life is great, except for the having a life bit
June 6, 2010 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Should I leave a job that I love, which has plenty of prospects, because my personal life is terrible?

There's been plenty of questions in a similar vein, but usually because someone hates their job. I actually really enjoy my job, I'm working in a field that really interests me, the company is going from strength to strength, I'm earning a wage that most of my friends could only dream about, and things are only set to get better for me in every way.

But when I come back home, I'm pretty miserable. I'm back living with my parents, which is a big part of this, but I'm so sick of the area I live too. It's quite rural, and insular, and even the closest city really offers nothing for me, despite being a city boy at heart (I lived in London for 4 years, which despite the hardship was a great time for me). So whilst I expect moving out will solve living with my parents, I don't see that I'm going to be any happier.

I'm 26 this year. I've been back for 3 years, 2 of which I've been in this job, and each year I look at my life and think that I can't live like this any longer. I haven't had a girlfriend for ten years now, I meet so few people around here that I actually want to spend time with. I have just a few friends who have drifted away from me and I rarely get to see. So, besides my job, there's not a lot keeping me here.

I've tried weighing things up whilst I'm at home, and the only conclusion is to move somewhere else, to the point where I'm feverishly looking for new jobs. I feel that either moving back to London, or maybe Amsterdam, or somewhere in Eastern Europe would be a great change. But have no idea how I would get a job in any of these places since what I do is pretty unique (technical, broadcast kind of areas).

But when I go to work each day, I can't imagine leaving. My manager has nothing but praise for me and my working relationships. And the future of the company itself is actually pretty exciting.

So what do I do? Do I try and find a new job elsewhere? (any tips or pointers to other questions on this appreciated), or put up with my life and try and make it better?

Alternatively, asking my employer whether there might be any opportunities elsewhere in the company since we have offices in other countries too (pretty unlikely). But it would be pretty stupid to effectively tell my employer that I intend to leave at a vague point in time, wouldn't it?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm back living with my parents

If you're doing so well financially, can't you move out on your own? Because I swear that the fact that you're 26 and living with your folks will dramatically improve things. Subconsciously or not you are dealing with the fact that you were independent and then came back home. From what you describe about the company, I absolutely would not leave at your age. I would put in the time and make the absolute most of it.

Can you not make any friends amongst your coworkers? Even if you don't LOVE them, what about getting close enough to them to meet THEIR friends? What about church, volunteering, sport, community organizations - you don't need a dozen friends, if you had one or two people you were close to it would dramatically increase your happiness level. Then in a few years you can evaluate asking for a transfer or other opportunities. I do not think that just leaving for another country when you have a great job that pays well and offers advancement is the best idea.
posted by micawber at 12:54 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Move out first. Keep looking for jobs in a city that sounds fun. There's no reason to stay somewhere that you're unhappy with.
posted by beerbajay at 12:57 PM on June 6, 2010

Don't get out of a good situation because another situation that you're in is bad.

If you're that well off, move into your own place. Then start looking for some more friends. If you need to, move to a city nearby where there are more people, and put up with the commute.
posted by Solomon at 1:06 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a chronic mover, thinking that a new city will fix my personal life, I'll tell you that it helps, kind of, but it isn't a solution. That said, if you hate the place you are, there's no reason to stay. BUT:

You're 26, employed in a job you love and making a good salary? Hey man, I hate to be Mr. Brightside here, but that's a pretty enviable situation these days. Stay at your job for now, save all the money you can while not paying rent, build your resume, move up and keep looking for jobs in places you want to live. Then once something open up, you'll be in a great position (financially, professionally, emotionally) to jump on it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:08 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Baby steps. First, find your own place. Once you have your own place it will be much easier to socialize, go out and make your own schedule. You can even have ladies over if you like! Then you can reassess the situation and start looking for jobs in other cities if you still feel like a big fish in a small pond.
posted by ladypants at 1:11 PM on June 6, 2010

Wait, what? When the job is the thing that is going well, you keep the job and fix the other stuff.

You really don't know how living in the closest city will feel because you haven't tried it. Go. Move out. Dedicate yourself to meeting people for a year.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think the first step is to get your own place. It's so obvious that I believe there's something important you left out of your post that explains why you've not done so. It might be helpful to ask a moderator to add that information?

If you want to ask your manager about potential jobs in other locations, you can say something like this without fear: "I really love working for this company. I'm young and unattached. If you learn of positions in this location or any of our other locations, that would be helpful to my career growth with this company, please let me know."
posted by Houstonian at 1:24 PM on June 6, 2010

As a former manager of a department on three continents, I would have been really happy to have an employee that was looking to move to another place, if there was a need. If your reviews are glowing, and there is a need for you somewhere else, your company would be foolish to not take you up on this. They have a known performer whom can go pick things up in a new location. If you approach your boss couching it as such, they won't be thinking you want to bail.
posted by kellyblah at 1:32 PM on June 6, 2010

1) Your "personal life" is your life. A job is just a job, even in the proverbial "this economy." If you're miserable, figure out how to be happy.

2) Ask about a transfer. Unless they're excessively unreasonable (which I doubt because you like it there), they would rather accommodate you than lose you altogether.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:50 PM on June 6, 2010

Seems like it is time to move on.

You'll be able to find another job you love. By starting to make plans for a move, you will add some excitement to your life, and your attitude will improve. When you do land that dream job in the location that mosts interests you, that will be even more exciting. And you'll be able to cut ties with where you are living now in a positive way.

I lived overseas for more of my twenties. My parents, of course, always wanted me to come home.

My advice to my sons is, and always will be, explore. Don't stick close to home if you don't want to. Do interesting things. Travel far from home.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:54 PM on June 6, 2010

First and foremost -- wherever you go, there you are. You can't run from yourself, or at least you can't do it indefinitely and it doesn't work in any case. One of my sisters sent me a card not long after I hauled ass to Houston in the aftermath of that broken marriage, all those years ago, a pretty picture and a Thoreau quote inside: "Frontiers are neither East nor West, but wherever a man faces a fact."

Grow where you're planted.

At 26 everyone is losing touch with their friends. It's that stage of life. Less of that in the city -- or, rather, more of people like you -- but still.

Girlfriend -- the internet is your friend. If you're 26 and haven't had a girlfriend in ten years, simple arithmetic tells us you also didn't have a girlfriend when you lived in London. So what's different from then to now? Nothing, probably, except maybe you're even more gun-shy, perhaps more lovelorn. Hit one of the forty-two thousand threads here about shy guys and internet dating -- you're a man with very bright future prospects in a job you love, you'll look great on the dating sites -- read up on it and move toward it.

It's almost always the two biggies -- finance or romance -- that cause our pains and troubles. But also our happinesses. It's always finance or romance. It's your money or your honey. It's green or it's pink. It's dollars or it's love. You've got the money piece so well sewed up, and I don't know that leaving your job is going to make the other side straighten out, I believe you can probably do that where you are.

Good luck.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:59 PM on June 6, 2010 [6 favorites]

No, do not quit, work on your personal life. Jobs you love are hard to find. Your personal life can be fixed without running away.
posted by fifilaru at 2:22 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Keep the good, change the bad. That's just good advice for any situation, including yours.
posted by davejay at 3:26 PM on June 6, 2010

When you're living at home, this weird thing happens to your whole sense of self. You revert to being who you were as a kid. It's soul-sucking. I swear to you that living in a different place, even one three blocks away, will make you feel differently about yourself and your life. I'd do that and re-evaluate then.
posted by salvia at 3:43 PM on June 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Girlfriend -- the internet is your friend. If you're 26 and haven't had a girlfriend in ten years, simple arithmetic tells us you also didn't have a girlfriend when you lived in London. So what's different from then to now? .....You've got the money piece so well sewed up, and I don't know that leaving your job is going to make the other side straighten out, I believe you can probably do that where you are.


As somebody who has moved several times hoping this would help fix my personal life I can assure you it doesn't, you're still the same old you might as well keep the job (that's the majority of your daytime hrs happy, right?), move out and make an effort to meet people. If, in a year, you still haven't got a circle of friends and some romance you're doing something wrong.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:54 PM on June 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Are you close enough to a city that commuting could work for you? Then you get the city life and great job. The commute would also likely be less busy because you're going the opposite way of almost everyone else!
posted by melissa at 5:55 PM on June 6, 2010

Yeah, move out and keep working. Then re-evaluate.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 11:39 PM on June 6, 2010

Nthing that you should move out, give it a year (or six months, or whatever seems reasonable) and then see how things look.

Living with anyone that you're not suited to living with can be life-sapping in ways that you barely appreciate while it's going on (I mean, it's not like they beat you, there's nothing actually wrong with living there...etc. etc.). It's only when you get out into your own space that it's suddenly like the sun coming out. For me it wasn't moving away from my parents, but moving out of a house I'd shared with a couple my own age for too long because they had extremely generously invited me to stay rent-free at a time I had debts to pay off. It was fine, it was cheap, they were friendly, but it was their house. When I made the break, suddenly my social life burst into bloom, and I was incredibly happy.

If that doesn't happen, at least you'll have tried it, and you'll have had another year at your job, which is a reasonable amount of time to be anywhere, and you might find other opportunities opening up in the meantime.
posted by penguin pie at 4:13 AM on June 7, 2010

« Older Help me populate my immortal world   |   Should I make contact and apologize after all this... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.