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Thread: Advice on how to approach a future employer to pay for travel expenses

  1. #1
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Advice on how to approach a future employer to pay for travel expenses

    I had to decline an interview for this Friday because they didn't want to pay or reimburse my travel expenses. I even asked for a phone interview and they said they're only doing in-person interviews. I am not working full time and of course the interview is within a 2 week time frame where the flights and hotels are rather expensive.

    What are your opinions on this and how would you approach it? Anyone have any experiences?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I think you did the right thing. Be aware though, that most employers, especially the public sector ones, will not reimburse travel or moving expenses for junior level positions, and its not a given for senior level positons either.

    That said, they should have been considerate enough to have a preliminary phone interview, and if it goes well enough for them to invite you to a personal interview, you would have some comfort that the travel money was not spent chasing rainbows.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    I think you did the right thing. Be aware though, that most employers, especially the public sector ones, will not reimburse travel or moving expenses for junior level positions, and its not a given for senior level positons either.

    That said, they should have been considerate enough to have a preliminary phone interview, and if it goes well enough for them to invite you to a personal interview, you would have some comfort that the travel money was not spent chasing rainbows.
    Ya well thanks for the support on this. It's a tricky issue but at least it was worth a shot.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I did have an interview (a second interview!) in Vegas once.. it was worth the travel in that case
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    I did have an interview (a second interview!) in Vegas once.. it was worth the travel in that case
    Did you pay or ask the potential employer to cover your expenses?

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    I find it interesting that most public sector agencies will not cover travel expenses in the US. When I had interviews with local government in the UK they always sent information on how to claim travel expenses and they booked hotels for me.

    I have an interview with a private sector consultancy in a few weeks but they haven't made any mention of paying for travel expenses, should I call and ask them about it?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    The job I'm in right now is the only one I've ever had where they partially reimbursed me for the flight to my second interview (first one was on the phone). It was/is a senior/management position, so it may not be too out there. I think we both split the cost of the flight.

    If you can't afford flying somewhere then you will be stuck looking close to home... just one of the downfalls of the public sector. When you think about it, it would be hard to explain to the taxpayers that you flew 8 people (especially those without too much experience) in for an interview... that's a lot of cost with the 100s of recruitments every year.

    The only municipalities where I've seen a lot of successful negotiations on moving expenses are those in the North... NWT/Yukon/N. Alberta (Wood Buffalo), etc.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner
    Did you pay or ask the potential employer to cover your expenses?
    At the time, I was laid off and desperate to find a job. I asked if they reimburse, they indicated they did not. I figured.. for a quick interivew and my first trip to vegas it would be worth the $400 airfare/hotel for a 2 night stay.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Last year before I moved back to ONT, I probably spent close to $4000 on travel for job interviews, then another $2500 on moving. The public sector does not tend to pay for travel for interviews.

    At one point I interviewed with the City of TO and they told me they had people flying in from London, LA, NY and Chicgo for the job interview all on their own dimes.

    I was also stiffed once, when a potential employer said they'd give me $100 for gas money for driving down to the Boston area, and when i asked they refused.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rafflesGB
    I find it interesting that most public sector agencies will not cover travel expenses in the US. When I had interviews with local government in the UK they always sent information on how to claim travel expenses and they booked hotels for me.

    I have an interview with a private sector consultancy in a few weeks but they haven't made any mention of paying for travel expenses, should I call and ask them about it?
    I was told it doesn't hurt to try!

    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    The job I'm in right now is the only one I've ever had where they partially reimbursed me for the flight to my second interview (first one was on the phone). It was/is a senior/management position, so it may not be too out there. I think we both split the cost of the flight.

    If you can't afford flying somewhere then you will be stuck looking close to home... just one of the downfalls of the public sector. When you think about it, it would be hard to explain to the taxpayers that you flew 8 people (especially those without too much experience) in for an interview... that's a lot of cost with the 100s of recruitments every year.

    The only municipalities where I've seen a lot of successful negotiations on moving expenses are those in the North... NWT/Yukon/N. Alberta (Wood Buffalo), etc.
    Well see I can understand your point especially about taxpayers' view and how Americans and now mainly Albertans (hint, hint..lol) always count their pennies for whatever service they make.

    But here's my point. You are out of so many candidates they choose to interview for this position. If there are 8 people in a YEAR for different positions, what's the big deal to foot the bill or at least part of it. People want the best canadidates and KNOWING how expensive it is to book a hotel and flight 2 weeks within an interview and NOT being able to pay for it because you only work part time I think should give someone the hint they're not able to pay for the flight/hotel.

    So that's where I have the problem regardless of it's for a private or public sector position.

    But like one person said from me, make sure to get it in writing if it is part of the city's or county's policy that they will not reimburse or fully cover for travel expenses whether it's for an interview or for a job. I think it would be embarassing on their part to have someone stay in a shelter while trying to earn a living. Or they don't have their best candidate based on the fact that they didn't approve someone paying for their expenses knowing their circumstances.

    I guess then I am stuck here trying to find work in the GTA and deal with lazy, snooty planners who don't want to train new staff and continue to have a bad rap based on that very notion.

    Quote Originally posted by donk
    Last year before I moved back to ONT, I probably spent close to $4000 on travel for job interviews, then another $2500 on moving. The public sector does not tend to pay for travel for interviews.

    At one point I interviewed with the City of TO and they told me they had people flying in from London, LA, NY and Chicgo for the job interview all on their own dimes.

    I was also stiffed once, when a potential employer said they'd give me $100 for gas money for driving down to the Boston area, and when i asked they refused.
    Well watching Leafs', Raptors' games and concerts part time just won't make the cut in travel expenses now would it?

    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    At the time, I was laid off and desperate to find a job. I asked if they reimburse, they indicated they did not. I figured.. for a quick interivew and my first trip to vegas it would be worth the $400 airfare/hotel for a 2 night stay.
    Well with hotel and flight to Vegas it would cost me $800 canadian -- money I don't have!
    Last edited by nerudite; 11 May 2005 at 11:40 PM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner
    I was told it doesn't hurt to try! ...

    Well with hotel and flight to Vegas it would cost me $800 canadian -- money I don't have!
    Okay... well, it looks like you are totally frustrated. I understand... but please realize you asked some questions and we are answering them honestly. If you want to sit here and vent at us, you probably won't get as much advice the next time you have a serious question. The fact is, the public sector in most cases does not pay for travel. Especially for junior planners... that's just the way it is.

    My advice: talk to relatives or learn to deal with the bus. I took the bus a few times back in California when I needed to get to an interview. Borrow the municipality's master plans and bylaws and study on the trip. What you may lack in hands on experience, you may make up for in knowledge of their community and goals which I know impresses me when I interview someone. In any case, keep receipts... you do get to deduct this stuff (even in Canada). Good luck (and I say that with total sincerity).

  12. #12
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    Okay... well, it looks like you are totally frustrated. I understand... but please realize you asked some questions and we are answering them honestly. If you want to sit here and vent at us, you probably won't get as much advice the next time you have a serious question. The fact is, the public sector in most cases does not pay for travel. Especially for junior planners... that's just the way it is.

    My advice: talk to relatives or learn to deal with the bus. I took the bus a few times back in California when I needed to get to an interview. Borrow the municipality's master plans and bylaws and study on the trip. What you may lack in hands on experience, you may make up for in knowledge of their community and goals which I know impresses me when I interview someone. In any case, keep receipts... you do get to deduct this stuff (even in Canada). Good luck (and I say that with total sincerity).

    NO NO!! Not venting at all. Yes frustrated. I am taking the all the advice to heart. My apologies if it has come across the wrong way but sometimes you know how words over the net can be misconstrued.

    Like I said, working part time wouldn't cut it especially if you're offered an interview within 2 weeks. Scroungin money from others just isn't in me. Moral thing I guess. Oh well!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Okay, given what you are going through... I am going to offer this last ditch suggestion on how to get a job with government. If you just got through a year of hell (part-time job, nobody hiring you) then you can handle a year of an alternate hell (full-time job under contract, with no benefits, from a private firm in Toronto). The work is not glamorous or even interesting at times. You'll probably get to do a lot of research or end up doing environmental statements, etc. But you'll get enough money to get to the places that you want to go, and you'll get some professional experience on your resume. I have seen private firms go through planners like this all the time in all of the metro areas I've lived in (including Edmonton). Try it... it's better than nothing.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    Okay, given what you are going through... I am going to offer this last ditch suggestion on how to get a job with government. If you just got through a year of hell (part-time job, nobody hiring you) then you can handle a year of an alternate hell (full-time job under contract, with no benefits, from a private firm in Toronto). The work is not glamorous or even interesting at times. You'll probably get to do a lot of research or end up doing environmental statements, etc. But you'll get enough money to get to the places that you want to go, and you'll get some professional experience on your resume. I have seen private firms go through planners like this all the time in all of the metro areas I've lived in (including Edmonton). Try it... it's better than nothing.
    ok so what and where? tell me puhlease??????????????

  15. #15
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Get out the phonebook and start sending resumes cold if there aren't any advertised jobs. If that is too expensive, do a search on the web and send e-mails with your resume attached to various consultants. Be proactive... I'm sure there are a hundred planning/engineering consultants in the GTA.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    From travel expenses onto how to look for a job? Is stupid written on my forehead?

    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    Get out the phonebook and start sending resumes cold if there aren't any advertised jobs. If that is too expensive, do a search on the web and send e-mails with your resume attached to various consultants. Be proactive... I'm sure there are a hundred planning/engineering consultants in the GTA.

    Been there, done that!!! Please see your PM !

  17. #17
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner
    Been there, done that!!! Please see your PM !
    Well, I'm out of ideas then. You've done it all... I guess it's time to do it all over again or give up.

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