “work dresses,” not casual day dresses (like I’m wearing right now, sitting on my couch, although it’s considerably cooler today than it has been).

    3. That Lady

      This has the potential to reignite the infamous “pantyhose, no pantyhose” debate. Especially if you’re a man.

      1. Cordelia Naismith

        Call me crazy, but I think it’s totally okay for men not to wear pantyhose in the office.

        1. Amber Rose

          Crazy! ;P

          We actually had a debate about our dress code where we decided the men could wear dresses/skirts as long as they don’t use power tools.

      2. Elizabeth West

        I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to wear dress shoes without hose and not get blisters, until I was in a store one day and saw those little sock/hose things you wear inside the shoes. LIGHT BULB

          1. Rana

            Love it!

            (Alas, I’ve never been able to wear footyhose without them sliding down inside. So I used to stick moleskin on all the rough parts of the shoe.)

    4. puddin

      Good luck to you! I hope its a productive interview :)

      And as Pro-interview-suit as I am, hot weather is certainly a reason to go outside the guideline. A sheath with a light blazer or bolero would be A ok with my conservative interview style. No pantyhose needed either.

      Maybe try to arrive early and use the restroom to cool off or freshen up.

      1. themmases

        I tried to do this at my current job. It was July in Chicago and I was coming from a job where I would never wear a suit– I had a lab coat– so the nicest thing I had on short notice was a sleeveless button down under a light sweater. It was so hot I put the sweater on in the cab.

        I tried to go run cold water over my wrists when I got here and not only were the faucets those automatic ones where you push the handle and the water gradually heats up, but the only way to dry my hands was with warm air hand dryers. I did get to straighten the sweater though, kind of!

      2. Stranger than fiction

        Although it doesn’t get as humid here on the left coast, I’ve done exactly what the Op did, with one exception. I was able to cool off enough in the air conditioned lobby while I waited for my interviewer, then slid the jacket back on when they were ready. The interview went a few hours, during which we took a break, they offered me water and a chance to go to the restroom. During the break, I removed the jacket and put it on the back of my chair. So, I had it on at least half of the interview, and by then I felt comfortable enough with the interviewers that it never crossed my mind that they’d be not ok with it. I know everyone’s temp runs differently, but perhaps if you arrived even earlier than normal and allowed yourself time to cool off, go to the restroom and run a cold wet towel on the back of your neck, you could slip it back on at least for the beginning of the interview while you’re meeting everyone.

      3. Mabel

        Except that my sheath dresses are lined, so even though they are sleeveless (and in some cases, linen), they are HOT.

    5. Mel in HR

      I can only speak for the DC area on this one, but in my experience the protocol was to show up with the jacket, but it’s OK to take it off. The big thing that was always emphasized for me even for entry-level positions, was to have the suit even if you had to nix the jacket but always, always wear closed-toe shoes!

    6. JC

      I live in DC (and am also prone to sweatiness!), and I think what you did is fine, so long as the place you were interviewing isn’t business-formal dress all the time. I personally would try to still keep a jacket on during an interview if the place was cool enough that I didn’t think I’d be a sweaty mess with the jacket on, though. I interviewed for my current job right after the 2012 derecho, when it was also nearing 100 outside, and did keep my jacket on for the interview (and took public transit there to boot). I probably would have only took it off I really thought I’d be a mess, but not if I thought I’d be a tad warmer than I’d like.

    7. Anonathon

      Also in DC. We’ve been doing interviews for the last couple days and I think one person has worn a suit. It’s a zillion degrees and icky! You get some leeway.

    8. Rebecca

      I think it’s fine to not wear a jacket or wear a summer-weight suit.

      Worst case, wait to put on your jacket until you’re actually in the building. I live in Texas and my office is freezing, even when it’s 115 outside.

  2. Ann Furthermore

    #2: I would hope that people would understand about not keeping your suit jacket on when it is sweltering outside. I live in a very dry climate, so when I go anywhere with the least little bit of humidity, I feel like I’m melting. Plus my hair gets all flat and feels like it’s plastered to my head. I would do exactly what the OP did, except I would have arrived 20 minutes early and tried to cool off, and ducked into the ladies room to try and pull myself together so I didn’t look like I’d come to the interview straight from a steam room.

    1. Florida

      I live in a hot and humid climate. I personally would keep my jacket on, but I would never hold it against anyone for taking their jacket off. I would rather someone take their jacket off and appear more comfortable than leave it on a fidget and sweat and seem uncomfortable.

      I know that I’ve been to meetings before where I have had to brave a torrential downpour to get in the building. I showed up in a drippy raincoat, somewhat wet shoes, and fooling with an umbrella. But no one would hold that against anybody because the weather is the weather. You just have to deal with it.

    2. snuck

      On the rare occasion that I interviewed in high summer in Australia (Brisbane, Syndey and Perth – the full gammut of mediterranean to sub tropical) I never would have pinged someone over a suit jacket unless it was a specific customer facing role that required a high level of presentation – and then it was more around whether they acknowledged the norms.

      A person showing up in a full suit and sweaty and uncomfortable was just as much a faux pas as a person who showed up in something unprofessional… if it’s 40 degrees C (what’s that? 110F?) for a week and 80% humidity suits aint gonna impress anyone. Even the walk to find the building makes that unpleasant.

      Mind you… I had a similar approach to the use of brill cream and the taint of cigarette smoke on clothes… if someone smelt so bad that I couldn’t bear to be near them… I would question a little more closely their references about their productivity, and I would question the candidate about their time management. And I wouldn’t consider them for a people facing position. And one guy… had so much brill cream of some kind in his hair his collar was wet with it from where his hair touched it. It was revolting. I don’t normally notice that sort of stuff, but greasy collar and half missed shaving chunks on his cheeks… did not show me he had the ‘eye for detail’ we were looking for in a programming role (which combined with his massive over qualification, stated intent to pursue another area of interest etc… nailed it for him).

  3. Knitting Cat Lady

    Regarding Funerals:

    I see death notices of employees at our notice boards from time to time. Not surprising as there’s 2000 people at the site I am.

    Usually there is a note at the bottom about what the family wants regarding the funeral.
    Mostly it’s that only family and close friends should attend, or ‘don’t send flowers, give the money to charity X instead’.

    1. Ariadne Oliver

      Any time that you know someone who has died, or you know a family member of someone who has died, at least send a sympathy card. You don’t know how much it means to the family. Just having their dear one acknowledged helps a lot. If you knew the person, you could add a little note such as “Joe’s smile always lifted my spirits” or “Mary was always so kind to me and made me feel welcome when I joined the company”. If you go to the funeral and you don’t know what to say, “I’m sorry for your loss” is appropriate. If you can add something like the above about that person, do that, too.

      1. Knitting Cat Lady

        I mostly agree.

        In a huge company like mine I’d say if the first time you ever heard about a person is their death notice on the company notice board you don’t have to send them a card.

        You don’t send a card to the family of every person who’s obituary you read in the newspaper after all.

        1. neverjaunty

          Probably because you’re not a co-worker of everyone whose obituary you read in the newspaper?

          1. Colette

            You’re not really a coworker of everyone who works for the same company as you, either. If you’ve never dealt with them, there’s no need to send a card.

      2. sittingduck

        I disagree about sending a card – I dislike sympathy cards, particularly from people who didn’t know the deceased, or the family at all. If you knew the person, or the family well, cook them a meal, donate to a charity in the deceased’s name(but no need to seek affirmation of this good deed by proclaiming to the family that you did so in a card), offer emotional support in person, but don’t just send a card, I feel its a cop-out to me.

        I’m sure many others will disagree with this opinion, but I hated all the cards we got when my mom passed, and I didn’t read any of them. Every time a new one came in the mail it made me upset all over again.

        So OP#4 my advice would be to not go to the funeral or send a card, because I don’t believe that either will add anything positive to the family’s grief. Just my opinion.

        1. AcademicAnon

          After going through a lot of funerals in a year, I really don’t EVER want to look at another sympathy card or a thank you for attending the funeral card. If you know me well enough say it to my face otherwise I don’t need/want/have the attention span to deal with any more cards.

        2. TheLazyB

          I like cards, but HATE flowers when grieving. Hate hate hate them. It’s another thing to die.

          So kinda just trying to say I get where you’re coming from but people are different and some people would like it. It’s really hard to know what’s right :(

        3. CdnAcct

          So, when there is no guidance, what are people supposed to do? Lots of people find sympathy cards a positive thing, apparently some people don’t like them at all, some people like flowers, some don’t. My mom once said that she hated when people said “I’m sorry for your loss” because it was too generic. I mean, really? The only thing I can figure out is that you’re always going to displease some people, no matter what you do. But I guess doing too much is better than doing too little?
          Honestly it makes me afraid to do anything or say anything about any possibly sensitive situations, which then makes me look insensitive to people who want acknowledgement.

          1. ThursdaysGeek

            I found the cards comforting. And the notices of something given to a charity, and the flowers. So yes, we all are different. But it’s better to err by following convention, and convention is to send flowers or a card, or follow what the obit requests.

            1. CdnAcct

              Yes, at least there is a convention for these situations, which helps anxiety-prone people like myself a lot. And of course, if the obituary has requests that’s even better. I think I’m letting a few people with unusual preferences stress me out too much (not the people here, as we’re all here to discuss things freely, but in my real life).

        4. AJS

          I completely disagree. My mother died 11 years ago and I still occasionally look at the sympathy cards I received. Hell, I even kept the cards I received after my dog died. Some people actually value human connection.

          1. Rana

            That’s not very kind, your last sentence. It is possible to dislike receiving cards and appreciate human connection. Indeed, one may dislike the cards because they can be a poor substitute for making that connection in person.

  4. So Very Anonymous

    I was flown out to a job interview once in June in a VERY hot climate. The director called me and explicitly told me not to wear a suit because it would be so miserable for me if I did. People will get that it’s hot.

    At the time I was laboring under the belief that I still needed to wear pantyhose to the interview, and the saleslady at the department store I went to suggested those thigh-high stockings with elastic to hold them up rather than full-on pantyhose. Either they did help or I just didn’t wear any stockings, because I don’t remember stockings-in-heat related misery.

    I had another interview at a completely different place where they took me to a state park to walk around a waterfall (luckily, this was in the spring, so not too hot. On the day of my interview. That was fun to navigate while in interview attire, including heels. Someone loaned me their shoes. The head of the committee knew I did creative writing, and said, “You’ll write a poem about this someday. ‘They gave me shoes….'” I don’t remember much about the waterfall because I was trying not to stress about my clothes/shoes/etc.

    1. Artemesia

      I never understand people who drag interviewees or visiting speakers or whatever through the wilderness or through snowdrifts or swamps in their heels and suits. I once gave a keynote speech at noon for a group that was involved in training people to work with students in community service. They did service projects in the morning and I planned to use their experiences interactively in my talk. People were going to nursing homes, and other indoor venues in the 90 degree heat; the speaker, me? They assigned me to the team that would literally be pulling weeds in a field all morning. This with no chance to change clothes or get cleaned up or in my case, rehydrate enough not to die on the spot. I weaseled onto one of the indoor venue teams. I am not sure I could have survived otherwise. The organizer was disappointed. I was beyond caring at that point.

      When interviewing long ago, I remember being dragged to a local festival for lunch that involved walking through mud and sitting in the sun. People really do need to think these things through.

      1. Ruffingit

        That is totally ridiculous. Unless you’re interviewing for Outward Bound, I see no reason to be dragged around outdoors.

        1. Artemesia

          People don’t think. The students who decided it would be great for the speaker to participate in one of the community service projects didn’t stop t think that an old lady dressed to give a speech was not going to be up for weeding on a high humidity day and then heading directly to the speech venue. They only thought, ‘oh wouldn’t it be neat for her to participate.’ The committee wining and dining the applicant thought , oh we can show off our town by taking her to the festival for lunch without thinking ‘oh we should take her to the hot humid, muddy lot and grab a picnic table in the hot sun for lunch.’

    2. Cajun2Core

      Living in Alabama I wish that more hiring managers would tell the interviewees not to wear a jacket to the interview.

      1. fposte

        I believe it’s responding to the fact that the OP refers to the relocation package as “poor etiquette.”

  5. Malissa

    #5 if they are taxing you on the full value of the moving expenses then that’s not moving expenses, that’s normal income, like a bonus. If this is the case you can deduct all of your moving expenses on your taxes. Which is a huge tax break. If they are not taxing you on the money and are requiring receipts then any expenses in excess of the $5,000 is still deductible on your taxes.
    Ask if the moving expenses are an accountable or non-accountable plan. Accountable plans are not taxable as income as long as you give any excess money back..which doesn’t sound like there will be any extra in this case.

    More info here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p521.pdf

    1. MK

      Also a consideration is that these kind of benefits are not calibrated for every individual employee. My organization covers relocation costs as far as transport tickets (airplane, train, bus, whatever) for one person or mileage for a car (and perhaps ferry tickets for a car) and moving costs calculated to cover the expense of one person’s belongings. Obviously people with families incurr additional expenses which are not covered.

      1. Cheesecake

        Our org. will never give candidate a lump sum for relo. Transfer of personal belongings are done by selected supplier and covered by company, employee will buy a ticket that will later be reimbursed.

        1. Big10Professor

          I was going to say this…my relocation expenses to Big10University were handled by the purchasing department at B1U’s negotiated rates. They were about 30% lower than they would have been if I had called the same company myself. If OP’s company has something similar, then the $3500 she is calculating is really untaxed AND discounted, which makes it closer to $7-8K.

    2. Dr. Ruthless

      Also, re: moving (to the OP), have you actually priced a move? You can’t do a full service moving truck on that budget, but we moved from Texas to New Jersey on a similar budget. We got a moving pod thing, which was in the neighborhood of $2500, and paid a crew to help unload it in our new house ($300). Throw in a few hundred bucks for boxes, and you could still make it work.

      1. Dawn King

        When was your move, Dr. Ruthless and how many people were you moving? We are looking at a move from NJ to Texas for a family of 8. The pod I priced out was around $10,000. but that was the largest one possible because of the size of my family.

        1. The IT Manager

          Good Lord, family of 8. That’s an unusually large family, and from the sound of it the family has a Texas-sized house full of stuff. If the company is interested enough in your husband they’ll cover what he needs, but they not be interested enough because that’s a huge relocation cost. A lot of people single or married can move for a lot less than what you’re pricing out.

        2. Dr. Ruthless

          I moved about 2 years ago. We moved a house worth of stuff (albeit a smallish one), two adults, two dogs, and zero kids.

          1. Dr. Ruthless

            Also, I’d suggest shopping all of the different brands. They varied quite a bit in price. We used PackRat.

        3. Erin

          Goodness, no wonder you need the extra moving money.

          If Alison’s suggestion plans out and $3,350 is actually more like the literal $5,000 offered that’s a huge difference. And in general it can’t hurt to ask for more or negotiate as long as you’re tactful about it. It may be one of those things where they have X amount in the budget for this, but are instructed to only offer you Y amount off the bat.

          If that doesn’t pan out…I’d say if everything else feels right about this and there are no other red flags I’d suggest doing what you have to do to make the move happen (loan from a family member to be paid back in increments, whatever). A great job opportunity like this may not come around again.

      2. KT

        Same here–we moved from PA to Florida–we got a POD and some moving help, drove our own cars, stayed at a hotel one night, gas, etc–it all came to less than $2500–we were moving out of a 2 bedroom apartment. Throw in getting new licenses and registering an out of state car, and we were still at the $3000 mark. This was just 4 months ago.

        If you have a large family or a big home, it may be more expensive, but it can certainly be done at a lower pricepoint.

        1. Jerry Vandesic

          It’s important to consider the full costs of the move. Besides the moving truck (which includes packing, loading, moving, and unloading), you also need to include the moving of vehicles, travel to the new location for house-hunting, plus the costs (real estate fees) of selling your home. All of these are costs that can reasonably be included in a relo package.

          I moved a couple times over the past decade, and the relo costs have been substantial:

          When I moved from NJ to VA, the total relo costs paid by my new employer were around $200K. The moving company was around $35K, and included two house-hunting trips plus packing and moving my entire family (me, wife, 2 kids) along with an extra vehicle (we drove one car down to VA). The bulk of the cost was the real estate fees for selling my house. Often a relo company will fame the system by buying your home from you and then act as the official seller when your house goes on the market. That means you avoid paying the real estate agent fees (the relo company pays those fees, but it’s not income to you). But since we had a multi-family, the relo company couldn’t take ownership, so we sold the house directly and the relo package reimbursed us for our real estate fees (around $100K). But the relo package included a “gross up” clause which meant that my new employer adjusted the amount to account for taxes, which meant that they actually reimbursed me $166K. I was amazed at how much it ended up costing them for the move.

          When we moved back from VA to NJ, the costs were about $75K. 30K or so for the house-hunting and movers, plus $45K for the real estate fees (this time it didn’t need to be grossed up).

          1. Shawn

            Yes, when you factor in every single cost associated with moving it can get quite expensive. However, the relo package being offered obviously isn’t meant to cover every single cost associated with moving. They are looking to (partially) pay for/reimburse for the hard costs of moving (getting you and your stuff there). You can’t negotiate a $5K relo offer into a $40K relo offer.

            1. Jerry Vandesic

              I agree completely. But the OP does need to consider whether the current relo offer is enough to cover all of the expenses that they will incur as part of the move. Those costs could be significant, and as a result the offer might simply be insufficient to justify a move.

      3. Anonsie

        Yeah I thought the same thing, I’ve made farther moves several times with a budget like that no problem. My family doesn’t hire movers, though, our entire household can fit in a rental moving truck and it’s pretty easy to pack up and load one of those yourself. If you have enough things and people that you have to hire a transport service of some kind (a pod or something like that) it’s a lot more, but I have priced those a few times and they wouldn’t blow out the given budget completely. We got a $5k budget to go from the South to the PNW a few years ago and I believe we only used half or just over half of it.

        I guess if you were going to outsource everything to a moving company it might not be enough, but unless you have some really specific need for that I don’t think most people need to go that route. Plus I’ve heard enough moving company horror stories to never want to hire one myself.

    3. Stranger than fiction

      I’d try to negotiate a bit more, but yes, everything Malissa said is correct. When my BF was relocated from East coast to West five years ago, the company gave him 10K, but he was already working there. He didn’t have an entire family to move, but he did require a full-length truck, he has a ton of music equipment, including 200lb each speakers, several 100bl. amplifiers, they put his car on a lift inside the truck, and he had his 3 motorcycles transported separately by a white-glove service, then he flew out here. And, guess what, he had a couple grand leftover (and the company did not ask for any money back)

      1. Green

        Also, many moving expenses are tax deductible if you are moving for a job (check your situation), so it could wind up being a third less….

  6. cat food lion paw

    #5: speaking of taxes: Texas has no income tax. Colorado does. It’s arguable whether or not this evens out when you consider sales taxes, personal property taxes, federal income tax deductions, etc. but it should perhaps be a factor in deciding whether or not to take the job.

  7. cat food lion paw

    #1: while I agree with Alison about being upfront with your friend if you choose to seek the same position, I also feel like there’s a decent chance you may damage your friendship. It’s a call that only you can make – but be aware that you’re introducing competition into the friendship. Sometimes this works out okay. But sometimes it does not.

  8. Sarah G

    OP #1 – I found myself in a similar scenario a few years ago. A friend and I worked for the same organization; she was actively looking for another job, primarily an internal transfer. I had been helping her with the application process — editing cover letters, etc. I wasn’t actively looking for a new position, but at some point realized I was *extremely* interested in a position for which my friend had already applied. It was a little awkward, but it was an incredible opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. (One difference was that they were hiring 3 people for 3 equivalent positions, so theoretically we could have both gotten the job…) I think Alison’s wording and advice is spot-on. Be up-front with her about how your decision unfolded. In my case, I even *asked* my friend how she’d feel if I applied, and she was encouraging. The good news is I got the job, and it was incredible (I’ve since moved on.) The sad news is that even BEFORE I got the job, after we’d both interviewed but before decisions were made, she changed her mind and was upset that I’d applied. We went from being extremely close friends to her never really speaking to me again. And she was my first good friend in a city I’d lived in for only 1 year, so it was hard. But honestly? I’m glad I figured out early on that she was the type of friend who would react like that. I don’t need people like that in my life! Be up-front with your friend and go ahead and APPLY! Don’t pass up the opportunity. Presume that your friend will be mature and gracious no matter the outcome.

    1. MK

      I think the OP should be prepared dor awkwardness, no matter what the friend says. It’s not always a case of being insincere either; people don’t always good judges of their own reactions.

      1. JB (not in Houston)

        Yes, this exactly. The OP should talk to her friend, but even if the friend thinks she’s fine with it and wants to fine with it, she may wind up unhappy.

        1. Elizabeth West

          True; however, it’s on the friend how she deals with it after the fact. It’s not on the OP. But you’re right–OP should be aware of the possibility.

          1. T3k

            +1 I couldn’t be friends with someone who changed their minds on how they felt about it if you got the job and would be thinking “You encouraged me to apply… did you think I didn’t have a shot at it?”

    2. Cheesecake

      I agree with MK: it will be weird no matter what. Friendship with colleagues come at a cost. I believe you did the right thing. At the end of a day, i don’t understand how this is stealing; management decides who gets the job

    3. Bailey

      Yes, completely agree. If they’re the type of person who will ruin a friendship over this, they weren’t much of a friend to begin with!

    4. puddin

      This story mirrors my own experience in terms of the support a co-worker and I had for one another when we ‘confessed’ to each other that we were both applying for the same internal job. Once the initial awkwardness of ‘uh-oh do I need to be cutthroat or defensive about this’ passed (took 10 seconds at most). We swapped ideas on interview techniques, critiqued each others resumes, the whole bit. He got the job and I was very happy for him. We still use each other as references and have kept in touch over the years.

      1. Sarah G

        Sometimes I wish we could click “Like” on these comments! This is what friendship/collegiality SHOULD look like!

      2. E

        I think that being comfortable to list each other as references shows a great ability that would translate to leadership in an employee, hopefully the hiring manager noticed this.

    5. Sarah G

      (Edit – I guess the real question is: Visualize and look forward a few years from now. Which decision are you more likely to regret? I often ask myself this and when making difficult decisions, and it also helps me justify the occasional spontaneous large expenditure on travel. :) )

        1. Sarah G

          KJR – I usually feel I turn to others for life advice, so glad you like the suggestion! I find that it helps me be true to myself. A recent instance was when a beloved aunt died, and I spent $1000 of savings going to her funeral. I was struggling with the decision and had to make up my mind quickly. I thought, 10 yrs from now, will I be glad I went? Or will I wish I wouldn’t have spent the money? It made my choice crystal clear. I went. So many times in life, you only get one chance, no do-overs.

    6. Stranger than fiction

      One thing that’s key here, is she said the friend wasn’t all that keen on applying herself.

    7. Lady Bug

      I don’t think it necessaily needs to be awkward. I once applied for a job and then encouraged my friend to also applied. He ended up getting the job and I was super happy for him. The company also hired me a week later for another position, so it worked out, but even if it didnt I still would have been happy.

  9. ReanaZ

    There’s ‘no way’ to move from Texas to Colorado on more than 3 grand (‘that little money’)? Seriously? Wish someone had told me that before I relocated cross-country. (Hell, I relocated to literally the other side of the world permanently for less than that, which included replacing all of my furniture and household items.)

    That seems like an outrageously generous relocation bonus to me (the most I’ve *ever* heard of anyone getting in my industry in my entire career was $500). And presumably there’s a raise as well for the new position. By all means, negotiate if you think it’s reasonable, but it sounds beyond whiny and entitled to me that you’re called a $5000 relocation offer a ‘refusal to cover the move’ and ‘poor etiquette’. Sheesh.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      This is very industry-dependent. Often times, a relocation package is intended to cover all costs of moving a family. The average one is something like $20,000, according to the stats I just looked up, and some companies pay way more than that to relocate senior hires.

      So it’s really not whiny or entitled if you’re in an industry where that’s the norm.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        From Allied’s 2012 employee relocation assistance survey: “An average relocation package costs $21,033. While smaller companies, in general, provide less valuable packages – averaging $10,971 – there are exceptions. Some small companies offer highly competitive packages. When a company – big or small – really wants a candidate, it can level the playing field by meeting the competition’s offer, even if that requires a gold-plated relocation package, the survey suggests.”

        Realize that these sorts of relocation packages aren’t just paying your movers — they often include temporary housing assistance, storage home-finding trips, and costs associated with selling your old house.

        1. MsM

          Wow. And meanwhile, I had to include extensive reassurances for a year that I knew the position wasn’t going to cover relocation in my phone interviews for a year before I finally gave up and talked to my employer about telecommuting. I get that $2k is not a small expense to cover on short notice, but if it doesn’t seem like a worthwhile investment or worth looking for ways to cut costs, maybe the husband needs to take a step back from negotiations and ask himself why he wants this job again.

          1. Steve G

            I was going to ask a side-note if the husband actually wants the job. The only person I ever knew to get a relocation package was my sister (then again, I’m in NYC and I think they are rarer her because applicants are already here or want to move here anyway). She got $3500 and paid for a moving truck and a company to move her car from NYC to Kansas City + pay for the one way plane ticket. Granted, she was 25 at the time in ’05 so its not like she had to move a whole house, but there still was a moving truck…..and if she left within the year she had to pay it back

        2. Bend & Snap

          My ex husband’s company will buy the employee’s old house if it doesn’t sell in a certain amount of time. It’s not unreasonable to expect employer assistance when you’re picking up and moving for a job. The employee is taking on a decent amount of risk and expense.

          1. puddin

            Yep – I know a buncha people who made money on the relo from the company buying their home.

        3. My 2 Cents

          And that doesn’t always count the entire costs of moving an employee. In my husband’s field if they relo an employee it’s usually a $100,000 expense because they pay the realtor fees, set you up in temp housing at the new place for 3-4 months, move all your stuff, pay the realtor fees in your new place if applicable, etc. So, it can definitely be an expensive proposition to move a valued employee!

            1. Melissa

              Not My 2 Cents, but I’m looking for jobs in tech and many tech companies will do this. Even if you don’t have a house to sell, they still often set you up with a temp apartment or house for a couple of months. Some even will arrange for pet moving if you have a pet.

          1. Chinook

            ” if they relo an employee it’s usually a $100,000 expense because they pay the realtor fees, set you up in temp housing at the new place for 3-4 months, move all your stuff, pay the realtor fees in your new place if applicable, etc.”

            Canadian military and RCMP (and certain other federal jobs, I think) have relocation packages like that with what you are eligible for based on years of service and how far you are moving. Even when DH was a no-hook private with one year in, the covered not only his transportation across country and his room & board until he was eligible to move me to the same province, they also paid movers to pack, load, move and unpack my house and my car as well as a house hunting trip. RCMP wouldn’t pay to move me with DH because he was freshly trained but they did pay for a hotel for moving and waiting for house to close as well as his food for that month. Military will pay mortgage interest on an unsold house for a year while RCMP just won’t transfer you until your old house sells (basically keeping you and whomever is your replacement in a holding pattern). I think such a generous relocation package is the only way you can keep your members happy about moving on less than a month’s notice and/or to different time zones to places in the middle of no where..

        4. puddin

          This is in line with a relo pkg that I received in 2007. Our moving costs were 100% paid for directly by the company – including moving our two cars. The travel out to the new area expensed on company CC so no out of pocket for that either. And there was a lump sum pay out in cash to cover temp housing and all other misc expenses like hook up fees, DMV fees, lease break etc.

          The lump sum was a variable amount based on marital status and size of household. So it kinda paid out on a per person basis. Oh, and there was a job role component too. C level and directors received more money than Managers and Mid levels.

          This company is a Fortune 500 company and the move occurred in very good economic times. (Just before the recession hit.)

        5. Ezri

          Yep – I received relocation from my current job, and they handed me an itemized list of how the lump sum was calculated. It included plane / hotel expenses for the house search itself, a sum to cover a broken lease agreement, a sum to lay down a new lease deposit, and a bunch of other stuff I hadn’t even considered in my original budget.

          1. Ezri

            I probably should add the caveat – while my relocation was generous, it’s one of those ‘if you quit in x years you have to pay it back’ deals. :P

        6. LBK

          Holy hell, $20k average!? I was totally on ReanaZ’s level, I thought $5k sounded really generous to begin with. Had no idea that was so low compared to the norm. Although maybe that’s because I’ve only paid for moves within the same city, so $5k would be waaay more than it costs to do that.

        7. Connie-Lynne

          Thanks, Alison, for pointing this out.

          When I relocated for work, I got $10K, but the move alone cost us $12K. That was just for packing, hauling, and unloading our stuff from Southern California to the Bay Area. There are only two of us.

          I agree that the LW shouldn’t expect to have the cost of moving eight people be covered, but it’s not unreasonable or whiny, if your industry standard is more, to want more than $5K for a move that far.

        8. ReloProfessional

          I have worked in the relocation industry for most of my career and $5000 is a common amount to offer to someone just out of school and starting in their first job. The average cost to move a more experienced employee is more like $20,000 for a renter and $70,000 for a homeowner. Of course that varies a lot according to the costs that the company intends to cover, but $5000 is low for someone in an established career in an industry where relocation assistance is common.

        9. ZSD

          WOW, $20k average? I’m moving 3000 miles next week, and I was originally offered $1500 in relocation expenses. I’ve talked them up to $2000, but that won’t nearly cover the cost of moving across the country. I’d be thrilled to get that “smaller company” average of $11k.

        10. Student

          Statistics Nerd-hat Engaged:

          Averagesare a bad, misleading number to use for something like this. A handful of extremely generous relocation packages for a couple fancy-pants CEOs will skew the number upward even if the vast majority of packages are much less generous. It would be more representative for the AAM demographic to give the median instead of the average. The median is a better representation of what most people get (when they get such a package).

          That said, I’m sure it’s much harder to find the median in online articles than it is to find the average; all the people selling these services would rather that corporations see the higher average value and feel their company needs to offer more money to be competitive.

          I was relocated cross country from the Midwest to the West Coast. It cost way less than what this company is offering, probably because I don’t have that much stuff to move, and I got the full-service treatment. My company also did the direct-payment-to-service-provider thing that AAM mentions, so I didn’t have to worry about tax implications. My company does require that you pay it back if you leave your job within a certain time period of being relocated, which was the only serious caveat (and a pretty reasonable precaution, I felt).

      2. Elizabeth West

        I’m not sure how much it cost, but my ex moved from Tennessee to Arizona after his six-month federal LEO training, and they paid for all the moving expenses. He did drive his car out there (I got a surprise visit!) instead of flying, which saved them some money, I’m sure. And of course, he wanted to have his personal car even though they provided him with an official vehicle.

        This was federal government. I believe he did have to find and pay for an apartment himself but I’m not sure if they gave him a housing payment for the initial costs.

      3. ReanaZ

        I think it was the phrases like “there’s no way to move on that little money!”, “isn’t that poor etiquette?”, and calling an offer lower than they wanted a “refusal” that made me roll my eyes. If the poster had said, “I feel this is out of line with industry standards” or “We’re not interested in taking the position if the relocation offer isn’t at least X–is that reasonable to ask?” it wouldn’t have sounded so whiny and entitled.

        I’m a bit floored by that statistic, though.

    2. Stephanie

      Eh, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Depends what kind of package we’re talking about and her current circumstances. I’ve done super budget relos, but I own no property (and wasn’t breaking any leases) and had a friend’s couch to crash on in New City until I found new housing. Deposits, temporary housing, and all that stuff add up. Now I don’t think there’s *no* way to move on $3300, but I could see how it might not cover everything.

      1. De (Gernany)

        Yeah, seriously. I recently moved within my city (less than 10 kilometers) and there was having to pay two rents for a month, the new security deposit, money spent on movers, cleaning the old flat, that alone was well over 3000€ for two people.

        1. De (Gernany)

          And the one time I got a relocation package, I only got the movers covered and because of the distance and short time frame that was 1700€, for a rather modest two-person household (70 square meters). The distance there was much less than what the OP is moving, and I don’t think the US is much cheaper in that regard. A quick internet search tells me that#s not the case and the OP is looking at several thousand dollars if they want professionals to do the moving.

          Do people do it on less? Sure. But if a company recruits people, this can be negotiated without being “whiny and entitled”

          1. Chinook

            “I only got the movers covered and because of the distance and short time frame that was 1700€, for a rather modest two-person household (70 square meters”

            I have moved myself with a private mover (who only moved, no packing/unpacking) that I trust and it cost me about $2,000 from Quebec to Alberta for a 1 bedroom apartment. It can be done on the cheap but you have to be willing to wait until their truck fills up before they can do their delivery. You also run the risk of unscrupulous movers (which is why I still have Mike in my phone 5 years later because he was awesome and honest).

        2. Cheesecake

          Lucky! this is nothing compared to how much we will pay where i live. All what you’ve described will be over 10K (for 2 people)

          1. De (Gernany)

            Well, I got a nice deal on the overs and I only calculated [new security deposit] – [old security deposit], even though I got the old one back after the move, of course, and the had to pay the new one up front.

            All in all, moving was much more expensive (new furniture, tools for renovation, lots of wall paint, etc.)

            I could have had it cheaper, of course, like getting friends to help me move and renting a van, but having movers is just so much less stressful.

              1. De (Germany)

                Sure. Nothing like new floors or anything, but little things that we didn’t like.

                (renters in Germany are allowed to do a lot of things to their places, maybe that’s why you seem surprised? None of that “not being allowed to put nails into the walls” stuff I hear from the US…)

    3. Cheesecake

      There is no way to do a household move at this budget in Europe, i guarantee it (if we are talking about all these costs of packing/moving/insurance/registration, not just some bonus employee receives on top of it). We had a case of a candidate from Asia relocating to Europe with his family and relo package was over 100K, it was worse possible time and there was no budget, i believe offer was revoked.

      So if you move on your own, i can imagine you fit in 3,000 (where i live 3,000 is enough to move within 50km, no jokes) . But when company moves you, costs of providers pile up mad! Also a lot of things you probably won’t do yourself are obligatory.I think OP has all rights to ask, but it has nothing to do with “etiquette”

    4. Malissa

      I spent over $8,000 on my move two years ago. I moved 1400 miles. So I think $5,000 to move from Texas to Colorado is rather nice, but it may not cover all of the expenses depending on what corner of Texas the move is starting from.

    5. the gold digger

      Really? My moves were fully covered – employer found and paid movers – and I got $10,000 (grossed up for taxes) for miscellaneous expenses, like a new drivers license, changing car registration, etc. For me, it was just a ton of extra money, but for someone who would have to buy new draperies and stuff for a house, it probably was not enough.

    6. K.

      My best friend and her family of three have moved twice for her work, once from NY to NC and then from NC to CO and each time their relo package was in the $10K range. The company (same one) arranged the movers and paid them directly, and they were reimbursed for their airfare. (She had to commit to staying a certain amount of time or pay back the relo money.) My old company moved people quite a bit, domestically and internationally; I think the cheapest is PA to NC and I’m sure the package is more than $5K for that. (I don’t know how much they spent sending people to the Singapore office!)

    7. Allison

      It’s possible that, if you’re only moving yourself, 3k can cover necessary expenses, and you can probably front any additional costs with the expectation that the move will ultimately pay for itself in the long run. That’s if you’re moving yourself.

      I mean, I’m single and in my mid 20’s, moving for me means renting a small Uhaul for what little furniture and belongings, finding someone to cover my lease, finding a new apartment, and registering my car at the new address. I think 3k would cover that, or at least most of it depending on where I’m going. But I don’t have a husband, boyfriend, kids, or even pets who would be coming with me, and I don’t have a house to sell.

      OP isn’t “whiny and entitled” to need more than that, since its OP’s husband who got the new job, meaning we’re at least talking about a married couple, possibly with kids, possibly with a house, and all those things usually mean more moving costs.

    8. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

      It seems way low to me. It’s a relocation package, not a “cover the mover’s bill package”. Even before Alison posted those stats, I expected a package between $20K and $25k. People and things have to be moved, houses have to be sold and bought, schools need to be changed, etc.

      This is a relocation package for someone they recruited. Dude didn’t apply for a job, they are recruiting him away from someone else.

      If they are being weird about the relocation package but have offered: a signing bonus in that range, or a huge salary increase over previous pay, say 40%, okay shift the dollars around in your mind and, okay.

      But 5k for someone you’ve recruited is way way low.

      1. The IT Manager

        I stand corrected and am shocked by the size of some of these relocation packages. Also I forget the bit that the guy was recruited. I still think the reaction of “poor etiquette” is odd but whatever.

        1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

          Heh, when I was in my 20’s, I moved for the cost of free pizzas.

          When I was in my 30’s, it became moving vans, closing costs, and, one time, a specialty fish mover for a giant tank of cichlids.

          If I had to relocate this clan? The people, the dogs, the cost of getting the house ready to sell? Just, shudder.

          1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

            Seriously. We moved ourselves the last time (rented the van, loaded the stuff with friends, painted walls, etc.) and swore we won’t move again until we could afford full-service movers. It’s a huge pain. and we have way more (and nicer) stuff that we did in our mid-20s. I moved many times in my late teens/early 20s simply by putting all my stuff in my compact car. It’s amazing how much we accumulate over the years. Also, somehow age + moving = aches and pains.

            1. Chinook

              “swore we won’t move again until we could afford full-service movers.”

              As someone who has moved in various ways and with various budgets over 15 times, I have to say that full-service movers are worth every penny of you can afford it. Not only do they pack everything for you (and usually within a day or two), but more importantly they UNPACK and PUT IT AWAY (though they won’t rearrange where they put it, so you do have to supervise). They also TAKE AWAY BOXES!!!! There is nothing as relaxing as the evening after the movers have finished putting everything away and being able to eat on your own dishes and sleep in your own bed without having to worry about what else needs to be unpacked.

          2. Elizabeth West

            Agreed. My house is in such sad shape I can’t imagine trying to sell it. Tearing it down, maybe–or short-selling it to a house flipper. UGH. I keep praying for a small tornado. I’d lose money even if a company paid for everything AND a bonus. I sometimes wish I’d just stayed a renter with just books and a computer.

          3. Cath in Canada

            Our last move was easy (tiny apartment into a house). Our next one will not be, so we’ve decided that the next one (whenever it happens) will be the last one!

        2. Ad Astra

          I, too, am surprised at some of these stats. I figured people in other industries/more senior positions got more than I did, but wow.

    9. Artemesia

      When my son moved cross country they not only paid for his general move by van, they had a specialty car service move his very nice car. In my industry moving expenses were pegged to salary unfortunately and I had to deal with one person who claimed the $5000 max should be higher given her costs; I agreed, but had no power to change it. She had already gotten more than was normally allocated for a person of her position and salary but 5K was the cap. It depends on the industry and it depends on how valuable you are perceived to be. You can be there top choice for X job but they may not value that job highly enough to invest big bucks in the move.

    10. MsChanandlerBong

      We’re moving from PA to New Mexico in the fall. It would cost us $3,000 just to rent the moving truck, not to mention probably another $800 to put gas in it. As a result, we’re getting rid of everything except our photo albums and DVDs/video games, but that’s not something feasible for everyone. That price is JUST for the truck, not for any help with moving. Plus, we need to stop for three nights, so that’s at least $300 in hotels (in very cheap places). We’ll also need to pay for food and drinks while we travel.

      If the OP has kids, then there are more people to worry about and more stuff to take. S/he might also really need professional assistance to move things while s/he watches the kids or the spouse gets settled in the new job. Do I think $5,000 is a lot? Yes, I do. But just because I am moving for less doesn’t make OP entitled. It just makes us different.

    11. the_scientist

      Not to pile on here, but sure….$5000 is “a lot” to a young single person with no dependents who doesn’t own a home and can sell all their furniture and start from scratch at a new location. It might even be low depending on how far the move is- for a cross country move in Canada could easily cost 5 grand. I moved literally around the corner (I can see my old apartment from my new one) a couple of months ago and all told, it probably cost me close to $1000. That included two truck rentals + gas for the trucks, renting a storage locker for a month while I was in-between leases, rent deposits, insurance deposits, moving boxes, new utility deposits, key deposits, elevator deposits, the cost of commuting to work from my parents’ place for a month and the new furniture and household stuff we needed to buy for the new place. And again, that’s just what it cost to move one person who owns nothing of substantial value.

      TL;DR moves are expensive, and if the company headhunted OP’s husband and really want him in the role, they should cover the costs of relocation……or they should have thought harder about this before making him an offer in the first place.

      1. JB (not in Houston)

        Yes, I think sometimes people don’t think about things like rent deposits, utility deposits, registering their vehicles, getting new driver’s licenses/IDs, that kind of thing.

        1. the_scientist

          And that’s obviously for people who don’t own homes- if you have to sell a home in location A and look for/buy a new home in location B, that’s obviously going to add significantly to the cost- plus you’re looking at costs for temp housing and storage! Also, it would be really difficult to pack and move a family-sized house full of stuff all on your own, so you’d need to hire movers which aren’t cheap either. All of my stuff fit in a 10 foot cube van (apartment <500 sq. feet) and even with that I was like "eff it, I'm hiring movers next time; this is just too much work".

          1. Colette

            And even if you could pack a houseful of stuff yourself, it’s unlikely the employer wants to wait three months so you can do that.

          2. themmases

            Even as a renter, I worry a lot about either needing temp housing/storage or having to pay extra so my leases overlap when I finally leave my building. Sometimes moving within the same city can be nerve wracking because there are certain months everyone is moving and it’s highly likely your last day in your apartment is also the first day you can take possession of the new one.

            When I rented a house in a college town, all my friends got trapped by this in the summer and we let a lot of people put stuff in our attic and basement for a while.

            1. Allison

              Yup, I’m in Boston and that September lease cycle causes a lot of headaches. There are ways to alleviate that stress, but they all cost money; there’s no easy, cheap/free, stress-free way to move at that time of year.

              1. JuniorMinion

                I moved from NYC to Houston 2 years ago and the moving company charged me $3k to move the furniture in my 300 square foot STUDIO APARTMENT which I rented to Houston (I priced this out vs Uhaul + gas + hotels on the road and didnt get enough savings to make up for the difficulty factor). My landlord charged me an extra $800 my last month in NY (my lease had ended a month before). My plane ticket to Houston cost me $300 plus a night in a hotel (new apt not ready yet) for $200, 4 days in a rental car at ~$400, and $200 worth of stuff at Bed bath and beyond / TJ Maxx / Target (think cleaning supplies, vacuum, dish strainers, bath mats, etc).

                I’m already at $5k as a single 25 year old with no property ownership. And this figure doesn’t include the new furniture I had to buy due to a different apartment layout and the $5k I put down on a car (didn’t have one in Manhattan). I had no relo package, but every other candidate they were considering was local and I knew this going in. If I was recruited somewhere else, and there wasn’t a significant raise / signing bonus now that I own property and a car and a house full of stuff I could see it easily costing me $20k

            2. Joline

              My worry when I moved provinces with finding temp housing and then more permanent housing was that I have an 85 pound dog. She really did not make it easier for me to sort things out. Especially since I basically worked to a Friday at my old job, hopped in the car with my dog and a couple of suitcases on the Saturday and drove the 1000km, then started work on the Monday. It worked out, but it was a pretty stressful time for me.

              I was lucky in that I owned my house in my old province so it was fine to store my stuff there until I moved completely (though admittedly it meant paying rent and mortgage both).

            3. Anx

              Yea, this is one of many reasons we chose not to downsize as renters in a college town. An extra month’s rent would have eaten up more than half of the savings.

          3. Melissa

            SAME. I’m married but I only moved half our stuff from a probably ~500 sq ft apartment since my husband is still in Old City, and I definitely decided that next time I move it’s going to be full-service. The works. Even the packing.

        2. AnonAnalyst

          Yeah, I was reading the original letter and thinking, “what? That should almost cover everything!” I moved cross country a few years ago and hired professional movers (packed everything ourselves, though – this was just the actual loading, unloading, and driving part) and the cost came in under that. True, it was only my partner and me and our two bedroom apartment’s worth of stuff, but that would have covered the actual moving costs plus the replacement costs for furniture we chose not to move or items that got broken in transit.

          Then I remembered all of the other costs: deposits, plane tickets, hotel costs (for the few days where we mis-timed things and were waiting for our furniture), packing material costs, registration and licensing fees, costs to refill our fridge and pantry (because there was really no way to move that stuff)…the list goes on. We’ve since gotten back the deposits so the total cost doesn’t seem as awful now, but we had to front all of those costs so we needed to have a lot more free cash available at the time we were moving. And all in, even without the deposits it probably came to about double the costs of the actual movers.

          1. the_scientist

            The thing with moving too is that unless you’re super profesh at it and do major moves on the regular, it can be really tricky to budget and plan for. I’m no stranger to moving myself (three cities, 5-6 different houses/apartments and 15-odd roommates in 10 years) and I still had a tough time budgeting for my most recent move (the one referenced above). All these costs just sort of crop up- like when I signed the lease for the storage locker, they offered content insurance for an extra $20- ok. Then there were additional fees for the truck rental to reduce the deductible to $0, which I wanted because I was driving a cube van in a city! Then, I’d priced out the cost of moving supplies, but had to tip the delivery/pickup guy, and then we ended up needing to buy new furniture, which we hadn’t totally anticipated- including a new box spring (we got a good deal but those aren’t cheap). The new apartment messed up our first and last month’s rent deposit so I had to get a same-day money order and run it to their office- had I not had a few thousand dollars in my chequing account at the time, we would have lost the apartment. Luckily we are two young professionals who had the cash flow to accomplish this, but it was still expensive and overwhelming and exhausting. I can’t even imagine coordinating a longer, larger move- especially with kids and pets involved.

            1. AnonAnalyst

              Yup. I always run into issues too even once I’m in the new place where I have to buy a bunch of little stuff that adds up. Like, maybe in my old place, I could hook up all of my entertainment center electronics and cable in one place, but now the cable outlet is too far from the power outlets and there aren’t enough outlets to accommodate everything, so I have to buy new power strips/extension cords/etc. to make it work. Or I moved from a place with lots of closet space to a place with no closet space and now to buy additional hooks to put up or a freestanding wardrobe to hang my clothes up. Or I moved from an apartment with central AC to a place with no AC and have to buy window units. That’s not to say that this stuff should be included in a relocation package, but it just makes me feel like I’m constantly spending money every time I move and really adds up when calculating the total out of pocket cost.

          2. Chinook

            “We’ve since gotten back the deposits so the total cost doesn’t seem as awful now, but we had to front all of those costs so we needed to have a lot more free cash available at the time we were moving.”

            The fronting of costs is the hardest. My first move with DH almost broke us because of a SNAFU in his benefits that had someone think they had paid us twice for an expense and then recoup that “error” by zeroing his pay. Considering we had maxed out our credit cards to pay for plane tickets and hotel, this literally meant choosing between paying rent at our new place or buying food. Luckily someone with a higher rank and common sense overheard our problem and fixed it that day.

      2. zora

        I moved literally around the corner (I can see my old apartment from my new one) a couple of months ago and all told, it probably cost me close to $1000.

        yeah, I don’t quite understand how the commenter could think that $3000 is way too much for a family to move at all. I moved between two major cities as just 1 person and a renter and it cost me well over $2000.

    12. Ad Astra

      My industry is notoriously cheap. For my first job out of college, the company gave me $1,000 (before taxes) to move from Kansas to Texas, but I still had to rely on my grandmother’s generosity since I had to put down a deposit for housing and buy towels and such. With my second job, I was able to negotiate $1,500 (again, before taxes) to move from Texas to Iowa, which ended up paying for the king-sized bed my husband and I still sleep on. That bed was the only good thing that happened to us in Iowa.

      And of course, neither company paid me these moving stipends until I got my first paycheck, so I still had to come up with the money to move myself.

      All this is to say: Plenty of “moving stipends” are not intended to cover the full cost of relocation.

      1. Recent Grad

        To add to that: Ask if the relocation package is intended to cover every aspect of the move, or just moving you and your stuff from point A to point B. I got $500 for my first job to move 80 miles in the same state. I had to establish residency in that state, however, and took a big hit with the license fees that my new employer wouldn’t cover.

    13. JB (not in Houston)

      Really? There’s no way I could move *and* replace all my stuff for that amount, and I don’t even have nice stuff.

    14. neverjaunty

      These comments about “well WE moved cross-country on fifty dollars” are getting tiresome. Everybody’s circumstances are different. Two young able-bodied people with no kids and few possessions are going to have an easier time with a DIY move than a couple with four kids where the husband has back problems. And as AAM says, relocation varies by industry.

      1. Allison

        Seems to me they’re well balanced out with “nuh uh, I moved cross country and here’s all the stuff we had to pay for, it’s expensive y’all” comments.

        1. Malissa

          Exactly. I’m actually finding the whole discussion and the differences very interesting.

    15. Kat M

      Yeah, my husband and I were THRILLED to get a 5k relocation bonus, which took us from Ohio to Texas with money left over two years ago.

  10. Chocolate Teapot

    2. Is it possible to buy a summer suit in a lighter weight fabric? I have one which I use for interviews or important appointments.

    1. little Cindy Lou who

      Apparently so! I was recently talking with a VP at my office who was dreading her business trip to the UK because (among other reasons, like a bit of travel burn out) she wouldn’t have time to pick up some summer suits until she was there and it was supposed to be very muggy.

      1. misspiggy

        Ha. In her place I would assume that the British habit of hugely over-exaggerating the weather is at play.

        1. UKAnon

          Actually, if it’s coming up shortly muggy is probably a good shout. So far in the last week we’ve had: bright sunlight and 20 degrees; overcast, cloudy and heavy; rain; thunderstorms. For anyone travelling to the UK in the next few days, I’d suggest something light but with a light raincoat to hand.

          1. fposte

            Though given that the US weather we’re talking about is between 30 and 40 that’s still kind of funny to USAns.

            1. UKAnon

              That’s what Google tells me! That’s about as hot as we’ll get all summer really (25 is fairly common for a few days – the papers faint all over themselves if we can reach 30) But apparently we’re usually a warmer summer than Paris or Rome so, er… go us?

              1. Elizabeth West

                Our Midwestern weather has changed so much that it’s not far off from yours (minus the monster tornadoes and six weeks of 90+F heat in the summer, ergh.) I was well-prepared for both spring and autumn. And I even needed gloves in both places in early May. Seriously, it did not warm up here until almost my birthday (May 28). People kept teasing me that I brought the British weather back with me. But there were several days that the UK was warmer than we were!

              2. Connie-Lynne

                Brrr, 20C sounds freezing to this SoCal girl. I’d be wearing my “winter interview” outfit on a day like that!

                Can you tell I’m still having trouble adjusting to SF Summers (it was 12C the other day! How is it even legal for it to be that cold in June in California?)

              3. Tau

                I’m surprised about warmer than Paris or Rome! I’m from central Germany originally and I had a LOT of difficulty getting used to the summers here. To be fair, I did move to Scotland (which usually tops out at around 17-18 C – I glory in the rare day I can go out in short sleeves) but my hometown gets over 25 on a regular basis and heat waves can be around 35 degrees.

                And of course all this must sound ridiculous to most US people. I’m genuinely surprised anyone travelling from the US to the UK would worry about summer suits unless they were coming from, like, Alaska.

    2. lawsuited

      Yep, all my suits are summer wool (a lightweight wool and silk blend). When paired with a silk or other natural fiber blouse (and long-wear makeup) I do okay walking 20 minutes to and from work in humid 35-38 degree weather.

    3. OP #2

      I *was* wearing my lighter weight suit jacket that I wear on normal summer days! But this was a record-breaking heat day, and 80% humidity don’t play with anything that isn’t sheer.

      1. Bwmn

        As someone who works in DC – I can’t imagine anyone holding that against you.

        I would just add that if you’re interviewing much longer through the summer – still bring your jacket. Some buildings (eh hem, mine) have the a/c set incredibly low and you may ultimately appreciate being able to bundle back up. This is obviously going to vary from building to building – my building also has no true lobby where you could linger prior to a meeting – but having the jacket with you may ultimately be helpful.

      2. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

        Yeah, sometimes it just gets so hot that a 2nd layer – of any weight – is just making you sweat. I think that you are totally fine, especially because you had the jacket with you. It was clearly hot, and it would not have appeared as if you didn’t know the norms for interview attire.

        I have this same debate with myself at big meetings/events. If I leave the jacket on, the shirt underneath is going to get obvious sweat marks, so then I’m stuck in the jacket for the whole event. If I take it off early, I risk looking underdressed. I usually go for losing the jacket so that I’m not stuck in it.

      3. Mockingjay

        It’s 104 where I am (40 Celsius for the rest of the world). I am on lunch break during a day of meetings with the project sponsor (all hail the money man!).

        I am wearing a sleeveless cotton sheath dress with no pantyhose and strappy sandals. (Oh, and this wonderful invention someone mentioned in a thread last week – slipshorts. Got some yesterday and they are the best idea, ever.)

        Normally I would dress up more for his visit, but it’s too freakin’ hot.

        Like Alison said, people get that it’s hot. Dress neatly, but dress for the weather.

  11. Daisy

    I am in a similar position to #3. I just left a temp job where I wasn’t converted full time after 9 months. It was a miscommunication with other office why it wasn’t done. As I was leaving my boss told me he told them to do it 2 months in. Should I just say that?

    I left the job because I moved out of state due to a new job for my spouse.

    1. Cheesecake

      If a candidate told me “i didn’t get a permanent job because of miscommunication between 2 offices”, i’d minimum raise a brow and make a note. This seems totally bizarre. You don’t get a permanent job because
      there is no budget
      there is no need in this job anymore
      you did not prove yourself

      How did it happen? Boss received a note you contract is over, phoned the head office, they apologized for forgetting about your permanent contract and boss said “Ah, nevermind, i will just let her know she can pack her things”?

      1. GOG11

        Daisy said that she left her job after nine months due to relocation (her spouse found a new job out of state). I am assuming that her leaving made her boss to realize that she was still temp when he’d intended for the agency to convert her to full time 7 month’s prior.

        1. Cheesecake

          What seems strange to me is if the waiting period of 7 months. When you ask and receive nothing for a month, you’d ask again. And we are talking about employment here, not ordering yellow markers.

          1. Daisy

            He was not in charge of approving my pay and as long as I was getting paid I didn’t particularly care who was doing it. He contacted the office manager to make the conversion and she forgot. He never told me he did it so I didn’t know to follow up. HR (a new person started in the middle as well) was approving my hours and didn’t know to say anything and maybe didn’t even realize how long it had been.

            I was hired as temp to hire so it wasn’t a set contract of a specific time.

          2. Daisy

            What would there be to ask? I was getting paid. I had no set contract length so it wasn’t like it expired and I said nothing. And I didn’t know he had wanted to make it permanent so I didn’t follow up. I was new. I didn’t know how their process was for converting and that 9 months was off. A local company to me never hires permanent employees and you could be a temp for years.

            1. Cheesecake

              I don’t know your industry, but hanging in there like this with a undefined temp contract just sucks. I am not aware of such contracts (in Europe), you always get a defined one in any case and then receive extension. Also, boss who doesn’t talk to you and make you a permanent employee? What if you didn’t want to? I am totally lost in this case. At this point of the interview i’d roll my eyes and not hide it.

              Anyway, to your original question. The answer i’d give is “my position was in process of being converted to permanent, but i moved to another state with my husband”

              1. Dang

                I don’t think it’s all that uncommon, I had the same experience in my temp job. 9 months.. every 2-3 they would say they were “working on” hiring me but needed approval from the higher-ups in another office. I luckily found another job that’s much better for me (in the interview I said that I was a temporary employee and we’d had discussions about making me permanent, but I’m looking for something more in line with my interest/experience… which I guess only works if it’s something completely different, which it was in my case).

                Temp job acted blindsided when I left, and when I told one of their vendors that I was leaving, she said “oh no… that seems to happen a lot there, they find someone really great but they move on before a year is up because they never get hired.”

                I think when companies rely heavily on long term temps to save money, well, that’s what happens.

                1. _ism_

                  This is exactly what goes on in the factory at which I work. What makes it worse is that neither the company nor the temp agency are transparent with the people they hire. We don’t get told about our temp contract, much less how long it is specified for. But the temp agency has been instructed to dangle “permanent hire possible someday” in front of every person they interview to work at the factory. After a few months most temps start asking their supervisors and the temp agency, too, “Are you considering hiring me permanently? When might that decision be made about me?” By this time, the assignment they were hired for is coming to an end and they are let go, and are often angry and surprised that they weren’t told it was going to definitely be a short term assignment.

        2. Daisy

          Yes this is basically how it happened. I have notice and told him I had already contacted the temp agency. He was like “what do you mean you are still a temp?” He had nothing to do with my contract or approving my pay through the temp agency.

    2. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.

      I don’t think it’s a big deal. I wouldn’t give the back story. You can say that they wanted to bring you on perm but your family was relocating so you weren’t able to take their perm offer.

      FWIW, this has happened (although not for that long!!) at Wakeen’s. Happened just the other day as a matter of fact. Our main HR person is out on disability and one of our temps went an entire month past her eligible hire date because nobody caught it until she spoke up.

      So it’s a Thing That Happens but I don’t think the details are relevant to your next job. You don’t need it to lead to questions about why you let it go on for so long.

      1. Daisy

        Thanks. Yes moving is always I good excuse. I did three temp jobs under the temp agency and had comments from all. The first two were strictly temp with a firm date ending.

  12. misspiggy

    While in theory Alison’s advice to OP1 is fine, I would carefully weigh up the importance of this friendship vs the importance of getting this job. If the friend is at all insecure, or feels the OP has a better chance of getting the job, the friendship may well go down the pan.

    Telling the friend that management asked OP to apply could make an insecure friend feel that OP encouraged her to take a risk on an opportunity that she now has no chance of getting, because OP will get it. That may feel worse than not having gone for the job in the first place. The friend may well blame the OP for putting her in that situation, know that this is irrational, and be unable to interact with the OP without awkwardness.

    I’ve got some friends that I could easily compete for jobs with, and others that, loyal and wonderful as they are, could never forgive me for going up against them.

    1. Cheesecake

      My only question is: do you really need such friends?
      Applying for the same job is not like snitching last pair of shoes your friend was dreaming of buying. Chances you/friend/someone else gets the job are equal; you are not deciding but management does. I just don’t understand how this could cause hard feelings (if you talked to the friend upfront)

      1. INTP

        Especially in the workplace. I do see how it could cause a rift with an insecure person who might see that rejection every time they look at you. But if you have a friend in a similar role at a similar level in your company, then choosing their feelings over job promotions will cost you eventually, if not now then later. Might as well be now. (Also if you’ve been encouraged to apply by a higher up and she hasn’t despite having more experience, she might not have a shot anyways. They might not see her as a leader. She might still be upset but you wouldn’t be costing her anything tangible.)

        1. Well

          One of the most instructive moments of my professional career was when I was fresh out of college, working in the national office of a rather large nonprofit organization. The organization’s COO was retiring, and everyone pretty much knew that the job was going to go to one of two VPs, who were close friends – both of them had been with the company for ages, knew each other very well, etc. Both were very career oriented, and while I couldn’t say for certain, I’d say it was *almost* certain both were interested in the job.

          Well, the CEO sent out an announcement about which of them had gotten it, and the new COO stood up at the next all-staff to talk about his new role, plans for the organization, etc – basically an ‘acceptance speech’, if you will.

          He starts talking, and I remember looking at the VP who hadn’t gotten it, and just being floored by the expression of warmth on his face – the genuine happiness and pride at his friend’s success was obvious.

          I’m not saying he wasn’t disappointed not to get the job, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to let that cost him a friendship, let alone make things professionally awkward.

          OP, you should apply, and whatever your friend does, you should remember the uncertainty you feel in this moment. Hang on to it for later in your career, when one of your friends applies for a job you’re interested in. Think about what it’ll say to that other person about the importance of your friendship if you’re able to be encouraging and supportive instead of resentful and betrayed.

          1. Monodon monoceros

            I’ve mentioned this here before, but I had a similar situation between two of my friends. Both were pretty well qualified for the job, and knew that the other was applying. They even helped each other prepare for the interviews! When one got the job, the other one was truly happy for her, and they still hang out together all the time. I knew they were great people before that, but I was really impressed at how they handled the situation. The most important thing was probably that they are genuinely nice people who wanted the best for their friend, but it was also probably important that they were open about both applying, too. I wonder how it would have went if one of them kept it from the other? I don’t know, because I can’t see either of them doing that.

          2. Dirk Gently

            If a new position at the next level up from mine ever opens up in my team, there will probably be five or six of us who apply. Two of them, I would applaud warmly if they get the job over me and think “fair enough”. One of them, I would be mildly put out but would suck it up. The others? I would NOT be happy.

      2. lawsuited

        I agree with Cheesecake. My best work friends would be supportive of me applying for any job I felt excited about, whether inside or outside the company. The people who wouldn’t be are what I’d call work acquaintances, rather than friends.

    2. BRR

      In the same way there is consideration for the friend why isn’t there an expectation of consideration back?

      Same with you and your friends. I’m not sure I’d be too thrilled with friends who wouldn’t want me to apply for the same jobs as them.

      1. Artemesia

        I think it depends. If you learn of a job opportunity because you friend shares with you that she is applying for it and then you decide you will too, that strikes me as grounds for closing the friendship. But within the same environment where you both are aware of the job, well, then deciding to go for it is reasonable. Unfortunately in the OP’s case the friend had been seeking advice on applying and the friend didn’t jump in till later. That is going to feel scummy to the friend; that would not be the case if each had simply applied when it became available. I guess my principle is that you don’t use your friends to try to climb over their backs which discovering jobs they apply to and then applying yourself seems to be.

        1. Cheesecake

          I understand your reasons about outside job that friend would have no idea about otherwise, though, if a friend wants to apply – why not? But this job was openly posted and manager encouraged OP to apply! Hiring is not first came first served.

  13. Lee Trevino

    #2 – Instead of worrying about your attire, you should probably contact the NWS as well as Guinness, because an air temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit combined with 80% relative humidity would make the heat index around 153 degrees – the highest heat index ever recorded.

    1. Christy

      I don’t think being snarky or pedantic really helps anyone here. Perhaps she checked humidity earlier in the day, when it was that high, and then checked the temperature later in the day when it was that hot.

      But regardless, she’s saying it was both very hot and very humid. No need to nit-pick specifics.

    2. LadyTL

      That doesn’t seem right. I used to live in a city that had 90-90 days (at least 90F and hit 90% humidity) during the summer and it wasn’t out of the ordinary.

      1. Christy

        If you google “calculate heat index” you’ll find calculators that show how it works. 90-90 is possible (heat index of like 122) but 99-80 is basically not possible. At high humidity, even small changes in temperature make huge differences in the heat index.

    3. OP #2

      Ah, I see I was applying the formula wrong. The day’s humidity did peak at 85%, but the hour-by-hour chart I looked at just showed dew point (85*) and temperature (99*), and I was thinking humidity is dew point/temp. Looks like the actual humidity would have been about 65%.

      1. Ariadne Oliver

        Nevertheless, it was hot and humid. Wearing a suit coat would be inappropriate in that weather, especially in Washington DC where everyone knows what the weather is like.

        Carrying your coat was the best way of handling that.

    4. Florida

      Sometimes I think that weather people in the south use humidity the way weather people up north use wind chill factor. Up north, they say “It’s 20 degrees, but with wind chill factor, it feels like negative 10.” The southern version of that is, “It’s 90 degrees outside.” Then in a very dark, dramatic voice, “But with humidity, it will feel like 105.” I think their point (and I’m guessing OP’s point) and that is that the exact temperature is unimportant. What’s important is that it feels like it’s hot as hell.

      OP, I can relate to you feeling like it’s hot as hell. The a/c in my office died on Monday. (People down here run the a/c constantly for 50 weeks of the year.) It wasn’t fixed until late Tuesday. We might as well have been working in a sauna. No one was wearing a jacket. One guy even wore shorts on Tuesday. No one judged him. In fact, we were all jealous that we hadn’t thought to do that.

        1. Mpls

          Upper Midwest/North too. The middle part of the continent (furthest from the big bodies of water) gets all the weather extremes, though not every year. We even once had a land hurricane, apparently.

          1. Elizabeth West

            *raises hand* Southern Missouri. Gulf moisture feeds our weather. In fact, we’re about to get socked by the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. So humidity in the summer is a real issue here.

            Off topic, but we had a derecho (the land hurricane thing) in 2009. A tornado from that hit my work. That is not weather you are ever prepared for, clothing-wise or anything else!

        2. SystemsLady

          +1 (though not sure what counts as “lower”)

          I wish the wind actually helped cool off humid Midwest summers…

          1. Ad Astra

            I say Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri (plus North Texas) are lower Midwest. The upper Midwest, in my very unscientific opinion, is Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and everything north of that (Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and maybe another state I’m forgetting?). At least for the purpose of weather. Upper Midwest summers are much milder and their winters are the stuff of nightmares.

      1. nona

        I think you’re talking about heat index? Which is actually making weather in the 90s feel like weather in the 100s right now. Or a misunderstanding about humidity as it’s described in the forecast?

        1. Elsajeni

          Heat index is the resulting “feels like” temperature; humidity is the additional factor (besides the actual temperature) that goes into calculating it. So “90, with a heat index of 105” and “90, but with humidity it will feel like 105” are equivalent.

  14. INTP

    #5: it’s not poor etiquette. People often write here and say elsewhere that they’re willing to relocate themselves if only someone would give them a chance. There’s nothing rude about giving that chance unless they lie about the relocation pay.

    As Alson said, it varies by industry, but it also varies widely within industries. I know a specialized engineer who got a $100k house down payment bonus on top of all cross country moving expenses, several companies that don’t offer it for most engineers, with the average being about $5000. I also recruited for an IT consulting org of about 100 employees and we had several people relocate from out of state with no relocation paid to them because they needed a job or wanted to live in that city, while larger orgs in the same industry usually do pay relo. Bottom line, ask about the options early in the process if a generous relo is a requirement for you.

    1. Allison

      That is a good point, but there’s a difference between active jobseekers who are willing to move on their own dime, and are frustrated that they’re not even being considered for the jobs they want because of location; and passive candidates who already have jobs and would need an incentive to make that kind of change. I wouldn’t call soliciting a passive candidate “giving someone a chance.”

      1. INTP

        I’ve had passive candidates relocate with no bonus. I don’t view it as doing them a favor or anything, but I don’t think it’s rude to solicit them when some people really do welcome the opportunity. Usually the “This job is in Gotham City, would you be willing to relocate?” conversation happens immediately and the candidate will ask about relo if that’s a deal breaker.

        1. Allison

          I didn’t say it was rude to solicit non-local candidates, and I understand that even passive candidates are sometimes willing to relocate. My comment was in response to your initial statement about people who write here and other places about how they’re willing to relocate for work but the companies they’re applying to won’t give them that chance. I was trying to explain that active candidates may be more willing to relocate on their own dime than passive ones, and you shouldn’t lump them in the same category, which you seemed to imply even though that may not have been your intention. And again, soliciting a non-local candidate without offering relocation isn’t rude, but I wouldn’t look at it giving someone a chance. You’re contacting them because they have something to offer you, and you usually need to offer them an incentive to consider your job over the one they already have.

  15. Hannah

    #1 I had this happen to me and it turned out OK. I was open about my intention to apply for an internal opening with my work friends. One day, one coworker out of nowhere mentioned that she was going to apply too, when she had never before expressed any interest. I did feel a little competitive in the sense that I hoped I would get the job, but it wasn’t personal. We were still friends. We just avoided discussing the hiring process as it was going on. I felt that it would be wrong to get upset becayse you can’t expect someone to make career decisions based on not stepping on their friends’ toes. We had a happy ending because I was hired first and she was hired too, about a month later.

    I agree with AAM’s advice that you should be open – if I had known my friend was interested in the same position all along, I wouldn’t have felt so surprised that we ended up competing for it, or like she was copying me, which I have to admit was my gut reaction at first.

  16. The Cosmic Avenger

    #4, I don’t think there’s any rule of thumb for funerals. It mostly should depend on your relationship with the coworker in question.

    When my mother passed away suddenly a few years ago, a few of my coworkers showed up at the service. I still remember it, and that my company sent a floral arrangement from the partners. Not everyone came, but I don’t remember so much who didn’t come as who did, and we usually all sign a card regardless of who can go. We’re a fairly tight team, though, I’ve been to services both for people I worked with and their immediate family, and I’ve also socialized with some of them outside of work (at our homes, not happy hour type meetups).

    1. Artemesia

      I was slow to learn this but luckily had wiser colleagues. It is particularly important in some areas of the country for people to attend funerals of family members of subordinates. I remember being one of a handful of people to attend the funeral for the mother of an elderly secretary who had no immediate family; she was very touched and grateful to have people there for her. After that I always attended funerals or the visitation the day before (a common southern custom) and it was clear that this was a big deal for our administrative staff — it was a sign that they were valued and they clearly felt gratified to be able to introduce us to other family. It was a sign to their family that they were important. It is a small thing to do that means a lot to some people.

  17. DC Gal

    #2 I hate to be that guy, but I think you should have worn the suit jacket. DC is a very conservative town when it comes to work attire and people always, despite the weather, wear jackets to interview. Some ladies here wear stockings year round, it’s that kind of town. I’m not at all conservative for DC but I’ve never interviewed anyone who wasn’t wearing a jacket and I would not view it favorably.

    1. Bwmn

      This is probably going to matter what industry we’re talking about. I work in DC, but at a nonprofit. I have friends who are federal employees and also don’t dress that conservatively. However, I have friends are in more of the DC legal/political scene and things are far more formal.

      Like most industry interview questions, this does come down to know your field.

    2. Kat M

      Lived in DC for the last eight years and never, not once, needed stockings. My mother actually got me a pair years ago and they’re still sitting in my dresser, unworn. And I never had any issues with my suit jacket, either.

      I’m sure it’s like that if you were interviewing for, say, a law office or the Hill, etc. But let’s not act like it’s entirely ubiquitous. Most places I’ve worked in are business casual, with suits worn on certain days. My current place of employment is on the casual end of business casual and I tend to be more formally dressed than the people I work with.

      1. zora

        actually dress codes on the Hill can be pretty darn casual. They are really based on the office you work in. I think there are lots of offices where you could interview without wearing a suit at all and still be fine.

    3. OP #2

      I’ve been working here for 6 years and have never worn a pair of stockings nor worked with anyone who did. But I also don’t work in an industry where people wear suits for anything other than interviewing.

      1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

        Well, in that case, you are even more certainly safe – if the interviewers weren’t wearing suits, I bet nobody even noticed.

    4. Allison

      That sounds like a combination of your region and industry though. I’m sure there are law firms and government offices in DC that require suits, but there are probably also more casual offices in DC. Just like in Boston, if you were working in the financial district you’d wear a suit every day, but you probably wouldn’t even wear a suit to an interview for some of the tech companies over by Kendall Square.

    5. MsM

      I grew up in DC. I wouldn’t advise leaving the suit jacket at home (especially when a lot of offices overcrank the AC to compensate), but wearing when it’s 90+? No.

    6. Sadsack

      Why would you not view it favorably? If the person has her jacket with her, she obviously came dressed appropriately for the interview. Would you view someone more favorably who is wearing a jacket but is obviously extremely hot and distracted by their own sweating? I don’t understand how that looks professional, even in an industry that is very conservative. Do the people where you work always wear jackets in those types of conditions, all day, every day, or are just those who are interviewing expected to wear them?

      1. OP #2

        Exactly – despite arriving 15 minutes early to cool down (unfortunately there was no public bathroom in the building) my face was still bright pink and I could literally feel the heat emanating off it as I sat in the waiting area. I kept checking my reflection in my phone’s camera and trying to will my skin to return to a normal color faster to no avail. I was worried that the sweat would begin to make my hair look unkempt/unwashed, and I ultimately feared that looking (and smelling) like I just came from the gym and jumped directly into a suit without showering would convey something worse than carrying my jacket.

  18. Rae

    #4 The only other thing that I would consider is if you are close to someone who was close to the deceased. As my dad has said, funerals aren’t for the dead, they are for the living. Its very important that you make sure that your preasance is not missed by people who are hurting.

  19. Camellia

    The last funeral I attended was for a co-worker’s mother. Our company allows time-off for those situations and I think it is respectful to go, if at all possible.

    On a side note, I ordered flowers from a florist with which I was not familiar but which was close to the funeral home. The price was, frankly, cheap compared to other florists, so I was a bit concerned about quality. When I checked the arrangement it was quite lovely. When I returned to work I called the florist and reminded them of the order. I got a very guarded “Yes?”. When I told her how beautiful it was she gasped and said, “No one ever says that!” Just a reminder to sometimes call with the ‘good’ instead of just the ‘bad’.

  20. KT

    To me the relocation payment is just part of the total package,s o the amount isn’t the end all-be all. Is the salary significantly higher than the current job? Are the benefits solid? More vacation time/flexibility? Then to me, it balances out the lower end of relocation dollars–that’s just icing.

  21. Jubilance

    I must be out of touch cause I saw $5000 for a move from TX to CO as too little. Are we talking bare bones, where you do everything yourself? Maybe you could do it on $5k, but I find it a stretch. Those of you who have done cross-country moves on less than that, bless you. I moved from GA to FL with a $3000 lump sum and I found it hard to do. For my last move, it was fully covered – packers, shipped my car, reimbursement for a trip to my new location to find an apt and an additional lump sum payment. Are companies not doing those anymore?

    I agree with the OP #5 – given that they sought out the candidate, I would have expected a better relocation offer.

    1. Kory P

      It depends on the company and it depends on the job. My sister recently took a job at my company and had her move paid for directly by the company. She is single with no children and her move to VA from IL cost about 11k. I can’t imagine that companies want to do this all the time for lower management positions. I’ve heard of people being allowed to work remotely because it’s cheaper to have them fly in for meetings once a quarter than to pay to have them move, especially for senior management positions.

  22. BTW

    My Aunt just did a move from Texas back to Canada and I cannot even begin to tell you how much that cost. Just moving from her temporary housing here into her new house cost over $5k. (This was not a relocation due to a job however) I think the OP needs to weigh the pros and cons but it’s a simple question really, is the new job worth the move or not? Even if you have to cover some of the cost yourself?

    My husband and I have moved ourselves in and out of every apartment/house we have lived in. Some with the help of family and friends and others entirely on our own. It wasn’t easy, but our willingness to do it ourselves has saved us a lot of money over the years. Packing and professional moving can get *very* expensive. To keep costs down, you might want to figure out what you’re willing/not willing to do yourself. (Obviously you would still need someone to drive the truck though)

    However, I must note that my husband and I both worked for a moving company way back in the day so he knows how to load trucks properly and I am quite skilled at packing contents. So we do have a bit of an advantage over most.

  23. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

    Question: Does your employer require you to take PTO to attend a the funeral of a co-worker’s relative? I’ve never required people to take PTO for that (they just go during their normal working hours), as long as the funeral is local, and it’s not unreasonable for them to attend (as in, I probably would require PTO for say, the funeral of a the second cousin of a co-worker they don’t directly work with or know well).

    1. Ad Astra

      When a pretty high-level, longterm (and beloved) employee died at my office’s “sister” location, they let people attend the funeral without using PTO and “borrowed” a couple of our employees to keep things running while so many people were out of the office. I’m not sure if hourly employees had to clock out, though. I would hope not.

    2. Judy

      A former job would require PTO (or hour swapping within the same week) to attend any funeral that wasn’t spouse, parents, siblings, children (& in laws). I’d hope that someone would get some leeway if a grandchild or grandparent died, but I didn’t when an aunt died, per policy. But my manager at the time was an ass.

      1. Ashley the Nonprofit Exec

        We certainly offer bereavement leave for person’s own family members. I’m curious about whether employers allow people to attend funerals of a co-worker’s family member without taking PTO. For example, if your co-worker’s mother died, would you be allowed to attend the funeral without charging your PTO?

        1. Judy

          I guess what I was saying is that for that company (with that manager), if I couldn’t attend my aunt’s funeral without using PTO or hour shifting within the same week, I certainly couldn’t attend a co-worker’s mother’s funeral without doing that. For my current company, it hasn’t come up, but my guess would be that as long as you’re not having any attendance issues, it would be fine. (Basically meaning if you’re regularly putting in 42-45 minimum hours and not clock watching, they’re not going to nickel and dime you in a given week.)

          I’ve generally just gone to visitation when a co-worker’s family member has died. My personal rule is to go to visitation to support the family, and go to the funeral for me to say goodbye. If I only know the family, I only go to visitation. If I only know the person, I go to the funeral. If it’s both, I do both.

  24. Employment Lawyer

    “5. Relocation package is way too low ….they are only offering us $5k to move”

    Who the heck cares? Money is money. Benefits are benefits. Thinking about “moving expenses” outside the context of the offer is bad economics.

    Think about whether the whole package–including the cost of the move, and the moving costs–is a good enough improvement. If so, it shouldn’t really matter whether the offer is

    1) “a $20k raise and $5k of moving costs” or
    2) “a $15k raise, a $5k raise after the first year, and $10k in moving costs.”

    They’re functionally the same thing.

    1. Colette

      Except that you need to pay the moving expenses when you move, not a year later. (And, of course, the first option is better if you stay more than 2 years.)

  25. illini02

    My take on the general aspect of applying for the same job as a friend is a bit different. In OP #1s case, I’m a bit more ok with it, since management basically encouraged her to apply for it. However, if I’m being honest, if I told my friend about a job I applied for, then they decided later that they were interested as well and applied too, I would be angry. Now this of course depends on the relationship. If it was a real friend, THAT would make me mad. If it was just a co-worker I was friendly with, I wouldn’t. Its like the dating analogy people like to mention. If I told my friend I was going to ask a girl out, and then he decided “You know what, I like her too, and I’m going to ask her out as well” that would anger me as well. No its not “stealing” its giving the decision maker more options, but its not a good thing to do to someone you consider a friend.

  26. AnonyGoose

    I was in a similar situation to OP1, but on the other side. A friend of mine at work who’d been with the company for years encouraged me strongly to apply to a new position. I did, went through the interviews, and was told they went with someone else. It was only after the decision had been made that my friend told me she had applied as well and been offered the job.

    I didn’t blame her for applying, too–it was a good role, and she’d been overlooked in our current department for a long, long, long time. But I wish she’d been upfront and told me she was also up for consideration. It would have made things a lot less awkward for me than when I found out after the fact.

  27. T

    #4 Will there be visitation hours before the actual funeral? Going to the visitation would let you pay your respects to the family without the same time commitment of attending the service.

  28. Sara

    I’m in a situation much like #3 at the moment, and although I haven’t been asked about it yet, I plan to explain that budgetary reasons prevent my employer from bringing me on full time. (Which is an oversimplification of the situation, but I don’t see how the full story is any other employer’s business.)

    1. OP #3

      Sounds like a totally reasonable explanation to me. :)

      My employer only hires a temp if one of their employees quits or get promoted, which doesn’t happen often.

  29. OP #3

    Thank you for the answer, Alison! Responding with, “I like the work and I’ve had good feedback, but my understanding is that they don’t make many permanent hires on the team I’m on,” sounds sooo much better than just “no.” Going to write it down so I remember.

  30. K

    My two cents on #5:

    First off, Texas and Colorado are both big states so it’s hard to judge how far you’re actually moving.
    1) I moved 9 hours. It was $2,500 for the movers for a 1 bedroom. So, to me 5k seems like it should not be an immediate “no way.” You don’t indicate you have a bunch of kids coming with you also.
    2) You can always ask for more.
    3) My reimbursement wasn’t taxed, so I wouldn’t just assume the 5k is pre-tax.

    1. Denise

      Relocation costs comprise much more than just the movers. I think not taking that into account is causing the disparity in perspectives about this. If companies were just going to supplement the movers themselves, it would make more sense for the company to just have the moving company invoice them.

  31. Denise

    I am in the midst of relocating. I have 0 furniture and am moving alone and it will still cost upwards of $5000 to accomplish. This is mainly due to securing housing in the new location and making visits to search for it before then. Search trips, real estate agent fees, security deposit, whatever it will cost to get out of your current arrangement, purchasing a car because you’re moving from a metropolis to the suburbs…even if you take movers out of the equation entirely, depending upon where you are going and other factors, it still quickly adds up.

    There are certainly people who are happy to just have the opportunity and will happily self finance such a move. But it really varies from person to person, location to location, and position to position. I would think that if a company had to do any kind of search at all (above just posting the job and having resumes fly in), that relocation, so long as it was reasonable, would be a nonissue.

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