To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

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tarheel
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To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:04 am

Going to face a big decision this month and I'm asking you all for some advice....

I have an "outside offer", which in academia means while I have tenure another school is trying to hire me away. Nowadays this is basically the only way to get a major raise in academia, and so it is a good thing for the family. My DW is a SAHM and we have three little ones at home.

The decision couldn't be more of a coin flip for us. In short, I am very happy where I am (public university) with an amazing department in my research area (physical sciences) with great colleagues. However, my pay is below average and we have no grandparents around. On the flip side, we do enjoy living in the area, tons of things to do for the kids, relatively low cost of living, convenient for life, etc....

My outside offer is from a private institution with deep pockets. The offer is very aggressive salary-wise, and we would have grandparents in the area. However, the institution is significantly weaker in my research area and it would likely negatively affect my group's research, at least in the short term. That will make it harder to maintain visibility of the research program, secure external funding, etc....making my job more challenging.

I expect to receive a retention package, but I do not expect it to quite equal the outside offer, which is substantial. The other important part of the equation is that my DW could use some help from the grandparents. Three young ones alone is tough.

I made a decision matrix weighing catergories and the final tally was 521 to 522. Literally couldn't be more of a coin flip. Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated! I'm sure some of you have faced a similar decision before.....
Last edited by tarheel on Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:30 am, edited 7 times in total.

CFOKevin
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Re: Job Satisfaction versus Money and Family

Post by CFOKevin » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:13 am

Overweight family, in my opinion.

Job is 1/3 of your day for half of your life.

SAHM of three is not as easy to feel valued and your prospects sound very solid either way.

Good Luck,

Kevin

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by wilked » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:59 am

How much salary increase we talking? 30%?

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:03 am

The outside offer is more in the range of 2x. However, I expect the retention package to be significant.

In the end, I bet that we would be very comfortable financially either staying or moving. Probably a bit more money moving though, maybe 15-20%? But cost of living is probably 10% higher there....

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by MoonOrb » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:04 am

tarheel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:04 am
In short, I am very happy where I am (public university) with an amazing department in my research area (physical sciences) with great colleagues.
How many people in academia have this? This is precious. My experience working with academics is that their happiness is in direct proportion to their ability to feel supported by their department, do the research they want, and get along with their colleagues.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by djpeteski » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:06 am

What does your wife think? I would do that.

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:07 am

MoonOrb wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:04 am
tarheel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:04 am
In short, I am very happy where I am (public university) with an amazing department in my research area (physical sciences) with great colleagues.
How many people in academia have this? This is precious. My experience working with academics is that their happiness is in direct proportion to their ability to feel supported by their department, do the research they want, and get along with their colleagues.
No doubt. I am very blessed. My DW and kids don't come to work with me though.

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:09 am

djpeteski wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:06 am
What does your wife think? I would do that.
Of course, but she could go either way as well. Pros and cons both ways.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Spewin » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:13 am

If your ability to remain visible will be affected, then I suggest you stay at the current university. If your prominence declines, what are the chances that another offer like this comes about? What about at your current institution? Play it out over your lifetime, not just the next two years.

If long term salary growth is important to your family: I say stay and use some of that salary increase to purchase help for your wife.

If the new location is important, but salary stagnation might be ok: Go

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by student » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:44 am

I would predetermine a salary that is acceptable (80% of the outside offer? 90% of the outside offer?) and see whether the retention offer reaches this level. I assume you have also factored in retirement benefits and college tuition benefits. Judging from your description, it would seem the private university wants your statue to help its department. You said the department is weaker. I would guess that you may not be the only one that they are after. They may want to build up the department by doing several hires. You can ask them in a way that is not offensive such as whether they plan to expand the department in the near future.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by cu_ » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:55 am

One more factor to consider... the reason they may be offering aggressive (2x, did you say?) salary is probably because they have good plans for the department. You may be a big fish in the small pond. Being with a department during its growth and be considered responsible for its growth can be an awesome feeling. It may be tough during the ride, but I bet you will have lot more satisfaction being responsible for putting the department on the map. Plus the advantage of having grandparents to give your wife a break... also, how easy is it in your field to get another offer like this in future?

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:56 am

You might want to talk to the grandparents about it since you seem to think it is a good idea about them helping with the kids as one of your positive points. Make sure it is a positive point for them too.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Leemiller » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:56 am

In my experience the rosiest period for a new job is around when you get the offer. Doesn’t sound like you’re excited about this one, maybe wait for the next offer from a school with more pay and a stronger department. Help can be hired, and who knows how helpful the grandparents will really be if you lived there or for how long. When the kids start going to school, I think being a SAHM gets much easier and lots of women even go back to work at that time.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Beehave » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:00 am

In my opinion, based on the info available:

The advantages of the new, higher-paying position seem short-lived. In the short-run, you'll have more income and grandparents in the area who presumably will help with the children. In the longer-run your research opportunities will become more limited and, therefore, your value in your field will be stunted. And in a few years the children will be at tap dance, karate, choir, softball, soccer, scouts, music lessons and doing heaven-knows-what on their personal virtual-reality-gaming-chatroom devices in addition to studying. Their desire to be with grandma and grandpa may be minimal, other than as a car service.

None of what I wrote above is definite, but it bears statistical weight on possibilities to consider. Your long-term happiness and income, I suspect strongly, depend on your research, and so will, I suspect, the caliber of your students.

Now, I have no truck here in being right or wrong in any of my suppositions above. But they do outline my perspective that the key considerations should center on the long-term implications of the decision rather than the short-term.

Best wishes to you and your family and in your research -- I hope you succeed greatly and have string of soul-satisfying EUREKA!! break-through achievements.

P.S. One other consideration... if intellectual property with commercial value will possibly result from your research, at which institution would it be more likely to occur and at which institution would you expect to receive better remuneration for the IP development (either directly from commercial licensing or, indirectly, from resultant job opportunities)?
Last edited by Beehave on Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:01 am

cu_ wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:55 am
One more factor to consider... the reason they may be offering aggressive (2x, did you say?) salary is probably because they have good plans for the department. You may be a big fish in the small pond. Being with a department during its growth and be considered responsible for its growth can be an awesome feeling. It may be tough during the ride, but I bet you will have lot more satisfaction being responsible for putting the department on the map. Plus the advantage of having grandparents to give your wife a break... also, how easy is it in your field to get another offer like this in future?
Outside offers are always hard to predict - but I could see another one down the road someday.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:02 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:56 am
You might want to talk to the grandparents about it since you seem to think it is a good idea about them helping with the kids as one of your positive points. Make sure it is a positive point for them too.
It certainly is. They really want us there - no questions about that one. And they are great with the kids.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by rivers03 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:43 am

I would probably move. My husband is in academia too and we moved nearly 2 years ago to a rural area near grandparents/my inlaws. His situation was different in that he was moving into administration but we are also a busy "young" family with three small children. I cannot even begin to describe how helpful the grandparents are. They watch the kids frequently and we are able to attend speakers at the university, weeknight social gatherings, etc. that we could not previously do because we didn't feel it was worth the money to hire a babysitter except for special occasions. They are at all the T-ball games, soccer games, etc. and help with school pick up on the occasional day when I have a meeting that goes long at work. The relationship my kids have with them is heartwarming and priceless to me and I know it is for them as well (although it's not perfect, sometimes the "spoiling" goes overboard!). In my opinion, it cannot be replicated by any amount spent on other caregivers/babysitters/nannies. IF you think your situation might be similar, that would be the deciding factor for me. I agree it sounds like the university is trying to build their department in this field and that might help you maximize your opportunities for research/prestige. Congratulations on your offer and good luck!

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:48 am

Congratulations on having a tough decision! I'm assuming your outside offer is from a SLAC? If so, figure out their endowment/pockets and how tuition dependent they are. I suspect tuition-dependent schools will be under stress in the coming decades. Also consider their resources for doing research; losing visibility can be hard if you like/need that sort of thing.

I'd probably move fwiw. Only downside to my uni job is the distance from family. But I'm in a field where my rsearch budget needs are easily satisfied, and I like teaching.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by bltn » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:50 am

How significant is the retention offer from your current university? If your offer from the other school is twice your current compensation, you might well request a fifty percent pay raise. Should that happen, you might consider staying where your other job circumstances are better. Job satisfaction is usually more dependent on job conditions than on compensation.
In the past, I ve talked to several people who moved their families from to the midwest to take asembly line jos that paid as much as three times their local wage. They would tell me that they were happy to retire as soon as they could.
If the family is happy with both opportunities, I would opt for job satisfaction.
That said, you might be the type who would like the challenge of establishing your own shop with your own imprint and control.
It does sound like you are worth a significant raise at your current school, at the least.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by jimmyq » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:00 am

I had to laugh when I saw you had a decision matrix and scores of 521 to 522. That type of over-analysis sounds exactly like something I would do, so I certainly understand your conundrum. If it was me, I'd probably stay because I get a bit anxious over major life changes. But for other people, I usually recommend moving because that seems to be the best way to actually make progress... although I have to admit that all my experience is in industry, not academia.

I wish you the best of luck in your decision.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:51 am

bltn wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:50 am
How significant is the retention offer from your current university? If your offer from the other school is twice your current compensation, you might well request a fifty percent pay raise. Should that happen, you might consider staying where your other job circumstances are better. Job satisfaction is usually more dependent on job conditions than on compensation.
In the past, I ve talked to several people who moved their families from to the midwest to take asembly line jos that paid as much as three times their local wage. They would tell me that they were happy to retire as soon as they could.
If the family is happy with both opportunities, I would opt for job satisfaction.
That said, you might be the type who would like the challenge of establishing your own shop with your own imprint and control.
It does sound like you are worth a significant raise at your current school, at the least.
Thanks for all of the replies so far everyone. Seems like you all are collectively on the fence as well!

The retention package is on its way, no details yet. If it was "only" a 50% raise we would likely leave. With only a single income I couldn't leave that much money on the table. Would need to be more like 75%. We'll see.

In academics you really need to be aggressive when these opportunities arise, because they A) are the only times you can get a major salary increase and B) usually only happen 1-3 times during your career. It's just the way the game is played unfortunately.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:55 am

getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:48 am
Congratulations on having a tough decision! I'm assuming your outside offer is from a SLAC? If so, figure out their endowment/pockets and how tuition dependent they are. I suspect tuition-dependent schools will be under stress in the coming decades. Also consider their resources for doing research; losing visibility can be hard if you like/need that sort of thing.

I'd probably move fwiw. Only downside to my uni job is the distance from family. But I'm in a field where my rsearch budget needs are easily satisfied, and I like teaching.
Thanks. Just to clarify, the outside offer is coming from a private school with a significant endowment. No financial stress expected anytime soon.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by LuckBeALady » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:33 am

What does your gut say?

i.e. if you were told you have to stay at your old job because the new offer fell through, would you be disappointed -- or relieved?

Not a very scientific way to look at things, but sometimes a "gut-check" is a good tie-breaker. :wink:

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by LarryAllen » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:43 am

Do the coin flip! Decide up front if it's 2 out of 3 or not. :)

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Jon H » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:48 am

Many good points made in this thread.
bltn wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:50 am
How significant is the retention offer from your current university? If your offer from the other school is twice your current compensation, you might well request a fifty percent pay raise. Should that happen, you might consider staying where your other job circumstances are better. Job satisfaction is usually more dependent on job conditions than on compensation.
In the past, I ve talked to several people who moved their families from to the midwest to take asembly line jos that paid as much as three times their local wage. They would tell me that they were happy to retire as soon as they could.
If the family is happy with both opportunities, I would opt for job satisfaction.
That said, you might be the type who would like the challenge of establishing your own shop with your own imprint and control.
It does sound like you are worth a significant raise at your current school, at the least.
Some questions:
Does the new opportunity create leverage to bargain your current position? Does it help at all or is it considered an apples to oranges comparison?
Does your current university want you to stay?
Is the new enviornment one that is would grow with you? As in, you would be able to lead?
In which position will you have a better career trajectory?

What do you want?
Last edited by Jon H on Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Mike Scott » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:52 am

These are pretty rare opportunities in academics. I would be asking some hard questions about what the new place is planning. A new center of excellence with several hires? Bringing in a new leader to start a new research group? I would have doubts about going in if it is a single hire and not an area expansion.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by ExitStageLeft » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:04 pm

I would weight the decision towards what is most important to you, career or family. If it is absolutely a wash either way for you then let DW decide.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Ollie123 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:03 pm

Fellow academic (and possibly right up the road if your username is your employer and not where you did you training).

Some additional things to consider I didn't see mentioned:
1) Hard money vs. soft money? Assume hard in physical sciences, but may not be. I bring up because you mention ease of getting grant money. If your salary is covered regardless, that becomes important for fulfillment but not for job stability. If soft money, this gets much scarier. And tenure doesn't necessarily mean exactly the same thing.
2) How big a shift in "visibility" are we talking? There is a big difference in a shift from R1 to slightly-lesser-R1, versus a shift from R1 to some random local SLAC where you may have more research products than the entire rest of your department combined.
3) Tangibly, how important is that visibility to you (personally) and for your career?
4) Any desire to ascend into administration?
5) Any potential for grandparents to come to you? May not be important now, but this could be an issue as they age, more health problems emerge, etc. If no, are there others nearby who can help them? You mention the potential benefits to your wife and kids, which is great. If we're thinking long-term though, its also important to consider whether its important to be near THEM 10-20 years down the road as this may be the last opportunity to make that happen.

Most folks here are in industry, which (at least in the overwhelming majority of cases) is infinitely more portable. It is entirely possible there will be literally zero opportunities to move to that region in the next 10 years unless you are willing to change careers. Maybe not, depends on the region, but its certainly possible.

I can't say what I would do since it really depends on the specifics. I will say that I wouldn't worry too much about prestige, though this may be field-specific. Assuming you are reasonably well-established (and I'm guessing you are if you got a 2x salary offer!), you ARE visible. That isn't going to go away at a new institution as long as you continue publishing papers and doing what you do. You earn the prestige and it comes with you to your new job because its attached to your name more than the institution. This is perhaps one of the biggest differences between academia and industry...the products are very tangible, very visible and it is very easy to directly attach them to you as an individual (vs. say - someone working as part of a development team at google/amazon/whatever).

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:49 pm

Ollie123 wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:03 pm
Fellow academic (and possibly right up the road if your username is your employer and not where you did you training).

Some additional things to consider I didn't see mentioned:
1) Hard money vs. soft money? Assume hard in physical sciences, but may not be. I bring up because you mention ease of getting grant money. If your salary is covered regardless, that becomes important for fulfillment but not for job stability. If soft money, this gets much scarier. And tenure doesn't necessarily mean exactly the same thing.
2) How big a shift in "visibility" are we talking? There is a big difference in a shift from R1 to slightly-lesser-R1, versus a shift from R1 to some random local SLAC where you may have more research products than the entire rest of your department combined.
3) Tangibly, how important is that visibility to you (personally) and for your career?
4) Any desire to ascend into administration?
5) Any potential for grandparents to come to you? May not be important now, but this could be an issue as they age, more health problems emerge, etc. If no, are there others nearby who can help them? You mention the potential benefits to your wife and kids, which is great. If we're thinking long-term though, its also important to consider whether its important to be near THEM 10-20 years down the road as this may be the last opportunity to make that happen.

Most folks here are in industry, which (at least in the overwhelming majority of cases) is infinitely more portable. It is entirely possible there will be literally zero opportunities to move to that region in the next 10 years unless you are willing to change careers. Maybe not, depends on the region, but its certainly possible.

I can't say what I would do since it really depends on the specifics. I will say that I wouldn't worry too much about prestige, though this may be field-specific. Assuming you are reasonably well-established (and I'm guessing you are if you got a 2x salary offer!), you ARE visible. That isn't going to go away at a new institution as long as you continue publishing papers and doing what you do. You earn the prestige and it comes with you to your new job because its attached to your name more than the institution. This is perhaps one of the biggest differences between academia and industry...the products are very tangible, very visible and it is very easy to directly attach them to you as an individual (vs. say - someone working as part of a development team at google/amazon/whatever).
It's all hard money. It would be a shift from R1 to slightly-lesser R1 - a very prestigious university that just doesn't have a ton of strength in my research area. The visibility point is related to being able to get good graduate students. I couldn't care less about my personal visibility, but if you can't attract graduate students to a department you can't run a productive research group. If I moved, the student quality would diminish a bit.

We've definitely considered the grandparents moving to us, and I think we could increase the frequency of visits, but don't think they would flat out move to us.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Shackleton » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:51 pm

I would do an actual coin flip - heads you stay, tails new job. Flip the coin fairly high. A, ask yourself what were you secretly wishing it would land on. Look at the coin - are you happy with what you see or just a little disappointed? That will tell you what you really want. Maybe have your wife do the same.
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by blammo » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:36 pm

something that i mightve missed:

is the new place offering any sort of college tuition benefit for your kids that UNC/otherpublicuniversity can't offer?

ask your current place to match their tuition benefit? the tuition benefits for faculty from private institutions can be enormous. mine plays >50% of the private tuition of the home institution to anywhere.....

any differences in retirement packages?

b

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by 2comma » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:00 pm

Shackleton wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:51 pm
I would do an actual coin flip - heads you stay, tails new job. Flip the coin fairly high. A, ask yourself what were you secretly wishing it would land on. Look at the coin - are you happy with what you see or just a little disappointed? That will tell you what you really want. Maybe have your wife do the same.
This is what I was going to suggest and it really can help when you're on the fence. My wife and I both participate in the coin toss. It really doesn't matter whether it's heads or tails "we move". Something about seeing/feeling what the coin says what you must do crystallizes your feelings. If the coin decision feels right say so, if it feels wrong say so too. This really can help!
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Watty » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:35 pm

blammo wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:36 pm
is the new place offering any sort of college tuition benefit for your kids that UNC/otherpublicuniversity can't offer?
I was going to mention that factor too.

Someone else mentioned it but also be sure to talk with the grandparents about just how much help they are willing and able to provide so there are not any misunderstandings.

We have one grandkid that lives near us and will soon have a second one. Watching our grandkid for an afternoon is great and fun, but a full day is tiring and my wife is starting to have back problems with picking him up. We have at times watched him two and even three days a week when there was a need. That is too much for us and gets exhausting and we are only in our mid low to mid 60s. When the second one comes it will be more challenging and with three kids it would be very hard. We also have our own schedules with classes and meetings so we are not always available. We also like to travel and will sometimes be gone for weeks or even months at a time.

Don't get me wrong living near the my son and grandkid(s) is great and it worth a lot but at least for us doing a massive amount of daycare would only be for emergency situations.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:38 pm

blammo wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:36 pm
something that i mightve missed:

is the new place offering any sort of college tuition benefit for your kids that UNC/otherpublicuniversity can't offer?

ask your current place to match their tuition benefit? the tuition benefits for faculty from private institutions can be enormous. mine plays >50% of the private tuition of the home institution to anywhere.....

any differences in retirement packages?

b
No tuition benefit (yours is sweet!). The retirement package is slightly better - about an extra 2% institutional contribution.

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:41 pm

Watty wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:35 pm
blammo wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:36 pm
is the new place offering any sort of college tuition benefit for your kids that UNC/otherpublicuniversity can't offer?
I was going to mention that factor too.

Someone else mentioned it but also be sure to talk with the grandparents about just how much help they are willing and able to provide so there are not any misunderstandings.

We have one grandkid that lives near us and will soon have a second one. Watching our grandkid for an afternoon is great and fun, but a full day is tiring and my wife is starting to have back problems with picking him up. We have at times watched him two and even three days a week when there was a need. That is too much for us and gets exhausting and we are only in our mid low to mid 60s. When the second one comes it will be more challenging and with three kids it would be very hard. We also have our own schedules with classes and meetings so we are not always available. We also like to travel and will sometimes be gone for weeks or even months at a time.

Don't get me wrong living near the my son and grandkid(s) is great and it worth a lot but at least for us doing a massive amount of daycare would only be for emergency situations.
That's helpful. We would be moving closer to my parents, and it is true that three might be a bit much for any significant period. I'm thinking more just helping out frequently, with us around.

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:41 pm

2comma wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:00 pm
Shackleton wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:51 pm
I would do an actual coin flip - heads you stay, tails new job. Flip the coin fairly high. A, ask yourself what were you secretly wishing it would land on. Look at the coin - are you happy with what you see or just a little disappointed? That will tell you what you really want. Maybe have your wife do the same.
This is what I was going to suggest and it really can help when you're on the fence. My wife and I both participate in the coin toss. It really doesn't matter whether it's heads or tails "we move". Something about seeing/feeling what the coin says what you must do crystallizes your feelings. If the coin decision feels right say so, if it feels wrong say so too. This really can help!
Will definitely try it! :P

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:57 pm

If it is truly a coin flip, it really doesn't matter.

I would stay put, but that is just me. You and your spouse need to decide what is best for your family and do that. It is great to have options! Good luck.

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Watty
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Watty » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:42 pm

Two more things to consider.

How do the quality the schools that your kids will go to compare.

What the relative cost of living is which will be important for your kids when they grow up. I once lived in the San Francisco Bay Area which has always been expensive when I was younger and some of my older coworkers still had grown kids that were in their 20s that were still living at home because they could not afford apartments even with roommates. I live in Atlanta now where housing is still affordable and my son and all of his college classmates were easily able to afford to buy nice homes. We have some friends who have a son that is severely dyslexic and barely graduated high school. At one point he was working at a chain muffler shop which is a good honest job but it likely did not pay a lot. Even in his situation he was able to afford to buy a modest older home that was not in a terrible area.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by KeepinItPositive » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:55 pm

If money were equal, what would you do?

If it's stay, I'd probably see how close they can get to and stay if it's within 10-20 percent

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by KeepinItPositive » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:03 pm

If money were equal, what would you do?

If it's stay, I'd probably see how close they can get to the other offer and stay if it's within 10-20 percent

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:26 pm

tarheel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:04 am
My outside offer is from a private institution with deep pockets. The offer is very aggressive salary-wise, and we would have grandparents in the area. However, the institution is significantly weaker in my research area and it would likely negatively affect my group's research, at least in the short term. That will make it harder to maintain visibility of the research program, secure external funding, etc....making my job more challenging.
Are they willing to give you immediate tenure as part of the offer?
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:41 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:42 pm
Two more things to consider.

How do the quality the schools that your kids will go to compare.

What the relative cost of living is which will be important for your kids when they grow up. I once lived in the San Francisco Bay Area which has always been expensive when I was younger and some of my older coworkers still had grown kids that were in their 20s that were still living at home because they could not afford apartments even with roommates. I live in Atlanta now where housing is still affordable and my son and all of his college classmates were easily able to afford to buy nice homes. We have some friends who have a son that is severely dyslexic and barely graduated high school. At one point he was working at a chain muffler shop which is a good honest job but it likely did not pay a lot. Even in his situation he was able to afford to buy a modest older home that was not in a terrible area.
Important points, already factored in. Schools at both are amazing. Cost of living roughly the same.

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:43 am

KeepinItPositive wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:03 pm
If money were equal, what would you do?

If it's stay, I'd probably see how close they can get to the other offer and stay if it's within 10-20 percent
I'd say this is close to my current thinking. I basically told the private school that there would have to be "a significant financial reason" to move.

If there isn't one owing to a retention, I think the default is stay.

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:43 am

BolderBoy wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:26 pm
tarheel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:04 am
My outside offer is from a private institution with deep pockets. The offer is very aggressive salary-wise, and we would have grandparents in the area. However, the institution is significantly weaker in my research area and it would likely negatively affect my group's research, at least in the short term. That will make it harder to maintain visibility of the research program, secure external funding, etc....making my job more challenging.
Are they willing to give you immediate tenure as part of the offer?
Already tenured. Now a chaired professorship or something, that could be part of the discussion (comes with yearly research $, etc)

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:58 am

tarheel wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:04 am
I made a decision matrix weighing catergories and the final tally was 521 to 522. Literally couldn't be more of a coin flip. Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated!
So flip a coin to make the decision and move on!

Seriously, Freakonomics ran an experiment a few years back asking participants to use a coin flip to help them make decisions:
http://freakonomics.com/tag/freakonomics-experiments/
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/ar ... es/495122/

The results tend to suggest you will be happier making the change.

"Levitt found that those who had made a major change, like filing for divorce or leaving their jobs, were more likely to report being happier two months later, and even happier six months later"

"The results fit Levitt’s theory that people who are uncertain about whether to uproot their lives probably should. “As a basic rule of thumb, I believe that people are too cautious when it comes to making a change,” he says."

When I find myself in a similar situation (analyze the circumstances and find each path similar), I just force myself to pick one and then I don't look back. IMHO, people tend to justify whatever decision they make anyway, and so end up happy in general.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by wilked » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:00 am

Until you get the retention offer then you are not in a position to make a decision - yes? All speculation at moment.

Is there a timeline attached to your outside offer for a response?

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tarheel
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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by tarheel » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:06 pm

wilked wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:00 am
Until you get the retention offer then you are not in a position to make a decision - yes? All speculation at moment.

Is there a timeline attached to your outside offer for a response?
Sure, can't decide yet without specifics but I am preparing for the decision being tough. If the retention is poor, we're leaving and it's an easy decision, but I know the department wants to keep me here and has the means to show me. No timeline.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by hoops777 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:13 pm

You have an excellent position at either institution.To me it comes down to how much you value having your kids growing up close to their grandparents and how much the grandparents want to be involved.Money is money but family is precious.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by anonenigma » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:15 pm

Presumably you have a defined benefit pension plan at your public university? Presumably only a defined contribution planning at the private that’s recruiting you? Difference will be substantial.

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Re: To Move or Not To Move - Couldn't be more of a Coinflip! (Help Please)

Post by Clever_Username » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:35 pm

tarheel wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:06 pm
wilked wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:00 am
Until you get the retention offer then you are not in a position to make a decision - yes? All speculation at moment.

Is there a timeline attached to your outside offer for a response?
Sure, can't decide yet without specifics but I am preparing for the decision being tough. If the retention is poor, we're leaving and it's an easy decision, but I know the department wants to keep me here and has the means to show me. No timeline.
Another thought: how is administrative support at your school? For example, do the two schools have a difference in your classroom experience?
anonenigma wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:15 pm
Presumably you have a defined benefit pension plan at your public university? Presumably only a defined contribution planning at the private that’s recruiting you? Difference will be substantial.
Are public unis still doing defined benefit plans? The one I taught at in the past had phased it out by the time I was hired, and it was replaced with a 403(b).
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_

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