Leaning...backward? Better lifestyle, not-better job?
April 17, 2014 6:28 PM Subscribe
We'd like to move to another city for family reasons, but it will likely require a step back for me career-wise. I'd like to hear about how that worked out for other people. Can you help me get excited about it?
I work in a quasi-academic field and have been reasonably happy and pretty successful at my job. The majority of my job is managerial/administrative at this point, but I also have an academic appointment and spend part of my time teaching graduate students, which I enjoy a lot. I also do some scholarly work, although the projects are small and largely specific to the institution (something like curriculum evaluation). I don’t have supported time for teaching and research at the moment, but they are possible due to my current role, which means my schedule is relatively flexible and I can make time for lectures and research-related meetings during the day as long as my other work gets done.
We live in an expensive city. My spouse and I have been thinking about relocating back to Spouse’s home city, and I’ve done some preliminary job searching and identified a couple of possible jobs. It is very likely that I will be offered at least one of these jobs should I want to pursue it. Spouse would likely continue working for their current employer and telecommute. We have young kids. I provide about 70% of our income.
-I would make the same or slightly less money than I do now, which would effectively be a raise given the substantial cost of living difference between the two cities.
-Spouse's family (who I like) and some friends would be local.
-Good public schools
-Much shorter commute would mean more time with kids
-There would probably be eventual avenues for promotion after a few years in the new job.
-There are only a couple of potential employers for me in spouse’s home city, and it’s looking like making the move will require some loss of seniority on my part. I would basically be going back to the first job I had after finishing my graduate work six years ago.
-With that would come a substantial increase in time spent doing a particular key function that is OK but not really something I love doing. Also a lot less schedule flexibility and thus less time to teach and do research, which will be necessary for academic promotion.
-I would need to start over with building a professional network, and the more rigid schedule would make it difficult to get involved in research or teaching. I think I would also be at a disadvantage for academic promotion because a lot of my accomplishments thus far are specific to my current institution and, while my current employer appreciates them and they would "count" toward promotion requirements, they may not be as interesting to a new place. I feel like I’ve just gotten to the point where those things are going well for me, and I’m not sure I have the energy to do it all over again.
-I started graduate school in my late 20s and so part of me feels like I’d be even further behind where I “should” be (currently in my early 40s).
I feel like making the move is probably the right thing to do for my family, but I’m having a tough time getting excited about it. I can’t decide how much is just being comfortable in my current role and how much is genuine lack of enthusiasm about the available jobs. On the other hand, it will only get harder to go back to an entry-level job, so maybe I should just bite the bullet.
I feel like there are a lot of relocation questions on Metafilter but that most people move for lateral positions or promotions. I’d love to hear from people who have taken a step backward in their careers in exchange for lifestyle even though they're ambitious, or who have decided against doing that.