This is probably an overused title for a blog post, but honestly, I don’t really care because that is exactly where I am standing in life right now. A big opportunity has just fallen into our lives. With this opportunity though comes a lot of changes. Because my blog doesn’t really have a true niche area and I have decided to take you all on my life journey with me, I figured I could write a blog post of exactly what my husband and I are talking through and thinking through (this is why I have been so absent lately). I guess you could say this is my real time relationship advice post on how to tackle a life altering decision together. Basically, it will be me almost thinking out loud.
Background: My husband is a mechanical engineer. His specialty is drivetrain engineering and power systems. I am an accountant, who has spent most of my career in different areas of manufacturing accounting. My husband and I met at our old company in a factory that we both worked at. I then moved to another state, and we entered a long-distance relationship. We got engaged after 1.5 years of dating with most of that being 8 hours apart. He then moved an hour and a half away from where I was living. We got married, and I started commuting the distance from where I worked to where he lived. It sucked, I was miserable, we made the decision to move to Memphis when we both got jobs at the same company. His position was in Research and Development as an engineering liaison, I was tasked with being controller. We were sent to Germany for three months for training with our new company. When we finally settled back down in Memphis in January, he started travelling all the time for work. He has been travelling so far 70% off the year. There have been some changes in management here, which has changed the vision of the company. While we are not 100% sure of the new vision yet, my husband has had a new job opportunity open up in engineering. This new opportunity requires a move and comes with a 30% pay increase. The kicker is I don’t have a job in that area, I have room for growth in my current position, and it’s a move to a place neither of us have ever been.
The main question we are both asking now is which career do we follow. I once received some career advice that we pondered over when we made the decision to leave our first company. This advice was: “when you leave a job, make sure you are leaving for something to get to the next level, not running from something.” Leaving our first company allowed me to both run from something and get to a new level of responsibility in my career. This was a wise decision for my career. Unfortunately, the move to the new company while not bad for my husband wasn’t the best. His current job is more focused on reporting the problem to engineering not actually engineering. However, this new opportunity allows him to be (as the hiring manager put it) “a cornerstone for the company”. This new opportunity would be the next level for him, whereas I am already on the next level here.
Not only is the new opportunity the next level for him, he is so excited about it. When he started telling me about his interview, he was gushing. I honestly laughed at him, he was as excited as a teenage girl who had been asked to the Prom by her crush. I could tell though that he was way more excited about the type of work he would be doing at this new company than the work he is doing here. Here he doesn’t have the opportunity to create and add innovations, there not only is it encouraged, it is rewarded. For a guy who already has 7 patents, he needs to be creating. On the other hand, accounting is basically accounting wherever you go, and I am not that passionate about it. There are areas of accounting that I enjoy, but I don’t dream about balance sheets.
While I am not passionate about the work I am doing, I am passionate about maintaining a good work life balance. I have a work life balance here in Memphis. I am able to do more of what I love while being here. Plus, the weather is so mild compared to where we came from in Iowa that I can even enjoy outdoor activities in the winter. On the flip side my husband is always travelling. He is always on call for customers. Basically, his work life balance is nonexistent. The new opportunity for him would require 10% travel compared to the 70% he currently is at. He would have a life outside hotel rooms once again.
It seems like a no brainer. It seems like I need to not be selfish and allow us to pack up our lives and move. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. I don’t have a job in the new place. Not only that but I don’t have enough experience in my current role to get an equivalent position. I would most likely be taking a step down in accounting. We also have to sell a house after only being in it for less than a year. That means we might take a loss on the house. Which ultimately means me not having a job would be more of an issue. Basically, our no brainer decision is really mostly can we even afford to do this? This is when it was a good decision on my husband’s part to marry an accountant…
Taking into account, all of the financial aspects (additional taxes, moving expenses, insurance expenses, job loss, renting or buying expenses, etc.) I am budgeting it all out. I am trying to figure out how long we can be with me being jobless. We also are planning on visiting the new area to see if we even like it. Whichever decision we make regarding this, we need to make sure we are making it together. We have to just keep talking, thinking what is best for us both, and deciding what we want out of life. Making lists is great for helping make those decisions, sometimes you can trust your gut, and sometimes you have to turn down something amazing, but when making that decision with someone else you have to make sure you both are on the same page. I will keep you all updated on what we decide, and what our next adventure will be!