Timing for a Job Relocation

The art of moving for a job

Getting a job offer is exciting, but it can also be complicated if it’s away from home. Depending on your career, moving might become a regular part of the path or something you do only once or twice in a lifetime. Either way, it’s helpful to know the best timeframe for transitioning to a new city and starting a new job. Just how much time will you need? Let’s explore how to figure out how long you’ll need to relocate and when to start the moving process.

Office items packed and ready for moving as part of a job relocation.


Negotiating a reasonable timeline to move for a job

Before accepting a new job that requires a move, it’s important to review the proposed start date to make sure it’s realistic. You might need time to give notice at a current job, notify a landlord or sell a home. Plus, you’ll need to find a place to live in a new city, and moving kids long distance will also take some time with finding childcare or transferring schools.  

Here's what you’ll want to discuss with your potential employer. Some things might be negotiable, but you’ll never know without asking. 

How long it will take to move

Some businesses have specific start dates, but others might be more flexible if you need more time to relocate or give notice to a current employer. How much time should you ask for?

Out-of-state jobs 

At least 2-4 weeks is reasonable to relocate for a job that’s not too far away from a current home, like in a neighboring state or a couple of states away. 

Cross-country offers 

It’s common to ask an employer for 4 to 8 weeks to move across the country (distances of around 2,000 miles or more). 

Moving outside the continental U.S. 

Moves to Hawaii, Canada and Puerto Rico can take between 8 and 12 weeks to fully transition, but a company’s specific policies about moving may vary.


Find out if corporate or temporary housing options are available if you need more time to find a permanent residence.

Relocation package

Does the company offer compensation or help with moving expenses?

Remote training

If possible, ask about doing training or onboarding remotely to allow extra time for tying up loose ends in your current city.

When is the best time to start your move? 

You should start planning your move as soon as possible to get the moving equipment you want on a date that works best. At U-Pack®, we can help you figure out the best time to schedule equipment delivery based on when you need to be at your new home, and our average transit time takes only 4-6 business days, depending on the distance. Call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. 

If you’d rather schedule everything yourself, try these steps to figure out the best timing: 

1. Calculate how much time the moving company will take

Each move is different depending on the moving company, origin and destination, but most will give you an estimated delivery date to your destination. Use this equation to determine how many days your move will take:   

Loading time + Transit time + unloading time = total moving days  

Note: For most U-Pack moves, loading and unloading time is 3 business days on each end. Equipment delivered on Thursdays or Fridays will have the weekend for additional free loading time. Transit times are estimated unless you select our Guaranteed Transit option, where you can choose your exact equipment delivery date.   

2. Add extra time for settling in if you need it   

While you can arrive the day before a new job starts and spend evenings unloading or unpacking, you’ll be more rested and relaxed if you’re able to get to the new home at least a few days before your first day of work. It can be helpful to have a day or two to unpack, update your driver’s license and car registration, navigate your new city or handle any last-minute errands. 

3. Count backward from your start date   

Look at a calendar and find the start date for your new job. Next, count backward the total number of days you’ll need for transporting your things, travel and any extra time for settling in.  

For example, if your new job starts April 1, you’ll start counting backward from that date. Let’s say you want 7 days to settle in, so that means you’ll want to be at the new home by March 25.  

U-Pack gives you 3 business days to load and another 3 to unload, plus 4-6 business days for transit. Considering the weekends, that adds up to 24 calendar days, meaning you’d want the moving equipment delivered on or before March 8.  

Should you move to find employment? 

Sometimes, circumstances mean you might need to relocate to find a job. It’s important to weigh the delicate balance of job availability within your skillset across cities to determine if moving is your best option.  

While figuring out where to live, do a preliminary job search within your field on websites like Indeed or LinkedIn to look for hiring trends and find a good fit. Depending on the industry, hiring cycles might be based on academic calendars or fiscal years, which can vary between companies. If relocating makes sense, then you’ll be able to choose the best time to move to find a job. 

Need help moving for a job? 

You’re in luck! U-Pack can help you relocate long distance for a job in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. We’re a DIY service where you handle the moving labor, and we take care of all the driving. Request a free quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant about planning your move for a new job.