Limiting your career by not moving

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mathwhiz
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Limiting your career by not moving

Post by mathwhiz » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:33 pm

The other thread about the guy not wanting to do the detail in Australia got me thinking about my situation. It's a little different but the point is for me to advance I have to move. I'm faced with a job that really isn't going anywhere. It's very secure but I've gone as far as I'm going to go in the organization. It's a small satellite office of a much larger organization and the top jobs are at headquarters. There aren't really other options unless I'm mobile. My work and experienced is specialized enough and the job market is lousy enough that finding better jobs at other places isn't going to happen here either.

And I'm not really mobile. There's the practical. I don't want to/can't sell my house in this market and I like where I live. I like Florida. I like the no state income tax. I like the weather. I don't want to move up north and deal with winter. There's the personal. I'm settled with my friends and a relationship. She's settled and doesn't want to move and has family responsibilities here.

I guess I can scrimp and save and try to retire at 45. I have quite a head start already and that can be my ambition. But it seems an unsatisfying life when you are unhappy with your job just counting down the days till you can retire. I guess being a grown up means the realization that very few people can have it all. You have to make choices and I guess I rather have a satisfying life than a satisfying career.

grok87
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Re: Limiting your career by not moving

Post by grok87 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:43 pm

mathwhiz wrote:The other thread about the guy not wanting to do the detail in Australia got me thinking about my situation. It's a little different but the point is for me to advance I have to move. I'm faced with a job that really isn't going anywhere. It's very secure but I've gone as far as I'm going to go in the organization. It's a small satellite office of a much larger organization and the top jobs are at headquarters. There aren't really other options unless I'm mobile. My work and experienced is specialized enough and the job market is lousy enough that finding better jobs at other places isn't going to happen here either.

And I'm not really mobile. There's the practical. I don't want to/can't sell my house in this market and I like where I live. I like Florida. I like the no state income tax. I like the weather. I don't want to move up north and deal with winter. There's the personal. I'm settled with my friends and a relationship. She's settled and doesn't want to move and has family responsibilities here.

I guess I can scrimp and save and try to retire at 45. I have quite a head start already and that can be my ambition. But it seems an unsatisfying life when you are unhappy with your job just counting down the days till you can retire. I guess being a grown up means the realization that very few people can have it all. You have to make choices and I guess I rather have a satisfying life than a satisfying career.
change companies?
Keep calm and Boglehead on. KCBO.

JeffAL
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Post by JeffAL » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:23 pm

Some people aren't tied to their location. Some are.
Some people have very portable skill sets. Some don't.

Sounds like you're stuck. So be it.

JasonR
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Post by JasonR » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:53 pm

Please work through your crisis before you get married and have a kid or two.

Fallible
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Post by Fallible » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:25 pm

This is a tough job market, but your best solution seems to be to stay in Florida but find work with another company. If your current work makes you unhappy, your best choice is to move on, even though it probably will take time. I'd start looking now.

HongKonger
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Post by HongKonger » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:38 pm

Where else have you lived? How do you know there might not be places you like even more? The whole world is less than 24 hours flying time.

Think of it this way, you rent out your house and go somewhere else, if it all goes pear shaped, what is the very worst that could happen? ...you go back and start again? If that is the worst that could happen, think what the very best outcome could be ...you move somewhere you love, do a job that gives you joy, earn shedloads more cash and find the wife of your dreams. WOW.

There is only one thing in life that will limit your potential to go far - and that's you!

mortal
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Post by mortal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:49 pm

A word of advice from someone who has moved quite a bit to stay employed. Family and friends are priceless. Do not sacrifice them for the sake of your career.

If you need intellectual fulfillment and your job isn't giving it to you, find it outside work until you can find a better job locally.

Most people would consider me somewhat successful, but I often wonder how my life would have turned out had I simply been content with what was available near my hometown. I'd be making no where near as much money, but who knows, I might have been happier. :roll: It isn't going to do me much good to question myself now.

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fishnskiguy
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Post by fishnskiguy » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:54 pm

My sympathy meter is pegged on zero.

Try a six month WestPac deployment with eight days on the beach.

And by the way, no was not an option. :roll:

Chris
Trident D-5 SLBM- "When you care enough to send the very best."

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og15F1
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Post by og15F1 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:23 pm

mortal wrote:A word of advice from someone who has moved quite a bit to stay employed. Family and friends are priceless. Do not sacrifice them for the sake of your career.

If you need intellectual fulfillment and your job isn't giving it to you, find it outside work until you can find a better job locally.

Most people would consider me somewhat successful, but I often wonder how my life would have turned out had I simply been content with what was available near my hometown. I'd be making no where near as much money, but who knows, I might have been happier. :roll: It isn't going to do me much good to question myself now.
I'm on like week two of this program ... the other side of the fence from the OP. I will find out for myself if it's worth it or not but so far I'm finding myself looking inside/around at the new world and wondering... ...

In some ways there are certain goals that being mobile for work will help us achieve as a family. There are trade offs that come with that. Over time we'll find out if it was worth it.

The silver lining is that I used to be scared that I was too comfortable and would be afraid to pull the trigger on a much better offer and be left wondering... and I defeated that. However I will still be left wondering...

harrychan
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Post by harrychan » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:18 am

If you want a challenge and potentially earn some supplemental income, try side businesses.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

hidesert
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Post by hidesert » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:17 pm

Is that like a six month, all-expenses-paid ocean cruise with eight days at a beach resort?

Sounds fantastic!
fishnskiguy wrote:My sympathy meter is pegged on zero.

Try a six month WestPac deployment with eight days on the beach.

And by the way, no was not an option. :roll:

Chris

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gatorking
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Re: Limiting your career by not moving

Post by gatorking » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:34 pm

Why do you feel you have to advance in order for your career to be satisfying?

dore
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Post by dore » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:40 pm

fishnskiguy wrote:My sympathy meter is pegged on zero.

Try a six month WestPac deployment with eight days on the beach.

And by the way, no was not an option. :roll:

Chris
Meh.

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fandango
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Post by fandango » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:17 pm

It's all a matter fof choice. When you sacrifice, you generally make more money.

I lived in 20 different places during my 40 year career.

My final income was three times what it would have been if I had stayed in one place and not taken the risk of moving.

minneapples
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Post by minneapples » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:14 pm

It's like anything else, the type of work you choose to do, the type of clients you choose to work with, the place you choose to live. If every professional decision I made was about how I maximize my earnings, I would be making gobs more than I do now. But I would also be less happy in my personal life and would be spending my professional life working on matters that I found less interesting and less rewarding, in a location that didn't make me very happy.

For example, today I just accepted a job paying $28k less than a competing offer. But it still pays plenty for my needs and my desires, and I think I will be able to live a happier life doing that job than I would have doing the other job -- that's part of why the pay was so high at the other place: to compensate for the toll it takes on the rest of your life.

We all make our own decisions as to what is most important to us.

mathwhiz
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Post by mathwhiz » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:42 am

My sympathy meter is pegged on zero.

Try a six month WestPac deployment with eight days on the beach.

And by the way, no was not an option.
I think the military comparisons are frankly a bit disingenuous. Yeah, going overseas for months at a time sucks, especially if it is a war zone or hostile area. But unless you were drafted into Vietnam, we've had a volunteer military since the 70's. Everyone had to sign their name on the dotted line to Uncle Sam, lock stock and barrel. It was a choice. One that had consequences that you should have been aware of when you made that choice.
It's all a matter fof choice. When you sacrifice, you generally make more money.

I lived in 20 different places during my 40 year career.

My final income was three times what it would have been if I had stayed in one place and not taken the risk of moving.
What are the fields that enable this globe-trotting kind of work? It's kind of a foreign concept to me. I can see global fortune 500 doing this but for most normal businesses this really isn't an option. Other than a handful of trainings and conferences over the years, I've rarely traveled. It's just not part of my job description. Not that we have the budget to do any of that any way now. Discretionary travel was cut out long ago.
Why do you feel you have to advance in order for your career to be satisfying?
It would be nice to have new challenges and not feel stagnant or stuck, I guess. I've also been at the same job for 7 years and the people are starting to grate on me. Everyone knows everyone's business and people are very gossipy about everyone's personal lives. I guess I have the 7 year itch and would just like to do something different, and getting paid more would be a nice bonus. But there are other factors to consider.

stan1
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Post by stan1 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:11 am

I would suggest networking with other people outside your company but in Florida. Find out what other companies are doing business in the area, what they do, and what its like to work for them. You may find you are happy where you are, or that there are more opportunities near you than you think, or you may come to realize that you really do want to relocate. Be open to jobs that are different than what you do now, but be able to show how your previous experience will help you do a different job better / add value to the employer quickly.

MP173
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Post by MP173 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:09 am

21 years ago I was stuck in a job. I absolutely dreaded Sunday nights...Monday morning was just hours away.

I made a change and dramatically improved my life.

You can take control of your situation and make it work, but not if you accept your current job as the only game in town. It is all a matter of risk/reward.

Good luck,

Ed

pocketplayer
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Post by pocketplayer » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:38 am

I was in your shoes six years ago.

I hated my job and it began to create a lot of personal problems like drinking and smoking and...

What I found out was this;
1. Sharing honest feelings/reflections to other men had interesting responses. I've seen a few here. Some just have a "suck it up" attitude towards work/life. Sharing makes them feel uncomfortable. They suppress their own feelings and when someone opens up, it makes them feel insecure. It takes courage to be honest about what's going on below the surface.

2. Leaving a profession without a clear alternative is very risky. You need to be a very resilent personality. I was blown away at how difficult it was to transition into another profession. The job market didn't help, but I was interviewing at Wal Mart before I went back into the profession I wanted to escape. That was humbling...$7.90 an hour. I felt like I was going to prison.

3. Moving to another state means moving to another culture. It takes much time to adjust, especially if you move to the South...friendly, but distant folks there. There is no roots...after you move, six months later you realize you really don't know anyone below the surface much and whatever hurts, habits, and hang-ups you carried do not go away.

4. The frustrations I had with my career had roots way before I had a career. I was a frustrated musician and have the artist curse...if you can't make a living at your craft, everything else seems like a support role. You try recreate the experience you had as a musician in the workplace and it is never the same. Perpetual frustration.

My advice...sit on this and make a one year evaluation. Speak with a career counselor or someone else to unpack what is below the surface. Then when you decide, you will have a clearer perspective to make the executive decision on this matter.

Best in all of this...you are not alone friend.

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Epsilon Delta
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Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:17 pm

I don't recall the OP saying he hated his job, just that there was no room for advancement in his current location. So I have some questions the OP can ask himself:

1) How much do you like or dislike your current job? If you hate it then make a plan to get out. If it's moderately satisfying or better, can you make it a job for 30 years and get your excitement elsewhere (e.g. from family or wind surfing).

2) Could you stay in your position indefinitely? Does your organisation have an up-or-out policy or are there fifty year olds in positions similar to yours?

3) Are there jobs similar to yours at other companies near your home? You've said that no one is hiring now, but this may not last forever. If there are lots of similar positions sooner or later there will be opportunities. This may make staying put more attractive.

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B'Falls_JT
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Post by B'Falls_JT » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:16 pm

Hi mathwhiz,

This may sound trite, but these situations involve decisions that need to be made in relation to one's very personal values, expectations, needs, desires, etc.

You can stay where you are, you can move with the company, you can find another job in you area, and there may be other options. Obviously, each has its pro's and con's, and only you can determine which are most important to you.

I have had to wrestle with similar decisions in my life. (I've been living in the same house for the last 32 years) For me, there was never an answer that was perfect. Each had advantages and drawbacks. I would usually create some weighted evaluation criteria to help keep me honest with my evaluation. That approach helped bring some perspective to the process, however, the bottom line is that these are not decisions that can be made with an equation or a score (stating the obvious). There was always a "gut feel" element that drove the decision.

It was a good to post your situation in order to obtain other perspectives and points of view. There are many bright / experienced folks on this forum who can offer very helpful suggestions.

Good luck to you!

JT

joppy
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Re: Limiting your career by not moving

Post by joppy » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:03 pm

mathwhiz wrote:You have to make choices and I guess I rather have a satisfying life than a satisfying career.
Consider reading "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Jonathan Haidt. He describes research about what makes people happy. It may give you insights about your own objectives, and about what makes you happy.

Also, keep posting about your experiences and your decision process. I am very interested in hearing what you decide, and how you go about deciding it.

Cheers,
Joppy

pocketplayer
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Post by pocketplayer » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:30 am

I was in your shoes six years ago.
I should have said, I was in similar shoes...agreed, he did not say he hated his job.

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novastepp
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Post by novastepp » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:31 am

Don't hold back your life by trying to move your career forward. They are not the same and at times like the one you are describing, it may be a mistake to compare them.

My family (dad) faced this years ago. Together, we worked to make our lives everything that existed outside of work. It worked out great for him simply because of our family and friends. So as some have said, moving away from friends and family should not be overlooked.

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ladders11
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Re: Limiting your career by not moving

Post by ladders11 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:42 am

joppy wrote:Consider reading "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Jonathan Haidt. He describes research about what makes people happy. It may give you insights about your own objectives, and about what makes you happy.
+1 This is a great book.

Also, I highly recommend "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work" by Alain de Botton.

BTW, I'm in a similar situation. I've reached a ceiling at my company, and my work is alternately boring and irritating. I don't like the people I work with, even though I have good relations with them; they are bad at their jobs, dimwitted and unhelpful.

Yet I don't believe that now is the time to pull anchor. In general, companies aren't adding jobs, workers are in great supply, and wages are depressed. They are hiring temps. I haven't heard of anyone climbing the corporate ladder.

My COL is low, and to move to a bigger city would increase that, plus draw down savings while looking for a job. When I moved 5 years ago, it was hard to get a job from out-of-town - I just didn't get as many callbacks, and then everyone wanted to interview in person. Companies with so many candidates to choose from don't need to consider someone changing roles and act as if you have no transferable skills, when that is absolutely not the case.

My thought is that there will be serious openings within 5-10 years due to baby boomers retiring from management roles. It may be a better time for advancement or career changes then, if the economy recovers.

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