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Thread: Working several states away from home

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Working several states away from home

    I've recently been toying with working part time in Savannah while living in PA. I thought this was a pipe dream until I mentioned it to a local planner who has worked for years all across the country. She thought it was entirely workable to do a few days down there and come back up here, and that I might even have the employer pay for my travel. Unfortunately, she had a family emergency come up and now isn't the time to ask about details and how I could get that to work.
    I wish I could pick up and move down there now, but I'm in a relationship with kids, so that won't happen for several years.
    Anyone have any ideas how I could make this work?
    Thanks in advance!
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    We've talked (my wife and I) about if I were to get a job in another state, she'd stay behind to sell the house (in a bad market) while I would go and work elsewhere; but we'd be separated from eachother only until the house sells, then she'd join me.

    As for the long commute like you mentioned, if you could wing it, then go for it.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Clore View post
    I've recently been toying with working part time in Savannah while living in PA. I thought this was a pipe dream until I mentioned it to a local planner who has worked for years all across the country. She thought it was entirely workable to do a few days down there and come back up here, and that I might even have the employer pay for my travel. Unfortunately, she had a family emergency come up and now isn't the time to ask about details and how I could get that to work.
    I wish I could pick up and move down there now, but I'm in a relationship with kids, so that won't happen for several years.
    Anyone have any ideas how I could make this work?
    Thanks in advance!
    On the surface, this is workable, although I imagine that you would have to do one heck of a sales job to convince any employeer to pay travel expenses (repeatedly) instead of hiring a local (or someone willing to actually relocate).
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    We've talked (my wife and I) about if I were to get a job in another state, she'd stay behind to sell the house (in a bad market) while I would go and work elsewhere; but we'd be separated from eachother only until the house sells, then she'd join me.

    As for the long commute like you mentioned, if you could wing it, then go for it.
    My husband and I did that (I stayed behind for about 7 months with the kids trying to sell the house while he was working a few states over). We were able to see each other about once every month or two, and talked daily on the phone. It helped to have online banking, so I could see what he was spending and vice versa so that we could adjust accordingly. The one thing we didn't count on was how it would be once we were finally back together. My husband had become used to working long, irregular hours and had a pretty solid routine with a job that he loved. But once we joined him, he didn't want to work those long hours anymore although naturally his employer didn't understand that. Even though we had thought we were done with moving, we ended up moving again less than a year later so that he could have a job that wasn't so demanding.

    I'll echo the previous comments - I can't imagine an employer willing to pay for that when you can get someone local (permanent) for less. But I'm a government planner so don't really have a handle on how to market myself.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Yeah, I was definitely surprised at the concept of someone paying me to travel!
    Can anyone think of ways I could find short-term assignments? AS in "Hi! I'd like to help you collect the information for your master plan, and then compile it and write the report from home..."
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

  6. #6
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    Clore, just to play devil's advocate, are you sure it's possible to get a good enough sense of a community to be able to work there effectively as a planner when you live a thousand miles away? The amount of time spent in airports and the resultant carbon footprint will both be pretty large. Have you considered all of these things?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    No, I did not consider my carbon footprint.
    I did used to live where I was speaking of. However, I was thinking of short-term assignments that wouldn't take that kind of in depth knowledge.
    I had already dismissed the idea once, until this contact of mine made it sound like it wasn't as crazy as I thought it was!
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Consulting is one way to accomplish what you want. As a consultant, I am currently working on projects in three states. In the actual number of project, the majority are in my home state. In terns of billing, though, the largest ones are out of state.

    When we moved from Colorado a year and a half ago, we kept one of houses there. Our long-term plan is to be able to split our time between there and our place in Wisconsin.

    Another crazy idea - for a while when I had my own business we actually considered buying a trailer and setting up a "mobile planning office" to be able to move around the country and find work wherever we might want to be. I would have developed "intensive" programs where I would go into a community, spend time doing any analysis, meeting with stakeholders, exploring concepts, etc., then deliver a plan or study within about two weeks. I figured I would focus on rural communities and offer pricing around $10,000. One project each month would have let me live pretty comfortably and give me a lot of time off to explore the country.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    The amount of time spent in airports and the resultant carbon footprint will both be pretty large. Have you considered all of these things?
    Off-topic:
    Hah, carbon footprint. You all better stop drinking your coffee and stop buying Chinese made goods now.




    Go for it and see how it pans out.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Clore's avatar
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    Being only a few years into planning, I'm not sure that I could market myself as a consultant. However, the idea of offering services to rural communities would be an interesting angle to help overcome that!
    I think I've planted enough trees this year to suck up some of that carbon! lol I lost count at 18 6 foot trees!
    ...Moving at the speed of local government

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