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Office relocation within the Middle East and relocation costs

dubai Middle East office preferences relocation riyadh salary negotiation tier2
New answer on Oct 08, 2023
6 Answers
672 Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 26, 2023

I've been offered a position at a Tier 2 consulting firm in Riyadh, Middle East. While I'm excited about this opportunity, my original preference and goal for the past 1-2 years was to be based in the Dubai office. I'd appreciate your input on two matters:

1. Now that I have the offer, what's the best way to inquire about the possibility of being placed in the Dubai office? They mentioned earlier that they were primarily hiring for Riyadh due to growth, but I've heard of instances within the same firm where such requests were accommodated. I'm a bit apprehensive about bringing this up, especially since I have limited time to finalize the contract. Any tips or advice on how to approach this conversation?

2. While I'm satisfied with the compensation package, I didn't find any provisions for covering relocation costs (coming from Europe). I would like to address this matter. Could you please offer guidance on the appropriate way to do so? Should I reach out via email or make a phone call?

Thank you!

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Best answer
Lorenzo
Expert
replied on Sep 26, 2023
University of St.Gallen graduate | Learn to think like a Consultant | Personalized prep | CV review

Congratulations on receiving the offer! Addressing your preferences and concerns with the firm is a reasonable step to take. Here's how you can approach both matters:

1. Inquiring About Placement in the Dubai Office:

  • Timing: Given your limited time to finalize the contract, it's essential to act promptly but professionally.
  • Contact Person: Reach out to your HR contact or the person who extended the offer.
  • Tone: Be diplomatic and respectful when discussing your preferences. Emphasize your enthusiasm for the role in Riyadh.
  • Request a Discussion: Express your desire to inquire about the possibility of eventually transitioning to the Dubai office.
  • Highlight Value: Explain any specific skills or experiences that might make you a valuable candidate for the Dubai office.
  • Flexibility: Express your willingness to join Riyadh initially if needed but state your long-term interest in Dubai.
  • Acknowledge Company Needs: Recognize the firm's growth focus in Riyadh and ask about their policies regarding office transfers.
  • Request for Clarity: Seek clarity on the process and timelines for such transfers.
  • Follow Up: If the initial response is inconclusive, kindly ask for a follow-up or feedback on the request.

2. Discussing Relocation Costs:

  • Method of Contact: It's generally better to initiate this discussion through email as it provides a written record.
  • Subject Line: Use a clear and professional subject line, such as "Discussion on Relocation Costs."
  • Content: In the email, express your gratitude for the offer and your excitement about joining. Then, politely mention your concerns about relocation costs.
  • Explain Your Situation: Provide some context about your current location and the expenses associated with relocating from Europe to Riyadh.
  • Request for Assistance: Ask if there are any provisions or assistance available for relocation, and if not, inquire if there's room for negotiation.
  • Be Open to Discussion: Express your flexibility and willingness to discuss this matter further.
  • Attachments: If you have any documentation related to your relocation expenses (e.g., cost estimates), you can attach them to the email.

Remember to maintain a professional and positive tone throughout these conversations. It's essential to convey your preferences and concerns while demonstrating your enthusiasm for the role and your commitment to the firm's success.

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 26, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offer! In terms of your questions:

1) Now that I have the offer, what's the best way to inquire about the possibility of being placed in the Dubai office? 

Unless you have another offer for Dubai that you can refer to as an alternative you would choose, you don’t have much leverage to negotiate a different office. However, you can still check with HR if there is any option for that.

If they say no or you are willing to wait a bit, you could try to move once you have some seniority, then the likelihood will be higher.

To maximize your chances you should ideally:

  • Have one or more partners in your target office favoring the transfer
  • Have one or more partners in your home office favoring the transfer
  • Have a strong performance
  • Have or be able to get working rights in your target office

It might be easier to try to target a project in the new office while you are based in your current one, create relationships and then do the full transfer. However, that also depends on the flexibility of the office.

2) While I'm satisfied with the compensation package, I didn't find any provisions for covering relocation costs (coming from Europe). Could you please offer guidance on the appropriate way to do so? Should I reach out via email or make a phone call?

For relocation costs, the best option would be to let them know which would be your actual costs given you are in Europe and ask if they could provide any support for that. I would try to call if possible.

Best,

Francesco

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 26, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

HI there!

You're setting yourself up for a difficult call. 

You're trying to negotiate for two big changes. 

First of all, try to find out from other consultants whether your respective firm usually offers relocation costs. If they don't (and many don't), then don't bring it up. It's highly unlikely that they'll offer you something out of the ordinary and it will also weaken your position on the other point with the relocation.

Second, relocations are generally difficult. Even more so when trying to do it before you started. The only situations when I've seen this work well was when the person had very strong personal reasons that appeared in the meantime (as in, they didn't know when they applied) and now it's imperative for them to be in this other location. Try to reflect on whether you have this sort of reason.

In the meantime, as some light reading, sending you two guides to help you hit the ground running when you start in consulting:

Best,
Cristian 

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Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

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Anonymous A on Sep 26, 2023

Would it be more realistic to join the Riyadh office and change to Dubai within 1-2 years in the firm? Or would it be easier to just start in Dubai from the beginning? Thanks!

Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 27, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Congrats on the offer!

First read the following on both what to expect and how to succeed on the job itself:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/tips-for-consultans
 

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/pros-and-cons-of-working-at-a-top-consulting-firm

 

1. Now that I have the offer, what's the best way to inquire about the possibility of being placed in the Dubai office? They mentioned earlier that they were primarily hiring for Riyadh due to growth, but I've heard of instances within the same firm where such requests were accommodated. I'm a bit apprehensive about bringing this up, especially since I have limited time to finalize the contract. Any tips or advice on how to approach this conversation?

What office did you put down when you applied? If you put down only Riyadh, there's not much you can do. Even if you put down both Riyadh and Dubai, there's still not a ton you can do (more chance of success, but still not high).

They want/need you in Riyadh given the work.

However, you can absolutely try to open up discussions of Dubai. Make it a request not a demand. If you offer to fly to Riyadh for work when clients are there and also offer to spend time in the office where needed, you might be able to get them to agree.

Ultimately, if this actually matters to you, get a case coach to help you optimally navigate this….it's a big life happiness situation so maybe just a free Q&A isn't enough.

2. While I'm satisfied with the compensation package, I didn't find any provisions for covering relocation costs (coming from Europe). I would like to address this matter. Could you please offer guidance on the appropriate way to do so? Should I reach out via email or make a phone call?

Get a case coach to help you negotiate this.

I doubled my signing bonus fro $20k to 40k.

If you don't know how to negotiate, a free Q&A and online articles are not going to maximize your offer.

Seriously, spend $200-$400 on a coach….they're make sure you get the best offer possible.

Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish here. 

There are many ways to do this wrong (but yes, in general, you can ask for relocation bonus)

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Raj
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 08, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK
  1. Congratulations on receiving the offer! If your preference is to be based in the Dubai office, it is worth inquiring about the possibility of being placed there. Here are some tips on how to approach this conversation:
  • Be proactive: Reach out to the HR contact or the person who extended the offer to you. Express your excitement about the offer and your interest in joining the firm. Then, politely inquire about the possibility of being placed in the Dubai office.
  • Highlight your reasons: Clearly articulate why you are interested in the Dubai office. Mention any relevant experience or connections you have in the region. Emphasize how being in Dubai aligns with your long-term goals.
  • Acknowledge the firm's preference: Acknowledge that the firm is primarily hiring for Riyadh due to growth. However, mention that you have heard of instances within the firm where such requests were accommodated, which gives you hope.
  • Be flexible: Show your willingness to be flexible and consider opportunities in both offices. This demonstrates your commitment to the firm and your willingness to adapt to its needs.
  1. Regarding the relocation costs, it is appropriate to address this matter. Here's how you can do it:
  • Choose the right communication method: Since you have limited time to finalize the contract, it would be best to address this matter via email. This allows you to clearly outline your request and provide any supporting documents or information.
  • Be polite and professional: Start by expressing your gratitude for the offer and your excitement about joining the firm. Then, mention that you have noticed there are no provisions for covering relocation costs and inquire about the firm's policy on this matter.
  • Provide context: Briefly explain your situation, mentioning that you are relocating from Europe and the associated costs involved. You can also mention any industry norms or practices regarding relocation support.
  • Request clarification or assistance: Ask if the firm has any policies or programs in place to support employees with relocation costs. If not, you can inquire if there is any flexibility to provide some form of assistance.
  • Be open to negotiation: If the firm is unable to provide full relocation support, be open to discussing alternative arrangements, such as a relocation allowance or reimbursement for certain expenses.
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Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

These I think are valid concerns / questions on your side that are fine to have.

I would give recruiting a call and raise these 2 questions politely. They may or may not be the best person for you to talk to on this (esp on relocation cost). 

But no harm asking - worst case scenario is that they say no to both.

 

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Lorenzo gave the best answer

Lorenzo

University of St.Gallen graduate | Learn to think like a Consultant | Personalized prep | CV review
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