Author Topic: Where in the world would you go...?  (Read 4589 times)

EconDiva

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Where in the world would you go...?
« on: August 12, 2016, 10:20:36 AM »
I will try to make this as short as possible but it's a lot to explain:

I've been with a company 2.5 years now and it's a large pharma that has offices all over the world.  I have coworkers in the UK, Spain, Ohio, etc.  I live in the midwest region and report into the office 4 days a week (I got a work from home day last year).  My boss reports to the office 3 days a week and her boss..2 days.

I only live in the Midwest right now because of the job; originally I'm from the Southeast (born and raised in SC and spent all my adult life minus the last 4 years in Atlanta).  I recently went on vacation to Hawaii and upon returning to work I was telling my boss how hard it was coming back.  I had met my brother in Oahu (he flew in from Thailand) for a family trip with he and my mom as we hadn't all been together in the same place in 7 years.  He actually decided not to leave Oahu and found a part time job there around the time our vacation ended.

I mention this because when I told my boss how hard it was coming back her response was "Why don't you consider working there remotely?"  I was shocked.  It took me so long just to get 1 work from home day that I thought people who work in the same city as our office were basically held to a different standard it seems and expected to be in the office physically as much as possible.  Granted, I have a coworker in Ohio but when they hired her they said she couldn't move and work in our office because she has a child.  I have a colleague (not on my team) that started the same month I did but moved to Philadelphia 6 months ago because her husband got a job there; she still works for my company.

I have been having so many thoughts about bringing this topic back up.  3 desires that are fairly strong for me right now are to reduce my housing costs, experience more travel and to be able to see friends/family I left more...I would say basically in that order of importance?  I was thinking if I work remote from a cheaper area this would allow me to save much more money.  I could consider going back to the Atlanta area and being closer to my friends there and my mom in SC.  I think this might be an easy sell because the reason for moving would be family related.  Or I could try to go somewhere else (Mexico?) with surroundings I like (I would really LOVE to live near an ocean for once) and an even cheaper COL.

When I left Atlanta 4 years ago I was motivated to increase my salary...I wanted to go from 45K to 90K and be able to move back at that salary.  Well I'm basically at that salary now with bonus but couldn't figure out a way to move back and keep the same salary (not much pharma work in Atl for someone with my background).  Then my boss said this.

SO.  Questions are: How would you approach your boss about it?  Would you even consider moving back soon?  (There are obvious pros to physically being in an office opposed to working remotely and being sort of 'out of sight, out of mind'.)  Would you go back to the Southeast (Atlanta rents have skyrocketed since I've been gone the past 4 years!!) or risk asking to move somewhere else?  If somewhere else, what place would you pick considering where my company is based (Midwest), family/friends are based (southeast), that it would need to be low enough cost to make moving there worth it, have access to a decent sized airport for flights to/within the US and Europe (I try to travel there once a year for vacation), not too many time zones away from my headquarters in midwest, etc etc?

dougules

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 11:05:15 AM »
How serious was the boss about remote work?

If it were me, and I thought the boss would truly be ok with it, I'd try to go somewhere really LCOL until FIRE.  (Not sure where all would work well for your job, but Mexico is awesome).  Then, if I wanted to live somewhere super expensive (like Oahu), I'd build my stache until I could afford to FIRE there.  Then I could lounge on the beach all day without a care.  Once you get the snowball rolling, it really only takes a few extra years to FIRE somewhere super HCOL. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 11:09:46 AM by dougules »

Guesl982374

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 11:06:38 AM »
Why not say ATL or SC but end up working abroad occasionally? Depending on how often you need to fly back and on how much notice, once you are remote if you are diligent, your boss would never know where you were for weeks at a time. i.e. have your permanent address with your mom, spend ~1/4 to 1/2 of your time there but work remotely from Mexico for a few weeks, HI for a few weeks, EU for a few weeks, etc?

mxt0133

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 11:08:18 AM »
I'm somewhat in a similar position.  I would like to spend more time with family on the east coast, but I like living in the west coast, and I also like to travel to new places and stay for a few weeks every few months.

I am remote but I have a team in the Bay Area where we meet a few days a week.  However, I have been able to arrange trips where I am in the east coast for a month a couple of times a year to spend time with family.  I have also been able to arrange working from South East Asia for 6 six weeks with some PTO mixed in.

The point being you don't have to make a permanent decision now, but try working remote for a weeks here and there.  Or just jump to full-time remote if they are open to it even if you don't actually go anywhere permanently.

Seem like you have a lot of options and flexibility.  The world is your oyster, have fun!

retiringearly

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 11:12:48 AM »
The only hesitancy I would have about working remotely 100% of the time is that it is MUCH easier to fire an employee that no one sees every day.  I have seen this happen at more than one company.

boarder42

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 11:16:26 AM »
yeah why do you have to pick just one place as long as you have a good interente connection where you are you can work from where ever you want to. couple  months with mom in SC ... stay with the bro in oahu a bit.  hit up the old friends in altanta.  couple months in europe.. etc.   obviously this wont work forever(sounds like you want roots) but it could easily work for a year or 2 while you still figured out where you wanted to live.

this would also leave open the option to move back to chicago if your work forced you to ... with out getting too dug in ... in any one place.

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 11:46:44 AM »
Why not say ATL or SC but end up working abroad occasionally? Depending on how often you need to fly back and on how much notice, once you are remote if you are diligent, your boss would never know where you were for weeks at a time. i.e. have your permanent address with your mom, spend ~1/4 to 1/2 of your time there but work remotely from Mexico for a few weeks, HI for a few weeks, EU for a few weeks, etc?

Well in a perfect world this would be my exact plan but I think the risk is too high. And if I get caught doing something like this I'd surely be fired.  I have to consider the risk of missing a meeting with the large time zone difference, or them finding out some other kind of way.

Now, places like Mexico, central/south America, caribbean, those places are doable for short trips and not too far away.  But if I wanted to do Europe I think I'd have to ask for approval to go there (which they would likely deny as they'd be seeing it as more of a vacation), or I'd have to ask to simply work abroad for maybe 2 years (settling somewhere in Spain where I could easily travel through Europe on weekends and such but would be much further away from family/friends).

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 11:49:19 AM »
How serious was the boss about remote work?

If it were me, and I thought the boss would truly be ok with it, I'd try to go somewhere really LCOL until FIRE.  (Not sure where all would work well for your job, but Mexico is awesome).  Then, if I wanted to live somewhere super expensive (like Oahu), I'd build my stache until I could afford to FIRE there.  Then I could lounge on the beach all day without a care.  Once you get the snowball rolling, it really only takes a few extra years to FIRE somewhere super HCOL.

Well when she asked "Why not consider working remote from there then?"...after about 5 seconds of shock I said to her "I didn't know that was an option for 'me'.".

She stated..."What do you mean?  You know you have colleagues all over the world.  So and so is in Ohio.  The main perk of being with this company is the opportunity to work remote and that's why 'I' stay here knowing if we want to move somewhere else I could likely still keep this job.  I live in this city right now because I like this city.  For you, I know you're not from here."

There wasn't a whole lot more to this conversation because I was still surprised about everything she said.  I basically just started thinking about all of this now.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 11:54:01 AM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 11:51:57 AM »
The only hesitancy I would have about working remotely 100% of the time is that it is MUCH easier to fire an employee that no one sees every day.  I have seen this happen at more than one company.

Well that is a good point and I agree a definite risk.  I am assuming its easier because you simply don't have to do it face-to-face with said person.

Are these large companies?  As I did mention most of team is not located on site. 

Capsu78

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 12:03:12 PM »
The only hesitancy I would have about working remotely 100% of the time is that it is MUCH easier to fire an employee that no one sees every day.  I have seen this happen at more than one company.

Well that is a good point and I agree a definite risk.  I am assuming its easier because you simply don't have to do it face-to-face with said person.

Are these large companies?  As I did mention most of team is not located on site.

I have seen it too- department or executive manager changes, says "Who are these people?" and decides to change the world in their first hundred days...  I would suspect that more "remote" workers work for large corps than smaller but that could vary by industry and task.

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 12:09:10 PM »
The only hesitancy I would have about working remotely 100% of the time is that it is MUCH easier to fire an employee that no one sees every day.  I have seen this happen at more than one company.

Well that is a good point and I agree a definite risk.  I am assuming its easier because you simply don't have to do it face-to-face with said person.

Are these large companies?  As I did mention most of team is not located on site.

I have seen it too- department or executive manager changes, says "Who are these people?" and decides to change the world in their first hundred days...  I would suspect that more "remote" workers work for large corps than smaller but that could vary by industry and task.

Interesting.  We have a ton of remote workers in my company (about half of my team is remote) since the company is so large; most of them (and those who aren't remote) have been here for at least a decade if not decades.  I could see a lot of change in companies employing, say...more tech type positions over mine.

However, again I see that this is a definite risk that should be given serious consideration.

Hhhmmmm.

mozar

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2016, 10:58:56 AM »
Your boss sounds like one of those obnoxious managers who only gives you remote work for a "good reason." It's scary but you're just going to tell her directly that you want to are moving back to Atlanta. You have to be more direct. I would say something like "I didn't know remote was an option. I'm so glad I know this now because I was planning on moving back to Atlanta. Now I can move back sooner." Or something like that, but you don't want to ask her for permission. 

It's sounds like if you're up front "I need to be in Oahu for a few weeks" you can go where you want. But it is tricky. My boss is like this too. He didn't want to give me permission to work out of the office that is only a 30 minute commute from my house. But when I heard the CFO telling him they needed people to go to that office I "volunteered." And I made sure to say so in front of the CFO so my boss wouldn't say no.

Anyways I'm really happy for you and I would bring this up on Monday "because your flight back to Atlanta is on Friday," lol. Consider reading the 4 hour work week. That author has strategies for how to talk to your boss.

dougules

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2016, 04:48:28 PM »
The only hesitancy I would have about working remotely 100% of the time is that it is MUCH easier to fire an employee that no one sees every day.  I have seen this happen at more than one company.

Well that is a good point and I agree a definite risk.  I am assuming its easier because you simply don't have to do it face-to-face with said person.

Are these large companies?  As I did mention most of team is not located on site.

I have seen it too- department or executive manager changes, says "Who are these people?" and decides to change the world in their first hundred days...  I would suspect that more "remote" workers work for large corps than smaller but that could vary by industry and task.

Interesting.  We have a ton of remote workers in my company (about half of my team is remote) since the company is so large; most of them (and those who aren't remote) have been here for at least a decade if not decades.  I could see a lot of change in companies employing, say...more tech type positions over mine.

However, again I see that this is a definite risk that should be given serious consideration.

Hhhmmmm.

If you lost your job, how hard would it be to find one as good or better?  If it's easy to find work in your field, it might not be worth worrying a whole lot about the risk of being let go for not being on site. 

The idea of being location independent sounds like it would be completely worth a little risk to me at least.  Where we live is one of the few places that's good for my husband's career, so we're stuck here for a little while.  That's why we're whittling down our expenses and throwing everything we can at the Vanguard account.  FIRE is the ultimate location independence. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2016, 04:53:28 PM by dougules »

Larsg

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2016, 11:52:20 PM »
Where have you always wanted to live or try and live? If you don't have dream on your bucket list yet, I might research some places and do a sample as long as it meets the time zone requirements or as long as you can comfortably adjust to timezone needs. When I was young, I had a similar opportunity - though not to work remote early in my career but to pick a location, and then the next and then next and so on. I worked my way around the US and then the world...and settled back where I came from in the Pacific North West because for me it is the most beautiful place on earth - rain and all...I know it's to each his/her own. Now I do get to work remote all the time and choose to still live in PNW. This is an incredible opportunity - I would take it and I did another post early about keeping one foot in/out wherever you are in your career so that you are always prepared for something better.

Best of luck to you!

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2016, 11:51:09 AM »
Your boss sounds like one of those obnoxious managers who only gives you remote work for a "good reason." It's scary but you're just going to tell her directly that you want to are moving back to Atlanta. You have to be more direct. I would say something like "I didn't know remote was an option. I'm so glad I know this now because I was planning on moving back to Atlanta. Now I can move back sooner." Or something like that, but you don't want to ask her for permission. 

It's sounds like if you're up front "I need to be in Oahu for a few weeks" you can go where you want. But it is tricky. My boss is like this too. He didn't want to give me permission to work out of the office that is only a 30 minute commute from my house. But when I heard the CFO telling him they needed people to go to that office I "volunteered." And I made sure to say so in front of the CFO so my boss wouldn't say no.

Anyways I'm really happy for you and I would bring this up on Monday "because your flight back to Atlanta is on Friday," lol. Consider reading the 4 hour work week. That author has strategies for how to talk to your boss.

Hi!

Sorry I'm just coming back to this thread...it's been a busy past few weeks.  I actually had to go to Atlanta for a wedding and going back in 3 weeks for a friend's 40th. 

The more I think about the higher salary I have in Chicago but the amount I spend going back home for events (and higher rent in Chicago) I feel like I'm breaking even right now.  Anyways...

I am still thinking through all of this.  To be honest I won't be making any moves this year folks.  I've moved a LOT over the past ~15 years and I'm kinda tired so I need to make sure the next move is definitely a smart one.  When I moved here (Chicago) the point was to get more experience and make better money so I could move back to Atlanta on a higher salary.

However, I have found the rent prices in Atlanta have skyrocketed since I left in 2012.  My $650 apartment is now $950.  Plus in Atlanta I'd need a car.  There are many things to consider here; I may come up with a backup city just in case Atlanta ends up not being the smartest choice.  I spoke to 2-3 people about it when I was there last weekend; the reviews about me coming back are mixed for a variety of reasons.  Close friends want me back for the sake of me returning, more objective people say it might be a wash financial-wise. 

I think right now my biggest push towards moving is to pay lower housing costs.  But I know I need to look at the overall big picture as well.

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2016, 11:51:44 AM »
I am still open to hearing people's opinions about where they would go (if not Atlanta) by the way...

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2016, 11:57:46 AM »
Where have you always wanted to live or try and live? If you don't have dream on your bucket list yet, I might research some places and do a sample as long as it meets the time zone requirements or as long as you can comfortably adjust to timezone needs. When I was young, I had a similar opportunity - though not to work remote early in my career but to pick a location, and then the next and then next and so on. I worked my way around the US and then the world...and settled back where I came from in the Pacific North West because for me it is the most beautiful place on earth - rain and all...I know it's to each his/her own. Now I do get to work remote all the time and choose to still live in PNW. This is an incredible opportunity - I would take it and I did another post early about keeping one foot in/out wherever you are in your career so that you are always prepared for something better.

Best of luck to you!

Where have you always wanted to live or try and live?
-Right now the answer to that question would be either Spain (i.e., Barcelona) or Mexico (maybe Playa del Carmen or somewhere like Guanajuato or San Miguel de Allende).  Note I have been to Barcelona but have only been to Mexico City as far as Mexico is concerned.  I realize Playa is probably too high in cost now.  FYI I'm deciding if I will be visiting Guanajuato in a few days over Labor Day weekend.  I enjoy Spanish culture and food...I loved the architecture in Barcelona and of course the close proximity to other amazing places you could travel to from Spain.  I love how friendly the people in Mexico were and of course I could still easily get to beautiful beaches in Mexico or the Caribbean.  This is based on limited experience however. 

dougules

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2016, 01:30:57 PM »
Guanajuato sounds so cool.  If you go please let me know how it is.  You might also look at Xalapa.  It's very green and very cultured. 

I haven't spent a whole lot of time in Mexico really, but Mexico City and Xalapa were great.  The food, the street life, the weather, and improving my Spanish were way awesome.  Plus it's LCOL when you have dollars, especially with the peso down. 

mozar

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2016, 01:41:30 PM »
IIRC isn't $950 less than you pay now? Say you got an apartment for the same you pay now and had the same salary because you were teleworking, wouldn't you come out ahead in Atlanta because you wouldn't be flying to Atlanta regularly? And no train/commute costs, just a beater car for the weekends?

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2016, 10:43:18 AM »
IIRC isn't $950 less than you pay now? Say you got an apartment for the same you pay now and had the same salary because you were teleworking, wouldn't you come out ahead in Atlanta because you wouldn't be flying to Atlanta regularly? And no train/commute costs, just a beater car for the weekends?

Yes, I could potentially come out ahead.  I need to do some more research on where I'd want to live and how much it would cost.  I didn't necessarily want to go back to the same place actually.  I guess that's a bit of lifestyle inflation speaking there...I was hoping to go back to somewhere a little nicer but, at the rent prices I'm seeing that is not feasible.


EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2016, 10:48:37 AM »
The only hesitancy I would have about working remotely 100% of the time is that it is MUCH easier to fire an employee that no one sees every day.  I have seen this happen at more than one company.

Well that is a good point and I agree a definite risk.  I am assuming its easier because you simply don't have to do it face-to-face with said person.

Are these large companies?  As I did mention most of team is not located on site.

I have seen it too- department or executive manager changes, says "Who are these people?" and decides to change the world in their first hundred days...  I would suspect that more "remote" workers work for large corps than smaller but that could vary by industry and task.

Interesting.  We have a ton of remote workers in my company (about half of my team is remote) since the company is so large; most of them (and those who aren't remote) have been here for at least a decade if not decades.  I could see a lot of change in companies employing, say...more tech type positions over mine.

However, again I see that this is a definite risk that should be given serious consideration.

Hhhmmmm.

If you lost your job, how hard would it be to find one as good or better? If it's easy to find work in your field, it might not be worth worrying a whole lot about the risk of being let go for not being on site. 

The idea of being location independent sounds like it would be completely worth a little risk to me at least.  Where we live is one of the few places that's good for my husband's career, so we're stuck here for a little while.  That's why we're whittling down our expenses and throwing everything we can at the Vanguard account.  FIRE is the ultimate location independence.

This is a really good question.  I think it would be a little difficult to find a position similar to mine based in Atlanta if I was let go after moving back there.  I could find one fairly easily if I was okay with taking an approximate 15% or so paycut I think.  I could also probably find another role within the same industry based in Atlanta, but from what I'm seeing it could be at up to about 15% or so less than what I make now.  There is a possibility of finding another remote position within a different company altogether which would allow me to work anywhere and pay what I get paid now; I'm just not sure of how easy that would be since I haven't looked for other positions actively since being in my current role.

I agree some risk is acceptable but definitely trying to determine just how much. 

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2016, 10:49:51 AM »
Guanajuato sounds so cool.  If you go please let me know how it is.  You might also look at Xalapa.  It's very green and very cultured. 

I haven't spent a whole lot of time in Mexico really, but Mexico City and Xalapa were great.  The food, the street life, the weather, and improving my Spanish were way awesome.  Plus it's LCOL when you have dollars, especially with the peso down.

Unfortunately I will not be making it there this weekend after all :(

I decided to stay in Chicago due to the weather report there.  Plus to save a little money.  I may still end up there for a weekend before the year is out; if so I'll let you know.  The thought of moving to a city where I'd pay less than half of what I pay now in rent sounds so enticing....

boarder42

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2016, 11:05:19 AM »
Guanajuato sounds so cool.  If you go please let me know how it is.  You might also look at Xalapa.  It's very green and very cultured. 

I haven't spent a whole lot of time in Mexico really, but Mexico City and Xalapa were great.  The food, the street life, the weather, and improving my Spanish were way awesome.  Plus it's LCOL when you have dollars, especially with the peso down.

Unfortunately I will not be making it there this weekend after all :(

I decided to stay in Chicago due to the weather report there.  Plus to save a little money.  I may still end up there for a weekend before the year is out; if so I'll let you know.  The thought of moving to a city where I'd pay less than half of what I pay now in rent sounds so enticing....

thats probably over 80% of the world.

EconDiva

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Re: Where in the world would you go...?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2016, 11:14:43 AM »
I'm somewhat in a similar position.  I would like to spend more time with family on the east coast, but I like living in the west coast, and I also like to travel to new places and stay for a few weeks every few months.

I am remote but I have a team in the Bay Area where we meet a few days a week.  However, I have been able to arrange trips where I am in the east coast for a month a couple of times a year to spend time with family.  I have also been able to arrange working from South East Asia for 6 six weeks with some PTO mixed in.

The point being you don't have to make a permanent decision now, but try working remote for a weeks here and there.  Or just jump to full-time remote if they are open to it even if you don't actually go anywhere permanently.

Seem like you have a lot of options and flexibility.  The world is your oyster, have fun!

It sounds like you have a lot of flexibility as well. 

I'm not sure how easy it will be for me since I wasn't hired as a remote worker but once the time comes we shall see.  I do not think they would approve working remote here and there for a few weeks at a time though; I don't know anyone that is doing that.

Wherever you establish your home base to be, they expect you to not work from anywhere but there...I can think of two instance where it was found people were not doing this and they got into trouble.