Author Topic: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?  (Read 1016 times)

tpolig05

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I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not I should return to my old job which requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year out of the country to dangerous areas. I currently work as a software developer making 75k but I'm not happy. I've negotiated to a point where I'd be making 100 - 120k at the old job (while overseas, the 84 hour work weeks + hazard pay/per diem add up).

I previously worked at this company for a year and liked it for the most part but left because the opportunity to become a software developer presented itself and I had been working towards that goal for a few years. The overseas job is cool, but after a while not very stimulating (Remote Sensing).

What's different this time around is I have a girlfriend of 1 year and would hate to be away from her for so long.

I'm also talking with another company which would allow me to work as a software developer making 80-85k a year and allow me to stay home.

From a FI/RE perspective, the money is very enticing as I'd be able to make over 10k net during the months I'm away. I still have a ton of student loan debt (75k). I'd be able to make huge dents in these loans fast. On my current paycheck, I'm struggling to even save $200 a month after loan payment and rent. I fear that if I stay at my current job or taking the other job paying 85k, I would have trouble paying off my loans quickly and saving for a house. I would have to really cut my lifestyle and spend a lot less..

I know this is very much a personal question I need to answer myself but I'd love to hear thoughts on traveling, being away from others, the impacts on relationships, trade offs, importance of paying loans off quickly or anything else!

Thanks

Dicey

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 07:48:09 AM »
Mustachianism is about living your best life and money is a tool to help you get there. Quality of life is more important. I made about what you do in a HCOLA and managed to FIRE, so can you.

tpolig05

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 07:55:38 AM »
Thanks, that helps me put it into perspective. I live in Northern VA and it's expensive too. Glad to hear people make it work. Did you have any debt prior? I'm concerned that my quality of life would arguably be better in the long term if I pay down my debt faster and accumulate savings quicker.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 08:24:58 AM by tpolig05 »

leavesofgrass

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 12:25:45 PM »
It sounds like that debt is really eating away at you, so I think it's worth considering taking the old job to wipe out that debt quickly.

However, if you take the old job, will it be hard to get back into being a software developer again? Do you like being a software developer and want to stay in the field?

I would imagine that as your experience as a software developer grows, so would your salary. What is the salary outlook in the field? If you are just a few years/jobs away from a $100-120K+ software developer and you love the career, it may be wise to stay the course.

Regarding traveling for 3 months at the old job while in a relationship, though it's not ideal, I don't think it should be a deal-breaker. Dating for a year probably means you have a strong relationship already. 3 months is a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things. Living in a very dangerous area and working 84 hours a week is the part that seems pretty bad to me.



tpolig05

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 12:43:04 PM »
Thanks for the input. I do think I'd be able to make the transition back into development if I wanted to. There are opportunities to do scripting at my old job which is sort of how I got into development in the first place. I should be able to stay fresh enough to land a decent job if I wanted to.

If I took the old job, it would be only for 2-3 years to knock out the debt, then I would want something where I wouldn't have to travel.

Regarding the relationship - I feel the same way. I believe we would be fine. I'm trying to think what will put us in the best position in the future and I'm leaning towards the old job. The 84 hours a week I could stand, especially if I knew it was really helping our future.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 12:45:40 PM by tpolig05 »

leavesofgrass

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 12:55:58 PM »
I think you're on the right path. Knowing you have an exit strategy if you take the old job is key.

Try to get the $120K salary and then live as frugally as possible over the next 2-3 years. Pay off debt and save, save, save!

Dave1442397

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 05:30:13 PM »
I would take the travel and extra money while you're young. Knocking those student loans out will give you more options later on.

WalkaboutStache

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 08:28:41 PM »

From a FI/RE perspective, the money is very enticing as I'd be able to make over 10k net during the months I'm away. I still have a ton of student loan debt (75k). I'd be able to make huge dents in these loans fast. [/b] On my current paycheck, I'm struggling to even save $200 a month after loan payment and rent. I fear that if I stay at my current job or taking the other job paying 85k, I would have trouble paying off my loans quickly and saving for a house.   I would have to really cut my lifestyle and spend a lot less.


It looks like you would benefit from a case study.  You seem to be right about one thing:  you would need to cut spend a lot less because you have both a debt emergency (https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/) and one or more pretty serious leaks in your spending.  You are looking at this from the perspective of whether your travelling job would be worth the time away from your girlfriend, but I am willing to bet that your actual question is whether your house/flat, car, dinners, drinks and other spendy habits are worth the time away from her.

use2betrix

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Re: Return to job that requires traveling for 3 consecutive months a year?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 08:43:41 PM »
In that situation I would see 120k being worthwhile, it 100k not. Especially if you can potentially make 85k, it makes that 100k even less desirable.