Author Topic: Career Choice/Relocation  (Read 3757 times)

zilamonster

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Career Choice/Relocation
« on: May 24, 2017, 11:15:46 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I am at a bit of a crossroads. My girlfriend and I have been doing long distance for 10 months now after she took a great opportunity for her career in Souther California. I am currently in Arizona and have been looking to move out there if the right opportunity popped up in my industry however I think we are starting to get a bit burnt out on the long distance thing if something didn't happen soon. I recently received an offer for a remote position that would allow me to work from wherever.  This position would essentially be me starting up the performance engineering program at a smaller company working directly under the President/CEO.

The pay would be around 15K base salary increase from where I am at now 75k ->90k, but after considering benefits, around $9500 salary bump as they don't have things like 401k match, company HSA contributions, and dental. These are things that may come in the future though as the company is only 3 years old. After moving to CA, I would be coming out about even after factoring in higher state taxes and COL without taking into account my current employer's 401k match. After factoring those things in I would be making $4500 less per year than I am currently. Essentially taking on more work and making less. California would not be my first choice of place to live due to the COL and crazy amount of people. I also don't really care to going back to living in an apartment coming from a house, but I would have to there and feel like I would be missing out on the opportunity to buy a place of my own if I lived somewhere with a cheaper COL.

I think the job would be a great opportunity as I am just 27, but I am concerned about the work life balance and stress of working at a small company and starting up a new program. Other things that concern me would be not having a safety net of smart people around to ask questions like I do at my current employer and my overall ability to do the job. I would end up learning a lot of new things along the way and this would be a great career development opportunity however. I would have to be very entrepreneurial to stay up to date in the industry. I think a pro of this position would be that I would feel more connected to my work and maybe more willing to work more hours than I do in my current role in a corporate setting. Anyone with small company/startup experience could probably provide some feedback here as I have only worked for large companies.

I am ready to move on from my current role and Arizona, however I am not sure that I am ready for the responsibility of this new role. I enjoy my time outside of work. My alternatives would be to stay in my current role for the time being and continue searching for another opportunity where I would be able to learn something new outside of my current skillset and live somewhere else in the west like Colorado, Oregon, Washington, or maybe even California. I'm sure I could find a new opportunity within 6 months as I am frequently getting solicited for interviews. I would probably no longer be seeing my girlfriend if I turned this opportunity down though which puts another layer of complication in there.

Any outside perspective would be welcomed!

Vindicated

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2017, 11:39:36 AM »
If whether or not you take a specific job will directly correlate to you maintaining you relationship with your girlfriend, I'm afraid your relationship may be in trouble either way.  Do you really want to move to a new town when your relationship may or may not be long-term?

It is a tricky situation, because I don't know your relationship like you do.  If you plan to marry this girl, make the move.  If you hesitate, end your relationship, and do your own thing.

magnuminator

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 11:43:10 AM »
This is a tough one to answer because it really boils down to your relationship with your girlfriend. Given that waiting for another job "somewhere else in the west" (where your girlfriend isn't, though "even California" was given as an option) maybe it's not a high priority of yours.  But if it is, I'd suggest taking a job that allows you live near her. 

Also, while most of "rest of the west" is cheaper than Southern California, most of the urban centers are experiencing rapid growth in costs as well as growth in...well, growth.  So unless you're interested in living outside the places that are currently job growth centers, I'd not cling too closely to the idea of outright LCOL on the west coast.

Your mileage may vary.

zilamonster

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 12:53:06 PM »
I think we do have a healthy relationship. It's just the long distance aspect is the tough part. She does have a lot of qualities that I would look for in a spouse and when we are together everything is awesome! I may just be too rational which is why I am questioning the decision as we aren't married and I don't technically have to move there although it would be hard to go without her. I don't think I will be any worse off if I do go for it. I think I would have better experience having started a program from scratch and could pick up some new hobbies like surfing and exploring the ocean. It's just the rational side of my personality get in the way.

Vindicated

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 12:58:15 PM »
Please let us know what you decide.  It is a very tough choice.  In the end, I hope you're satisfied with the choice you make.

mo mo hawk

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 02:13:26 PM »
created a user id (or more accurately, figured out what my old old user name was) just to respond to this.

Personally - Do it. Take the chance. You'll never know if she's the right girl until you try to find out. d

Professionally - take the chance. Bet on yourself. The role and opportunity sound intriguing. Don't focus on short-term financial implications - you may even come out further ahead than you think given you will be WFH (commute costs, attire, etc.). If you flame out, or the Company flames out, or you hate it, you will be able to leverage the experience/skills to go back into a large corp role.



Mrs. S

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 03:30:46 PM »
If you are conflicted I would take the job and move in for a few weeks first before taking the plunge. I know it does not sound logical but to me it would feel like the middle road.

That being said a lot just remains unsaid in a long distance relationship and when you do start living together things just seem to crop up. I would really recommend you take the job and make the move. It's actually worth it to take the risk at 27. I would probably just take it for the remote working perk. As long as you maintain good relationships smart people around you today in my experience will be happy to guide you in one way or another in future.

zilamonster

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 10:48:16 PM »
Thanks for the responses. Definitely has been one of the tougher decisions I've had to make and it would probably be the toughest job I've had yet. I suppose one way or another everything will work out alright!

Vindicated

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 06:35:56 AM »
Thanks for the responses. Definitely has been one of the tougher decisions I've had to make and it would probably be the toughest job I've had yet. I suppose one way or another everything will work out alright!

If you remain optimistic, you'll figure out a way to be happy with whatever you choose.  Stay positive in all that you do! :)

apricity22

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 05:53:05 PM »
How serious are you about your girlfriend? It seems like the opportunity you were waiting for is here but you're looking for reasons to poke holes in it. If you aren't serious about the girl, move on so you both can take a step closer to finding the right person. If you are serious about this relationship, don't call her and say "Hi Sweetie, I have a job that would allow me to move out to be with you but after careful analysis I realize it will cost me $4,500 a year because of HCOL and loss of benefits. Sorry.", just move out there and be with her!

If you are having difficulty with this decision because of the fear of change, that is completely normal and you need to decide whether you can deal with the short term stress of moving, starting a new job etc. for the potential benefit of growing this relationship, having more satisfying work, etc. There are no guarantees in life, you may move out there and the relationship will fade or you may hate your new job but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take some calculated risks in life.

Finally, this is a money oriented blog and we all think about money a lot here but remember the point of FIRE is gaining independence so you don't have to run your life making decisions purely from a financial standpoint. Keep making financially responsible decisions but make decisions that make you happy and that don't jeopardize your long term financial situation. It sounds like you will be making a financial sacrifice but that does not necessarily mean it is a financially irresponsible decision. One of my favorite things that MMM ever wrote was about how early retirement has probably cost him at least $1 million dollars so far! If you embrace FIRE you are going to leave a lot more than $4,500 on the table at some point.

I'm not trying to talk you into doing this move, I just think from a financial perspective the options are so similar that your decision should be more based on whether you want to maintain the relationship with your girlfriend and the other non-financial factors. Also keep in my mind that if things don't work out with the job, the girl, or California there are going to be other options available to you that you can't even imagine right now.

zilamonster

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 10:33:30 PM »
How serious are you about your girlfriend? It seems like the opportunity you were waiting for is here but you're looking for reasons to poke holes in it. If you aren't serious about the girl, move on so you both can take a step closer to finding the right person. If you are serious about this relationship, don't call her and say "Hi Sweetie, I have a job that would allow me to move out to be with you but after careful analysis I realize it will cost me $4,500 a year because of HCOL and loss of benefits. Sorry.", just move out there and be with her!

True, Yes I should've probably left that out. It's just my personality to evaluate everything, not that I wouldn't do it for 4500 less. I don't think the money is the issue to me it's mainly the job opportunity, being concerned about the potential workload, and how I see myself enjoying this role for 2-3 years. I feel like I am on cruise control in my current position so I think this may be just the kick in the rear I need. I do think a lot of my hesitation is due to the fear of the unknown/change.

lemonde

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2017, 01:21:54 PM »
Thanks for the responses. Definitely has been one of the tougher decisions I've had to make and it would probably be the toughest job I've had yet. I suppose one way or another everything will work out alright!

If you remain optimistic, you'll figure out a way to be happy with whatever you choose.  Stay positive in all that you do! :)

Well said.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2017, 01:42:16 PM »
Your job opportunity sounds like a good way of making a career with potential higher pay if things grow later. On the internet there are a lot of online forums for developers where you can post your problems and get help. I agree with the other that 27 is a good age to take a chance. I took a big chance when I was 24 and don't regret it. A life experience is worth something later in life.
Like suggested before, talk to your girlfriend and her future career perspectives. Does she prioritize career above a relationship? Where does she want to live in some years from now?

zilamonster

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Re: Career Choice/Relocation
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2017, 10:39:45 PM »
I've simplified the decision down to whether or not I am ready for the responsibility of the new role, and how that additional responsibility of being the go to guy without a big support net would affect my life with stress and the other things I like to do outside of work, hike, exercise, learn other non work related things. I've been agonizing over this for a couple weeks now and think I was complicating it too much.

I have talked to her and I did encourage her to take the job in the first place as we were not married and it was an awesome opportunity for her career even though I would've loved it if she stayed. She says she is willing to move for me and my career in the future and if something in this new role didn't work and I needed to find something new. Eventually she would like to live in San Diego near her family which I am fine with as I really like that city and I think it would be ok to work up to $$$ wise.