Author Topic: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?  (Read 8166 times)

Kstar

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My husband and I moved to the west coast of Canada two and a half years ago for my work.  I absolutely adore the people I work with, have a ton of flexibility, and find the work challenging and rewarding.  We are closer to my family, and have enjoyed the milder climate and wider range of outdoor activities.

The only downside of my job is financial.  When I started, I was (unknowingly) offered 10% less than the set wage because HR would not recognize one of my degrees to be relevant to the position.  I was willing to stick it out for a while because  I was initially on a temporary maternity leave.  After the leave was finished my supervisor created a position for me doing the same work (good) but could not, despite his very best efforts secure more fair compensation (bad).  Soon after, the provincial government instituted a wage freeze.   Since, I've been working alongside a colleague who has less overall experience than I do, most certainly is less committed to the work (takes frequent sick days, "works from home" but is totally unreachable), who makes 27% more than I do.   This colleague recently took a sick leave so I have twice the responsibility and no prospects for a wage increase any time soon.

After we moved out here it took my husband several months to find work.  The company he eventually worked for was ok for a while, but he got increasingly frustrated with the culture of the shop and  felt quite undervalued.  Last fall, he submitted a request for a raise and was effectively fired. He has been unemployed since and we are currently living on my income and savings (argh, I know).

A position in (my very specialized) line of work has opened in another province with people (who I like, but perhaps not as much as my current colleagues) I have worked with before.  The kicker is that this job pays 70% more than what I make now.  My husband also has contacts in this city which make it likely that he will be able to find work he likes reasonably easy.   AND, this city is a little less expensive than the area we live in now.

Leaving my family and this milder weather would be hard enough, but I'm most concerned about my current colleagues.  If I leave, I'm afraid they will be in quite a bind which would not only be difficult for them personally/professionally but could also affect the larger organization we're a part of.  My current supervisor has been a long time mentor so I feel that I owe him a lot and would not want to create a big mess for him to deal with.  I have been very open with him about the prospect of leaving and while he has been supportive,  he has also made it clear that this could be extremely problematic for the organization if I do.

In some ways, the answer seems obvious, but I'd be curious to hear some other thoughts from a group of folks who obviously think carefully about their own life choices.  If I get the job (which I've been told is likely) do I accept?  Am I too concerned about how my current department will fare if I leave?




Vilgan

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 10:14:04 PM »
Leaving my family and this milder weather would be hard enough, but I'm most concerned about my current colleagues.  If I leave, I'm afraid they will be in quite a bind which would not only be difficult for them personally/professionally but could also affect the larger organization we're a part of.  My current supervisor has been a long time mentor so I feel that I owe him a lot and would not want to create a big mess for him to deal with.  I have been very open with him about the prospect of leaving and while he has been supportive,  he has also made it clear that this could be extremely problematic for the organization if I do.

Your current colleagues will be fine. Its a general fact of life that everyone thinks they are harder to replace than they are or that a position/company will suffer without them. They will find someone else. They will probably have to pay that someone else a more reasonable salary. Eventually you are going to move on regardless and once you do (regardless of when it happens) the relationships will fade into the past as they should. So move now while you have a good opportunity. If your current company/boss really want to keep you, they'll match the 70% higher salary offer and you can consider their counter if it comes.

A company cares about profit and making money and while they might be sad about firing you if necessary, they would still do it. You can be sad about leaving, but you should still do it. Blood, family, and close friends deserve loyalty, not an organization which isn't paying you market rate.

brandino29

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 10:21:19 PM »
I have just a couple of comments, and they both really relate to the same general principle -- don't worry about anyone else, just figure out what's best for you and your family. 

Since, I've been working alongside a colleague who has less overall experience than I do, most certainly is less committed to the work (takes frequent sick days, "works from home" but is totally unreachable), who makes 27% more than I do.   This colleague recently took a sick leave so I have twice the responsibility and no prospects for a wage increase any time soon.

My wife is in a similar position, she was hired on to a government job during a wage freeze and makes essentially the same amount of money as the office secretary.  At times it absolutely infuriates her and she just wants to quit to make a point.  The thing is though that she loves her job and the people that she works with.  On top of that, as I recently went back to school full time, we're living off her salary and though we're not flush with cash we live comfortably.  So I occasionally have to remind her to look at the big picture, her salary is providing a great life for us, so what's it matter what other people in her office make?

Leaving my family and this milder weather would be hard enough, but I'm most concerned about my current colleagues.  If I leave, I'm afraid they will be in quite a bind which would not only be difficult for them personally/professionally but could also affect the larger organization we're a part of.  My current supervisor has been a long time mentor so I feel that I owe him a lot and would not want to create a big mess for him to deal with.  I have been very open with him about the prospect of leaving and while he has been supportive,  he has also made it clear that this could be extremely problematic for the organization if I do.


I can appreciate you don't want to leave your colleagues in a bind but the simple fact that you even are worried about that shows you'll do whatever you can prior to leaving, if that is your choice, to make sure you leave them in the best position.  People quit jobs, move, retire, or die all the time, other people will always get by. 

(Leaving your family is a different beast entirely!)

deborah

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2015, 12:12:26 AM »
I would go. I would be worried about your marriage with your husband out of work - especially if you knock back the opportunity for him to get work AND for you to get paid more. Make a list together of the pros (on one side of the page) and the cons (on the other) - and see what you come up with.

Spondulix

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2015, 12:41:40 AM »
Why not negotiate a raise in your current job? How much more would you have to earn to feel like it was a no-brainer to stay put?

former player

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2015, 01:53:14 AM »
You are working in the public sector, and the public sector is set up specifically so that there is a system which does not rely on any particular individual being in any particular post.  If you've been in the public sector for any length of time at all you will have seen colleagues retire or go to other jobs and the organisation seamlessly fills in behind them.  One particular job might get done better or worse for a while, but it will continue to get done because that is the nature of government.  Managers are paid management levels of pay to make sure that it gets done at least well enough.  As an individual working in the public sector you are endlessly replaceable.

What would your answer be if your current organisation offered you the 70% payrise, or more, to do a different job in the same organisation?  I bet you wouldn't turn it down, and I bet your current job would get filled pretty quickly.  So what's the difference between that and you leaving altogether, from the organisation's point of view? None,

So think of yourself first and last.  I guarantee that everyone else with any sense who works for your organisation is doing the same, even if they are not saying so.  It's certainly what your current supervisor is doing by trying to guilt you into staying rather than arguing for you to be paid properly.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 07:34:59 AM »
My husband and I live away from our families. It can be very difficult at times. I find it hard to make friends as an adult, so we don't have a great built in support system (though we recently moved into a better neighborhood, where my neighbors now know my name and I think if something happened to us they would actually care.)

However, if your husband is unemployed and you are not in a position that is making enough money a move could be worth it. 70% more is A LOT.  Maybe it would be temporary, maybe for a long time.  But since you are married, you aren't doing it alone, just know it may be tough and homesickness can be a real thing, even for adults.

Don't worry about your current colleagues, if they are friends, keep in touch with them and care about their lives, but not their work. It is not your job to make sure the business runs when you are gone.

rmendpara

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 10:27:02 AM »
Your employer obviously does not care about you in the way that matters... your compensation and job security.

Think of it the other way around, if you lived and worked in the other province today, would you be willing to take a pay cut of ~40% in order to move to your current province/job knowing your husband would be out of work but you could be closer to family?

The real concern is how much you value being closer to family and whether just your income is enough in the short and long term.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 10:34:14 AM »
Why not negotiate a raise in your current job? How much more would you have to earn to feel like it was a no-brainer to stay put?

+1   Once you have the offer in hand for the new job, go talk to your boss (or whomever is best placed to advocate for keeping you).  In a non-confrontational tone, tell him/ her/ them:

"I'd really prefer to stay because I really love being part of this team but I have an offer from ______ and the pay differential is too great to ignore.  I understand you need some time to consider this.  I have to respond by ________.  Please let me know before then if there is any additional information I should consider."

Short and sweet.  Leave the ball in their court.  If they don't make you an offer (BETTER than the new one) then you need to take the new one.

A 70% increase in pay will significantly accelerate your FI date and you can always move back.

jp

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 12:24:02 PM »
I'm probably in the minority here, but I am not going to leave the people I love for a warmer climate/better bike infrastructure/hipper locale/more money.  I have always considered the MMM philosophy in this are (finding your stache-town) to be flawed and inconsistent with his overall philosophy. 

I guess it ultimately depends upon how much value you place on your relationships. 


JCfire

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 12:40:28 PM »
This does seem like an obvious answer.  You're not talking about going to a job with people you DON'T like.  You're talking about a very much improved situation from a professional perspective, even taking into account working with people you like somewhat less than your current coworkers.

You mentioned family only in passing.  Living near family can trump the entire professional wing of your life or it can be relatively unimportant, that really sounds like a personal decision I couldn't guess at on your behalf.  I would decide the professional side of the decision first, and then ask whether family trumps that, to arrive at my decision.

With regards to feeling obligated to your current firm (or people in that firm), that is what employers count on when they're busy exploiting loyal people like you.  You should feel more offended than guilty I think.  Also be aware that almost everybody overestimates how critical their personal work is to the team around them.  I don't think they will be ruined by your absence, although I obviously can't know for sure.

With regards to your mentor in particular -- you feel you "owe" him, but how much do you owe him?  Do you owe him 70% of your annual salary (and your husband's) into perpetuity?  Probably not.

I think you have an extremely compelling reason to leave.  If you still think that loyalty to your current mentor etc is an obstacle, then giving them a chance to compete with your offer would be a generous move on your part.  If your organization is unwilling to pay you what you're worth, I'd suggest that tells you that the organization will be fine without you.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 12:46:18 PM »
My husband and I live away from our families. It can be very difficult at times. I find it hard to make friends as an adult, so we don't have a great built in support system (though we recently moved into a better neighborhood, where my neighbors now know my name and I think if something happened to us they would actually care.)

However, if your husband is unemployed and you are not in a position that is making enough money a move could be worth it. 70% more is A LOT.  Maybe it would be temporary, maybe for a long time.  But since you are married, you aren't doing it alone, just know it may be tough and homesickness can be a real thing, even for adults.

Agreed that it is MUCH easier to do this with a partner. My boyfriend and I live away from our families as well (and our families live far away from each other too, which makes visits expensive/a pain), and while I would rather not it was a good decision at the time (I have a job I really like, with people I really like, that pays really well; his job is basically equivalent to what he had before, with maybe more potential for advancement). We are both pretty good at making friends, but it would still be so much harder if we didn't have each other. We have made a bunch of friends here and it's been an interesting adventure living in a part of the country that is very different from where we each grew up :) That said, we don't plan to stay here permanently (have been here for almost 3 years and would like to move within 2 years probably)... but you don't have to either!

You mentioned family only in passing.  Living near family can trump the entire professional wing of your life or it can be relatively unimportant, that really sounds like a personal decision I couldn't guess at on your behalf.  I would decide the professional side of the decision first, and then ask whether family trumps that, to arrive at my decision.

I agree with this very much.

I would not even worry the slightest bit about what will happen to your current coworkers. You seem like a very conscientious person, so I'm sure you will leave them in the best situation possible (in terms of handing off your work to others, not just leaving them in the lurch, etc).

mm1970

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 12:49:05 PM »
Leaving my family and this milder weather would be hard enough, but I'm most concerned about my current colleagues.  If I leave, I'm afraid they will be in quite a bind which would not only be difficult for them personally/professionally but could also affect the larger organization we're a part of.  My current supervisor has been a long time mentor so I feel that I owe him a lot and would not want to create a big mess for him to deal with.  I have been very open with him about the prospect of leaving and while he has been supportive,  he has also made it clear that this could be extremely problematic for the organization if I do.

Your current colleagues will be fine. Its a general fact of life that everyone thinks they are harder to replace than they are or that a position/company will suffer without them. They will find someone else. They will probably have to pay that someone else a more reasonable salary. Eventually you are going to move on regardless and once you do (regardless of when it happens) the relationships will fade into the past as they should. So move now while you have a good opportunity. If your current company/boss really want to keep you, they'll match the 70% higher salary offer and you can consider their counter if it comes.

A company cares about profit and making money and while they might be sad about firing you if necessary, they would still do it. You can be sad about leaving, but you should still do it. Blood, family, and close friends deserve loyalty, not an organization which isn't paying you market rate.
+1

Don't be such a girl.

(Sorry to put it that way, but I am female, and I've got the tendency to care about my fellow employees WAY too much.  This greatly affects my income.)

Being away from your family is a different beast entirely.  But straight up on the job front?  I'd leave to get the raise.

minimustache1985

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 01:30:42 PM »
From a strictly professional perspective, YES.  Your current employer is taking advantage of your loyalty, and it may take you presenting a competing offer to give your mentor/boss the leverage they need to convince higher-ups to pay you fairly, so at the very least interview and let them counter.

Of course full picture the proximity to family and your husbands input are the most critical factors, but to echo other posters do not stay out of guilt for an organization that doesn't value you (because while your boss and colleagues may the organization itself obviously doesn't).

sleepyguy

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2015, 01:33:41 PM »
Huh?  You are more concerned about your colleagues then away from your family?  I don't get that shit.

Your current area WILL BE FINE!  Hell if corporations can FIRE CEO'S AND WALK THEM OUT THE DOOR IN A MINUTES NOTICE, YOU WILL MISSED FOR A BIT BUT YOUR DEPARTMENT WILL BE FINE!

These would be my top considerations for leaving or staying, AND taking the family along
- Are my kids older and have good relationships, decent school, etc, etc
- Are there good schools, facilities in the new area?
- Will the better half have better opportunites in the new area?
- Is cost of living negating the move?
- Is the area a 'dead' or is there 'stuff' to do around town or parks, etc
- Is the new job long term or a new area/division that could be cut at a moments notice?
- will they pay all moving expenses/living for awhile (not a huge consideration, but still)
- Is the other half on board with the plan?

*- Will my colleagues survive without me and will they have their hearts broken by my absence?  (WHO CARES!)
*** honestly, if you decide to leave... have a farewell dinner party, say your goodbyes and take care of your family is 1st priority.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 11:03:59 AM by sleepyguy »

NV Teacher

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2015, 02:16:23 PM »
You are working in the public sector, and the public sector is set up specifically so that there is a system which does not rely on any particular individual being in any particular post.  If you've been in the public sector for any length of time at all you will have seen colleagues retire or go to other jobs and the organisation seamlessly fills in behind them.  One particular job might get done better or worse for a while, but it will continue to get done because that is the nature of government.  Managers are paid management levels of pay to make sure that it gets done at least well enough.  As an individual working in the public sector you are endlessly replaceable.

What would your answer be if your current organisation offered you the 70% payrise, or more, to do a different job in the same organisation?  I bet you wouldn't turn it down, and I bet your current job would get filled pretty quickly.  So what's the difference between that and you leaving altogether, from the organisation's point of view? None,

So think of yourself first and last.  I guarantee that everyone else with any sense who works for your organisation is doing the same, even if they are not saying so.  It's certainly what your current supervisor is doing by trying to guilt you into staying rather than arguing for you to be paid properly.

My principal but it this way one year.  The circus has monkeys and they are happy that the monkeys do their job.  But, what happens if one of the monkeys dies?  They get a new monkey. 

You do what's best for you and your family because in the end the circus can always get a new monkey.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2015, 02:38:36 PM »
They pay you below market rates and have not corrected an obvious inequity in salary. You owe your employer and colleagues an honest day's work for a day's pay, and your best efforts to leave your projects ready for handoff to the next person. You do NOT owe them the rest of your life at a discount. This is business, not charity, not family. As a former manager, I hated to lose a good person, but I knew that it was a fact of life that happened sometimes.

Keep in mind that if your employer thought they could save one penny by laying you off and outsourcing your job to a chimpanzee at the zoo, they would do it. (This may not be entirely true in Canada, especially if you work for the government.) Your supervisor might feel terrible about it, but he would do it.

Do what's best for you and your family, and don't worry about the employer.

crispy

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2015, 02:56:29 PM »
If your current employer cared about you or your well-being, they wouldn't be paying you 27% less than your less-than-stellar coworker. 

Spondulix

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2015, 03:15:35 PM »
I don't think pay is necessarily equal to their value of you. If you've never stood up and asked for a raise, they might assume you are happy. I've worked at plenty of places that are horribly inefficient at running their business, and that's the real reason they can't pay people what they are worth.

Leaving my family and this milder weather would be hard enough, but I'm most concerned about my current colleagues.  If I leave, I'm afraid they will be in quite a bind which would not only be difficult for them personally/professionally but could also affect the larger organization we're a part of.  My current supervisor has been a long time mentor so I feel that I owe him a lot and would not want to create a big mess for him to deal with.  I have been very open with him about the prospect of leaving and while he has been supportive,  he has also made it clear that this could be extremely problematic for the organization if I do.
I worked in a job for five years where I thought I was a crucial part of the team. The clients didn't want to work with anyone else, and my employer always wanted me to work with them. I got offered a job that I couldn't say no to, and of course I was concerned about my client and co-workers because I was indispensable (in my mind). You know how they handled it? They promoted someone who was unqualified, and gave him 3 hours of training with me. He didn't even take notes. Then, they asked me not to tell my co-workers or client I was leaving because they wanted to give the client the news at their next meeting. There was no going away party - I only privately got to say goodbye to a couple people. The real kicker: the new guy sucks (I've heard from old friends who still work there), and the client doesn't know the difference. In retrospect, I was the one who made myself feel needed and accountable.

Now, I'm guessing your company cares more about you, but I would really take a step back in making this decision and look at it as what is best for you (and not the people around you). It is a rare thing to have a work environment where you really like everyone and everyone gets along, but that's a totally different factor than saying you can't leave because you feel accountable to them. I'd also question - are you too tied up personally in your work? It's great to have mentors and people that you care about, but business is business and life is life. These people would likely remain your friends even if you quit and stayed in the same area.


irishbear99

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2015, 04:38:15 PM »
I'm going to tackle your questions in reverse order.

Am I too concerned about how my current department will fare if I leave?

Yes. No one is irreplaceable. Your boss may be discouraging you from leaving because it will be a PITA for him (her?) to replace you. But it can be done. Do what's best for you and your family.

If I get the job (which I've been told is likely) do I accept? 

Probably the most important part...what does your husband want to do?

Don't be such a girl.

This made me LOL.

Kstar

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2015, 07:22:30 PM »
Thanks to all for the gentle and not-so-gentle face punches that I clearly needed.  I agree that I am probably too concerned about my colleagues and the well-being of the organization, and am overestimating how significant I am.  I should absolutely prioritize the needs of my marriage (my husband is in favour of moving) and our financial future, especially since this job opportunity offers a real chance at FI that we don't have in our current situation (or at least not without A LOT of big life changes). 

For the record, my boss did advocate strenuously over several months to try to get me pay on par with my colleague and also went back to his superiors when he found out about this new job opportunity, but in both instances he was told that the wage freeze prevented the organization from offering anything more.   Also, this wage freeze is mandated by the provincial government so this is out of my organization's control.  I'm guessing they have/will lose more than a few people due to this freeze.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone's take on this.   You've really added some much needed perspective!

larmando

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2015, 09:45:57 AM »
Just go: your current situation is not sustainable anyway since you're living on *more* than just your salary.

irishbear99

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2015, 11:42:53 AM »
I agree that I am probably too concerned about my colleagues and the well-being of the organization, and am overestimating how significant I am.

Hey, don't think this is a bad thing. Being irreplaceable is very limiting. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted. :)

Glad we could help give some perspective. Let us know how it all shakes out!

Kstar

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2015, 09:24:07 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone who commented on the original thread will see this update, but for what it is worth, I did go after the job, and two interviews later, I have it!  We are moving to another province in ~6 weeks.  My assistant was in tears all day Friday and my sister isn't super happy because she has enjoyed having me around for the past two years.  Even so, I think people are mostly _trying_ to be supportive about the move.

 From a mustachian perspective, it is very much the right thing to do.  At almost 36, it is time to buckle down and earn some money while I can.  The 70% pay raise will certainly help that.


backyardfeast

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2015, 09:54:32 PM »
Congratulations, kstar!  Thanks for the update (as a west coaster, I read your original thread with sympathy, although I had nothing to add to the discussion...).  Good luck to you and your family; I'm sure it's an exciting time!

11ducks

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2015, 04:15:24 AM »
Good for you!!!

Exhale

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2015, 08:33:22 AM »
I'm not sure if anyone who commented on the original thread will see this update, but for what it is worth, I did go after the job, and two interviews later, I have it!  We are moving to another province in ~6 weeks.  My assistant was in tears all day Friday and my sister isn't super happy because she has enjoyed having me around for the past two years.  Even so, I think people are mostly _trying_ to be supportive about the move.

 From a mustachian perspective, it is very much the right thing to do.  At almost 36, it is time to buckle down and earn some money while I can.  The 70% pay raise will certainly help that.

As someone who just experienced (on Friday) a state employer that is happy to underpay me (verbally offered me a big raise for a big increase in responsibility and then, when it came time to put it into writing, "realized" they couldn't pay that amount, but were still wanting the big workload increase for a much smaller raise), I say good for you for making this move.

As someone who lives far from her beloved siblings, I suggest setting up regular reunions at a central place (or alternate hosts). We now have a tradition of an annual one week of family beach vacation in summer and are planning an annual one week desert vacation in the winter. Great ways to spend quality focused time together.

Best of luck!

crispy

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2015, 09:53:03 AM »
Great update!  Congratulations!  How did your current employer respond?

merula

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Re: Should I move away from family and a job I love for (a lot) more money?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2015, 10:14:47 AM »
Great news, congratulations! Just one thing to keep in mind: if it turns out that the grass isn't greener or you miss your family/coworkers more than you thought, there's nothing to stop you from approaching your now-former employer in 6 months or a year and saying "I'd like to come back. Would you be able to hire me at market rate?". The worst that can happen is they say no. Best case scenario, you get paid well, can live where you want, and have the experience of knowing that the alternative had its own problems.

Or maybe the new job will be everything you hope and more. Only time will tell, and best of luck!