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Should I decline +$100k job offer?
Old 09-08-2008, 10:32 AM   #1
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Should I decline +$100k job offer?

I recently received a job offer to start upon my completion of graduate school. The company dumped a bunch of money on my doorstep (+$100k). Pretty decent for a twenty-something, and this job doesn't have the typical downsides of most $$$ jobs (i.e. long hours, living in high cost of living area, or constant travel). The company is solid and the work is what I wanted to be doing after graduation. Seems great, no?

The problem is that the company expects you to relocate and DW doesn't want to. She has her own lucrative career and family here, and I understand that. However, the potential relocation city is within a half day's drive of our current city. So of all the places to have to move to, this is probably the best. Beyond that, I don't think there'd be any more mandatory relocation.

We haven't been married that long...how do you figure stuff like this out?

Other options: I could look for a different job with a company that might be less interesting with less $, and they could still ask me to relocate someday. I could take the job and re-evaluate things when they ask me to move (it probably wouldn't be for a few years). I could try to commute from city a to city b (drive down on monday, drive back thursday) if DW refuses to move.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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The two of you need to really talk about this. My husband did that to me and, although he doesn't know it, I have resented that ever since.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:01 AM   #3
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Congratulations on getting such a great offer! If you can take the job now but don't have to move now, then why not?

Plenty of things could happen within "a few years" that remove the conflict. Maybe you won't like the company well enough to relocate for them by that point. Maybe your wife will change jobs or be less averse to moving. Maybe your experience there will allow you to get just as good a job in your current city by the time they want you to move. Maybe you could telecommute. Maybe your wife could telecommute.

If I were your wife, I'd be pretty reluctant to give up my own lucrative career near my family too, especially since it's a new job for you and there's no guarantee that it will work out the way you expect. But if they're not asking you to move now, then I don't see any reason not to take the job.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:09 AM   #4
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I think WM has hit it on the head. Do that.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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Bottom line: It's only a job, and it's only money.

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Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
The problem is that the company expects you to relocate and DW doesn't want to. She has her own lucrative career and family here, and I understand that.
I'm not a big fan of relocating for "experience" or "growth" or "career broadening". If it personally benefits you and your life and your family, sure-- but don't expect Megacorp to adequately reward your sacrifice upon their altar.

Spouse and I moved 19 times in our ~two-decade careers. Near the end, it became blatantly clear that we weren't being asked to move because it was good for our careers-- we were being asked to move because it was a short-term solution to the "company" problems. Everything we "needed" to do or see could be accomplished just as well from Homeport #1 as from Homeport #2. And when you're being asked to move somewhere, you have to wonder why none of the locals want the job you're being offered.

Quote:
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Beyond that, I don't think there'd be any more mandatory relocation.
"Oh please." That's what your spouse will be thinking if she ever hears that sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
We haven't been married that long...how do you figure stuff like this out?
You may well want to give serious consideration to letting spouse drive the career bus for a while. If she's doing well, and she's happy, then from her perspective it seems like a huge risk to ask both of you to uproot to follow your fresh-out-of-school unproven offer.

We guys can mouth a lot of marriage-support platitudes, but nothing says "I love you" and "I believe in you" more than turning down someone's big job offer to stay where she's earning the big bucks and where you guys are happy. You'll earn lifetime marriage bonus points for it. And if you decide you're gonna relocate after all your discussion, then nothing kills a relationship faster than distance. You'll also pay lifetime marriage penalties.

From the offer as described so far, the only upside is money. There seems to be no shortage of downside.

Here's another way to think of it-- right out of school you've been offered a huge salary with a good company. The outsize salary could be considered a "risk premium" for their "requirement" that you relocate. However their offer clearly indicates that you're not doing so badly for yourself, and it's just a matter of time until you pull down an offer closer to home without such a high risk premium. So maybe it's worth shopping around for a while, especially for a company that understands you're a team and not a temp.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:29 AM   #6
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Do you have kids? or plan on them? If you do - that could turn your decision upside down - as most people I know want to be closer to family and end up moving because of that (we did). So keep that in the long-view.

Whatever you do - give your DW ample opportunity to express her concerns and weigh the decisions together. You're setting important precident and don't want to create bad habits or cycles with this one!

good luck to you!
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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No kids yet, but possible in the next 5 years. I am concerned that if that happens and DW takes a few years off work, things would be tougher financially on my paycheck if I take a lower paying job. On the other hand, being closer to grandparents is a plus.

I think DW could easily plan on staying in our current city forever. I like it here, but I just don't know if that's realistic with a professional career. If she doesn't want to move to Timbuktu or even across the country, that's fine with me. But I think the career benefits of moving to another city within driving distance may be worth the hassle.

The first post-graduate job I take is not going to make me or break me, however I know that there are some jobs that you really must be a fresh MBA to be considered for. You're just not going to get much consideration for them once you've been out of school a few years (because the company can just go back on campus and get fresh meat - they'd rather train it themselves before it's picked up bad habits from another employer). And frankly, I haven't talked to any hiring corporations that don't require at least one of the following: extensive travel, grueling work conditions, or "voluntary" relocation. The alternative is to get paid what I was making before I went to school, which seems like a waste of my education.

Right now, my perspective on the situation is pretty close to what WM described. However, I know 2 years will go by very quickly, and if nothing has changed, then it could turn into a sticky situation. It's easy for me to accept the offer today because I'm discounting the future disruption that this issue could cause. But I wouldn't want future-me to look back on present-me for making a bad investment decision.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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About the only thing that I can add is that if you work for a company of reasonable size and do a very good job, at some point in your career path you're going to be asked to move in conjunction with a promotion. My company moved me twice and was winding up to do it a third time.

Flexibility to go to where the best opportunities are can wildly accelerate your pay, financial stability, financial independence and early retirement prospects.

If your wife never wants to move, thats basically off the table. You could still be successful working at a smaller company or treading water for a larger company, and you could still make a lot of money. But a huge hunk of promising opportunity is wiped out.

Its probably a good idea to point that out to the wife, because it has a big impact on both of you.

I have to say that I enjoyed the moves. I got to experience different parts of the country and different regions, the relocation packages were very lucrative, and I got to make huge jumps up in the corporate structure. I made a lot of money and that enabled me to achieve financial independence.

Had I stuck in my original locale, I'd have made a good salary and done well for myself. The FIRE clock would have run a lot slower though.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #9
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Would the kids thing work out to actually help you? For example, in three years you are facing relocating and your wife is taking off work to care for the kid that might be on the way. You relocate and your wife's career ambitions drop into the background. Maybe re-evaluate things after a few years of her staying at home with the kids. Could you quit that job and relocate back to your current town?
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:29 PM   #10
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FWIW, while my initial post made it sound like the big dollar signs are making me wide-eyed (and they are), the job track would also provide a lot of valuable experience in several areas that I'm interested in, with a brand name company. Putting aside the compensation, the experience and resume polish would be valuable if I decided to look elsewhere down the road.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:51 PM   #11
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You said you have no children currently. Is it possible for you to find an inexpensive apartment close to work and then commute back on weekends? If I didn't take this job, I think I would feel resentful toward my spouse, as much as my spouse would feel resentful if she had to move against her wishes.

If your job doesn't work out the way you want, it is easier to just pack up and go back home this way. In the meantime, you are learning/experiencing/career-building the way you want.

I realize this may be tough as a couple (to be apart more), but I would personally consider this a vaiable option.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:10 PM   #12
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I probably see this a bit differently than most as I have spent the past 15 years as a trailing spouse. To me the greatest thing of concern is that your wife doesn't want to move away from her family. While it is great that she likes her family, once the two of you joined forces via marriage, you became a family unit of your own, and your needs as a couple should take precedence over her need to be near her mother or sister or whoever it may be.

If you plan on having children in the future there will come a time that I expect you will be expected to be the sole breadwinner and at that time you will be expected to provide mucho $'s for your family so you might want to keep that in mind.

At some time you have to start living your life for yourselves and not for extended family and now just may be a good time to do it.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:11 PM   #13
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One more example of why marriage is obsolete today. Take the job; money endures, wives come and go.

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Old 09-08-2008, 01:38 PM   #14
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Interesting listening to my 75 year old dad relate stories about all his 70-90-something neighbors over in the retirement community. Almost every couple has one thing in common: a bitterness of one spouse towards the other over having been moved away from family or from their birthplace.

He was just over yesterday teaching his grandson things to do that'll take me months to deprogram watching football with us and telling us the weekly gossip. Pretty much everyone is waiting for the spouse to expire so they can move back to where they really want to live or where they're from.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:57 PM   #15
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Hmmm - aerospace, single without a quasi permanent girlfriend until New Orleans. Moved a lot before then.

1993 age 49, with SO employed at the same ole rocket plant. Layed off.

Did not take any out of town offers - Witchita was not on her wish list.

Became ER - decided to stay in New Orleans - until along came Katrina 2005.

heh heh heh - prior to that(time and 401k) - who got the right contracts in the Space Program dictated my location/employer pretty much.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:02 PM   #16
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I'm with WM--they don't expect you to move for a few years? I'd go for it. Still being in your twenties and freshly married/out of school (i.e. still figuring things out), I'd be surprised if you didn't feel like moving on (from the job) in a few years anyhow. In the meantime you'd get some good experience and money under your belt.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:37 PM   #17
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Isn't the question just too hypothetical? If you don't have to move now, and given how often people tend to change jobs these day, I would take the job that fits me best now. That should be the discussion: is this the job I should have now, given uncertainties of the future.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:45 PM   #18
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Brings to mind the old saying- "if mama's not happy, nobody's happy"

No sexism expressed or implied.
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:54 PM   #19
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[quote=soupcxan;710570]She has her own lucrative career and family here, and I understand that. quote]

Well, if the two of you move, her family is still within driving distance. Family is important, but sometimes family can be too close. Does she have a family member who is dependent on her?

If you take the job and need to relocate in two to three years, will your wife be able to find a job comparable to what she has now? Is her lucrative career dependent on her current location? Is she planning to continue working after children come along? I think you need to get these questions on the table.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:19 PM   #20
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The first post-graduate job I take is not going to make me or break me, however I know that there are some jobs that you really must be a fresh MBA to be considered for. You're just not going to get much consideration for them once you've been out of school a few years (because the company can just go back on campus and get fresh meat - they'd rather train it themselves before it's picked up bad habits from another employer).
I have labored under many assumptions over the course of my career, most of which have been mistaken.

"I've been laid off, I'll never find another job." Wrong -- I have been laid off twice now, and both times I found another job immediately, for larger salaries, and after multiple offers.

"I'll never make this much money again." Happily, I was wrong on this one too. :-)

"They'll never hire me again once I hit 40." Fifty-one and counting.

Etc.

Rather than framing this as a disagreement between you and your wife and a one-time, make-it-or-break-it offer, why not see it as a great opportunity to set joint goals and tactics? Earning an MBA is a real accomplishment, and I congratulate you. But it's a powerful long-term investment, and you need to sit down and chart out a long-term plan. You've just spent two years studying strategic planning and learning management skills -- now is the time to put them to use for "Your Family, Inc."

When I got my MBA I could only see as far ahead as my first job, but 18 years and 5 employers later, I can look back and see how little I knew at the beginning and how focused I was on the next job rather than on the long-term arc of my career.

Check your assumptions, sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your wife about your LIFE-LONG goals and dreams, and see how your job and her job mesh with those dreams. This is a time to be happy, excited, and motivated -- don't spend it being resentful about short-term decisions without trying to find common ground first.

Good luck to you both!
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