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Thread: Leave family temporarily for new job? Would you do it?

  1. #1
          bluehour's avatar
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    Leave family temporarily for new job? Would you do it?

    My career quandry:

    My current boss is very difficult to work with, and I have 2.5 years experience working at this small firm, but I want to gain experience in the wider (coorporate) planning industry. I want a new job, and I want it to be with a big or top firm.

    London is a short 1 hr plane ride away.I am interviewing for a job with a high profile London firm that would be a big career opportunity. If the job fits etc. I could take it but my husband wouldn't come with me as he's currently based in Northern Ireland. I would have to fly home on weekends.

    That said the husband travels a good bit for his job (25% to 75%), but is starting a PHD in Northern Ireland.

    I've already had one interview and the interviewer said that I could take the job and then transfer to a regional office closer at a later date.

    Then again, London is my favourite city in the world, and I'm a young buck(ette), so why not spend a few years working in one of the most amazing Metropolises in the world...

    So would you do it? Live a plane ride from your spouse for your job/career?

  2. #2
    In the circumstances you describe? I'd absolutely do it in a New York minute!

    I had a professor at graduate school who was living a distacne relationship with his wife -- he was in Muncie, Indiana (a difficult place to get to or from) and she was in North Carolina. It was work on their part, but they seemed very happy with it.

    I'd say go for it if you can pull it off.
    Je suis Charlie

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    With no kids involved and a spouse who travels a lot anyway, I wouldn't hesitate. In fact, rather than asking for advice, I think I would be bragging about the coup (after it was a done deal, of course).

  4. #4
    maudit anglais
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    Well, it sounds to me like you've already made a decision - you're just looking for validation Congratulations on the new job!

    How temporary is temporary, and what is your relationship like with hubby? I had to "temporarily" relocate to a new city in advance of my wife, and the separation became a lot less temporary than originally planned due to the stress of separation. The decision to end the separation has meant a financial hit of a couple thousand dollars but it was worth it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    long term do you want to return to NI? How probable is it for vacancies in the regional offices?

    Will you be maintaining your present "house". maintaining two households could run up expenses.

    Is the plan for a possible permanent move to London after he gets his Phd?

    Sounds like a different arrangement than the family planning on catching up with the spouse in the new city.

    You have flexibility, a spouse switching gears from travel job to Phd, for you opportunities in advancing your career and the proximity to London. Works for me!

    I'd hash out the details of when you actually rejoin households again.


  6. #6
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I've known of a couple people who worked over a 3 hour drive away from their families, and they'd live in an apartment weekdays, spend weekends back home at their house. And these were people with kids. Personally, I couldn't do that. A co-worker of mine now lives apart from his wife, cause she got a dream college prof. job about 3 hours away. They talk on the phone every night, and spend weekends together (either in her town or his). He says it sucks, but he is happy for her and her career, and they are just waiting for a job for him to open up near her.

    Since it sounds like you would eventually be close to your hubby in the future, I think you should definitely go for it, but make sure the two residences, the plane fare, etc won't set you back financially.

  7. #7
    Am I weird that I mostly work for my family? I wouldn't consider working apart from my family, personally. Maybe I'm jealous you're that excited to start the new job. I get paid in hugs. The salary just keeps my son fed.

    Ph.D.'s take 4-6 years for the folks I know; that's a good bit of time. That said, I do know an Assistant Professor at a state school with an on-line based Ph.D.! But doesn't London have some okay schools, too?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BikePlanIt View post
    Am I weird that I mostly work for my family? I wouldn't consider working apart from my family, personally. Maybe I'm jealous you're that excited to start the new job. I get paid in hugs. The salary just keeps my son fed.
    I did the homemaker thing for a long time. I am still very devoted to my kids. But I never felt that my husband supported my dreams the way I supported his dreams. That experience prompted me to read a lot about such things and it is pretty common for men to prioritize their careers and other personal goals (like hobbies) and for women to prioritize family (kids/husband/other relatives), often at the expense of their own personal goals. (Of course, part of the reason for that is that if having kids is one of your dreams, women do not have the luxury of time that men have in that area.) My kids are now teens and I don't have any specific plans to have more. I have no regrets about staying home but I would not be too keen on repeating the experience of making it possible for some man to fulfill his dreams while mine languished. My comments were a reply to the question asked: "Would you do it?" She didn't ask for whys and wherefores and hasn't volunteered any info about how soon (or IF) they would like to have kids...etc. Currently, yes, I would not hesitate to have a long-distance relationship in order to pursue my goals/dreams, especially if that relationship was with someone who was gone a lot for his career anyway. (Naturally, that assumes that some of the practical details others have addressed would also work out. )
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 01 Feb 2007 at 12:28 AM.

  9. #9
          bluehour's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone View post
    I it is pretty common for men to prioritize their careers and other personal goals (like hobbies) and for women to prioritize family (kids/husband/other relatives), often at the expense of their own personal goals.)
    wow thanks everyone for the comments. a very interesting quandry I think. Gets at the work/family dichotomy, but also, as Michele Zone puts it so well, male and female approaches to career.

    Should I prioritize my relationship before my career? Would he do it for me? hard to say, he's not being asked.

    But I don't have a job offer yet, everyone! Just going to a second interview, and wondering if I'm crazy to be pursuing it.

    oh, and on the children question, we have discussed how if I get a job with a big firm, put in a few years (I'm under 30 now), and then when I do have kids I can get European/UK maternity leave (6 months to a year, typically.)... Not bad... reason enough to stay away from America for a few more years....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bluehour View post
    wow thanks everyone for the comments. a very interesting quandry I think. Gets at the work/family dichotomy, but also, as Michele Zone puts it so well, male and female approaches to career.

    Should I prioritize my relationship before my career? Would he do it for me? hard to say, he's not being asked.

    But I don't have a job offer yet, everyone! Just going to a second interview, and wondering if I'm crazy to be pursuing it.

    oh, and on the children question, we have discussed how if I get a job with a big firm, put in a few years (I'm under 30 now), and then when I do have kids I can get European/UK maternity leave (6 months to a year, typically.)... Not bad... reason enough to stay away from America for a few more years....
    i think you'd be crazy not to pursue it. what does it hurt?
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bluehour View post
    Should I prioritize my relationship before my career? Would he do it for me? hard to say, he's not being asked.
    Men are usually not asked to put their relationships before their careers. Men are usually explicitly encouraged to pursue their careers and increase their ability to earn money as the greatest contribution they can make to the family. Men with good careers are generally viewed as more entitled to a wife and kids. They are almost never put in the same position women are of having to explicitly choose one over the other. However, the very act of making career the most important thing sometimes implicitly causes them to choose their career over their family. It is not unusual for men to find in their 30's or 40's that, having invested themselves primarily in their careers, they have little personal connection to the wife and kids and they are primarily or solely valued for their money. At such a point, it is often more satisfying to all parties involved to end the marriage and just have him pay alimony and child support so that everyone can pursue more satisfying personal relationships/lifestyles. It is really soul-sucking to live with someone that is essentially a stranger. It is less lonely to simply be alone than to be lonely because your spouse is someone you do not know and cannot get to know, thanks to too much "history".

    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    i think you'd be crazy not to pursue it. what does it hurt?
    It can hurt the relationship. Since the default assumption that society and most people make is that he is supposed to pursue his career and she is supposed to follow him around and support his career, women who refuse to do that can end up alone. It is simply hard for two people to successfully pursue their dreams and also successfully pursue a deeply intimate relationship with each other. There is only so much time in the day and if you don't put about 15 hours a week into the relationship, it can start to die. It is much easier, logistically, if one person takes the role of breadwinner and one person takes the role of making the family/relationship work. But that also has a serious downside and is not automatically a protection against the relationship dying on the vine. People who fall into playing a role tend to eventually stop really relating to each other in a meaningful way and just count on each other to do their part so that life functions in practical terms. This tends to have harsh consequences on the emotional lives of the individuals and couple. Many couples choose to part ways in order to be alive again. Others conclude that the world is a cold, cruel place and stick with each other as protection, accepting their (empty) roles as the only form of security they know. There is no easy way to ensure that two people keep sharing their hearts, minds, dreams and working out the practical details so that everyone feels fulfilled.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone View post
    It can hurt the relationship. Since the default assumption that society and most people make is that he is supposed to pursue his career and she is supposed to follow him around and support his career, women who refuse to do that can end up alone. It is simply hard for two people to successfully pursue their dreams and also successfully pursue a deeply intimate relationship with each other. There is only so much time in the day and if you don't put about 15 hours a week into the relationship, it can start to die. It is much easier, logistically, if one person takes the role of breadwinner and one person takes the role of making the family/relationship work. But that also has a serious downside and is not automatically a protection against the relationship dying on the vine. People who fall into playing a role tend to eventually stop really relating to each other in a meaningful way and just count on each other to do their part so that life functions in practical terms. This tends to have harsh consequences on the emotional lives of the individuals and couple. Many couples choose to part ways in order to be alive again. Others conclude that the world is a cold, cruel place and stick with each other as protection, accepting their (empty) roles as the only form of security they know. There is no easy way to ensure that two people keep sharing their hearts, minds, dreams and working out the practical details so that everyone feels fulfilled.
    pursuing the job doesn't mean accepting the offer.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    As someone that is current in this position I would say do it. I live in Washington DC and my wife lives in West Michigan. I fly back every other week and she occasionally comes out to see me.

    It is not easy but it was an opportunity I did not want to pass up. What makes it easier is its a term certain arrangement. We have not decided where we are going to settle, whether its in DC, back in Michigan or somewhere else but what makes it bearable is we know its only for a year.

    I will say it is tougher than I thought it would be. It does make you appreciate your spouse more when you see them. On my flights back and forth from Michigan I have 3 other people doing the same thing I am and they all say it is tough and you have to be strong in your relationship and willing to make extra efforts to make it work. Best of luck!
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Just do it. Mr. TN and I have done and glad that we did because it gave us the opportunity to try something that we might not be able to do if we were together and had to wait for the other to find a job in the area we want to be in.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    pursuing the job doesn't mean accepting the offer.
    My apologies. I assumed you meant accepting the job.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DrumLineKid's avatar
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    Been there. Done that. I spent the week away and weekends back home (5 hour drive). My son even graduated high school through all this. Small City Director's jobs weren't readily available in NY. I had to make a move and my family couldn't. Three years later we are together and I'm still married and my kids seem functional (the aliens seem to have recently returned the young one's brain). Go nuts.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I had a professor at graduate school who was living a distacne relationship with his wife -- he was in Muncie, Indiana (a difficult place to get to or from) and she was in North Carolina. It was work on their part, but they seemed very happy with it.
    And they're still living apart today.

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