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Postby EG » Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:11 am

Hi all,

I have a question about relocalization and what you should expect/ask for in relation to this. Currently I have a good position at a small Danish biotech company with a decent salary. I have been contacted by a headhunter firm offering me a position at a large pharma company in Germany. Moving to a larger company seems like a good idea for my future career and I am now wondering what I should expect or ask for regarding salary increase and possible contributions for moving costs etc. Moving to Germany also means that my wife will have to quit her job (she is a teacher), which of course at least in the short time span will have a negative effect on family income.


Postby John Fetzer » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:32 pm

The changes may not be as drastic as you think, if Europe is like the US. If your wife's teaching credentials are acceptable in Germany or she can gain those easily, the company may be willing to to help in a search for her. In the US this is common in that the company will hire a job search firm to help.

This is a common topic in the negotiations phase here, as it affects the value of the salary offer they are giving you.

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Postby Dave Jensen » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:39 pm

Hello EG,

First comment . . .Make sure you indeed know what it is like to work in a large company, and that you are prepared for the differences in the two environments. You wouldn't want to move from one country to another only to find that you hate the way that large companies operate, etc.

Secondly, remember that there is no way you should be paying anything for your relocation there. The company is used to relocating people all over the map. If they are truly interested in you, they should pay all your costs of relocation including some temporary housing in Germany while you and your wife look for a place to live. (In the USA, most large pharma companies offer about 4 weeks temp housing). Of course, these relocation benefits are because you already have industry experience. If you were right out of a postdoc or graduate school, they'd expect you to get there on your own, or they would only pay some small amount to assist you.

Salary increases from small biotech to big pharma don't have a formula. You may ask for and get 10-15% more than you are currently making -- or, they may sense your desire for security and make you an offer at the same pay (what we call over here a "lateral move.").

As John pointed out, perhaps your wife may find employment easy enough teaching in Germany. If she is not allowed by law to work in Germany, than you will require a very significant increase in salary to compensate for the loss of one job.

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