Author Topic: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity  (Read 1404 times)

JamOn

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1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« on: December 27, 2017, 12:17:10 PM »
Good morning!

Looking for advice for an upcoming change in my life and how to best stay aligned with my goals.

My fiance is currently working through a grad school program and will be matched to a one year rotation in a city outside of the one in which we currently live. I've been strategically planning for financial independence based on the philosophies presented by MMM. With the move coming up I have been considering the idea of quitting my job and moving for the year as I don't have a strong desire to do the long distance thing at this point in my life. While I could look for a job in the new city, I am reserved with starting a new job in the engineering field since I know that we could only be in that city for one year. I realize that this could delay my plans but I also think this could provide an interesting opportunity for one year. Given this situation, I guess I'm just looking for advice or thoughts on how to make the most of this opportunity!

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I begin to plan out what this year will look like!

About me
Age: 28
Current Job: Engineering Manager
Current investments: ~460K (Not including 401K)
Target investments for financial independence: 750K (target age 32)
Annual Spend: 24K/YR

Blackeagle

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Re: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 04:44:40 PM »
After this year would you and the fiance be returning to your current locale?

With the move coming up I have been considering the idea of quitting my job and moving for the year as I don't have a strong desire to do the long distance thing at this point in my life.

When you say you don't have a desire to do the remote thing, are you talking about the relationship or the job?  Is working remotely for your current employer an option? 

Bicycle_B

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Re: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 12:54:00 PM »
Look for contract work in the city your partner is moving to.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 06:02:09 PM »
Sounds like you're already on a great path, and I see a lot to like in your approach to things as well. 

I am going to rephrase this question slightly, in a way that I think make it easier to answer.  So you don't think I'm facepunching you (I'm not - and I'm not one to pull facepunches), I think this type of question is far easier to answer with the benefit of lots of life experience + transitions behind you (which I sometimes wish I had fewer of, both years + transitions): Would you be better off giving up the first year of your new marriage relationship (I don't know when you're getting married exactly, but I assume in less than a year, or maybe even before the move) for some extra cash when you can be gainfully employed and make money pretty well where she is? 

You're facing some significant uncertainties - for instance, you may well remain in the city beyond a year.  Or go back.  Or make a little less.  Who knows.  It sounds like you don't even know which city yet.  But even if it's for a year, I would propose (1) not having a large resume gap if you want/need/plan to work again soon (though that can vary by field, so take someone's advice who knows your field well), and (2) jumping right in in your new city. 

You act based upon what you know for sure, which is that you'll now be living in New City.  Maybe you will move on, or maybe life will take you in a wholly unexpected direction - life has a way of doing that - but right now, you can only act on what you know is happening.  I'm a planner by nature, as is my wife, so we like to know whether we're returning to a city, what we'll be doing two years from now, how much we'll make, what our living expenses will be, and so on . . . but sometimes (often it seems, in our case) life just doesn't cooperate. 

I like how you've already phrased it: an opportunity.  It's an opportunity to grow and do something new. 

You're a team now, or about to be, so you want to think and function like one, doing what's best for both of you and making things work even when it's imperfect.  I totally agree with you that long distance isn't a good plan, even though I see no reason you wouldn't weather it. 

FWIW, it'll hopefully be even easier to do life working together as a team now if she's financially wise too, so you're not delaying your retirement as much as starting a new, stronger leg of your journey - even if the first year isn't as great financially.

Finally, one tip: You may want to calculate how long it would take you to reach FI if you never save another dime after you move - not because you will actually do that, but because it may illustrate how well you have already done, and why you can weather challenges and uncertainties like this with far more confidence than most people.  Psychologically, that may be a boost. 

You're doing well and it sounds like you're facing some exciting new opportunities - I hope you enjoy the journey.

Miss Piggy

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Re: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 06:29:28 PM »
Generally speaking, those rotational programs are simply the first year of employment, not necessarily a temporary situation. Maybe you're talking about a different type of rotational program than what I'm used to seeing. The programs I know of include 1 year of rotational duties, then long-term employment at the same company after the rotations. (I mean, why would a company invest a whole year in somebody who is then going to turn around and leave?)

Is that significantly different from what your fiance is being offered?

JamOn

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Re: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 09:13:37 AM »
Good Morning and thank you for the responses. I love a good forum that allows you to bounce around thoughts in order to pull from other's ideas and experiences. That being said, let me try and elaborate on my current post as I am realizing I may not have verbalized my thoughts with enough clarity.

- I really want to avoid a long distance relationship and working remotely is unfortunately not an option with my current company.

- My fiance will need to complete a one year rotation (narrowed down to about 5 cities) but will most likely not be longer than one year. This is more of an extension of the grad program she is completing rather than a company investing resources for a future hire (although not impossible). I completely understand your post (Miss Piggy) however since I work in a field where we invest time/resources in our interns with the plan of retaining them as permanent team members.

- I appreciate the rephrasing of the question as well as the willingness to provide feedback based on your own life experience. Currently we are planning a wedding for summer 2019 since we knew this 1 year relocation was looming. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with some of the benefits you listed of waiting a bit. I like the statement "you act based upon what you know for sure". A good reminder to make the best decision at the time and to remember that's really all you can do. I've thought about having a large resume gap and the potential difficulties that could create when searching for a new employment opportunity. However, if we end up in a location for just a year my fear is that I also end up with a short term employment position on my resume and appear to be a liability in regards to staying at a company long term. Any thoughts on which looks worse on a resume, 1 year unemployment gap or leaving a company after only 1 year?

- Your response was a good reminder that these life events should not be looked at as delays in goals but rather as exciting opportunities. It's great to see so many people buy into personal finance planning as long as they don't become so hyper focused that they miss out on enjoyment along the way.

Cheers!

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: 1 Year Speed Bump or Opportunity
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 04:33:24 PM »
Good Morning and thank you for the responses. I love a good forum that allows you to bounce around thoughts in order to pull from other's ideas and experiences. That being said, let me try and elaborate on my current post as I am realizing I may not have verbalized my thoughts with enough clarity.

- I really want to avoid a long distance relationship and working remotely is unfortunately not an option with my current company.

- My fiance will need to complete a one year rotation (narrowed down to about 5 cities) but will most likely not be longer than one year. This is more of an extension of the grad program she is completing rather than a company investing resources for a future hire (although not impossible). I completely understand your post (Miss Piggy) however since I work in a field where we invest time/resources in our interns with the plan of retaining them as permanent team members.

- I appreciate the rephrasing of the question as well as the willingness to provide feedback based on your own life experience. Currently we are planning a wedding for summer 2019 since we knew this 1 year relocation was looming. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with some of the benefits you listed of waiting a bit. I like the statement "you act based upon what you know for sure". A good reminder to make the best decision at the time and to remember that's really all you can do. I've thought about having a large resume gap and the potential difficulties that could create when searching for a new employment opportunity. However, if we end up in a location for just a year my fear is that I also end up with a short term employment position on my resume and appear to be a liability in regards to staying at a company long term. Any thoughts on which looks worse on a resume, 1 year unemployment gap or leaving a company after only 1 year?

- Your response was a good reminder that these life events should not be looked at as delays in goals but rather as exciting opportunities. It's great to see so many people buy into personal finance planning as long as they don't become so hyper focused that they miss out on enjoyment along the way.

Cheers!

Thank you.  You have some wonderful perspective. 

To answer your question, I would avoid the one-year gap.  People often do things like you're doing for family-related reasons and that makes sense.  You can explain in a cover letter that you left Old City for New City along with your new wife due to her residency program and employers will understand. 

Also, in most fields, you get jobs through people who know you already and trust you and/or your work.  Your connections will already know you and you can tell them your story and why you're looking for a job in the first place.  Employers understand those types of transitions much more than a gap: that could be interpreted a variety of ways (e.g.: couldn't get a new job for a year) which could be more challenging to explain or deal with. 

For what it's worth, I say this as someone who has actually had multiple one-year gigs, all for excellent reasons; they have never been an issue when finding a new gig.  It would be more concerning if you were stacking on a number of them: 2, 3, or more, but even then, there may be a very understandable reason (e.g. a family move, sick loved one, etc.) that would eliminate any employer concern.  Life happens to everyone.  Employers are people too, and they generally understand things of that nature.