We want to make a DINK-move, not a dick-move.
September 17, 2010 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Husband loses job, gains new job. Awesome! But I'm expecting a great job offer myself - on the other side of the country.

My husband's company has teetered on the brink of survival for the past several years. Two weeks ago, he was informed that his position (and many others) were being eliminated.

The good news? Husband & his old boss from a few years ago have been talking on and off for 6 months about working together. (Old boss has a new employer, a local office of ~20 people.) As soon as the layoffs were announced, The Once & Future Boss (henceforth, TOAFB) called husband up and told him he could start Oct 1 - at a pay increase of $10k above husband's current salary.

Now for the catch. About two months ago, *I* started looking for a new position... and the process is going very well. I'm currently vastly underpaid for my role & industry, and have been looking at exciting new jobs that would pay 30-50% more than what I make now. But every company I'm considering would require moving to another city - and all of them are 3-5 hours flying time away.

My husband hasn't mentioned the issue (yet), but did try to talk TOAFB into pushing his start date back to Nov 1 to give us some breathing room. No dice - the guy is so excited to work with him, he just wouldn't take "actually, a few weeks off would be just the ticket!" for an answer... and husband was understandably reluctant to divulge more when I don't have an offer in hand. But now he's wondering if he should've just laid everything out for TOAFB right at the start.

In the next two weeks, he's scheduled to start this new job, at almost exactly the same time that I have prospective employers scheduling me to fly out to their offices for final rounds of interviews. If I get a job offer we can't see ourselves turning down, have we screwed ourselves royally here? TOAFB has been a great reference & contact for my husband, so we really don't want to torch that relationship. Thoughts?

Other notes:
- I have the more marketable/lucrative career path of the two of us (he's cool with that).
- There are no good options for me to advance my career in our current city.
- I don't make enough to support us both (yet).
- We've done long distance - years of it. 2 months is the most we can think we can take at this point.
- Telecommuting might be an option for him - but the timing of starting the job and then needing to move several weeks/months later seems horrible.
- And for added fun, his new contract includes a 1-year noncompete (ew)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What about the "soft" stuff, which location would you both prefer as your home? Where are your friends and family? Which is more exiciting?
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:08 PM on September 17, 2010

I know this might sound weird, but, to me, this is a math problem. A simple regression should tell you which option is likely to make you the most money.

Note how I don't factor in the relationship between husband and TOAFB. Unless you can but a monetary value on it, it isn't worth what you think it is, and such considerations hold you back from success.

The wild card here is, how quickly can husband find a new job in the new city? Don't worry about the NC clause, they are very rarely enforced - and difficult cases to win. If you're still worried, and husband hasn't signed the contract yet, have him give it back and tell them straight up that a NC clause is out of the question. If they really want your husband, they'll drop it.

Also, don't worry about the timing of the move. Either they'll let him telecommute, or they won't. When he starts is not as big a deal as you think.
posted by Citrus at 12:22 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

: "- We've done long distance - years of it. 2 months is the most we can think we can take at this point.
- Telecommuting might be an option for him - but the timing of starting the job and then needing to move several weeks/months later seems horrible.

I would suggest the following:

1. Husband takes new job starting as soon as possible.
2. You take new job (if offered) starting as delayed as possible.

This maximises the number of months he's working in his new role before you go.

3. You move, he stays.
4. You visit every other month until your husband has six months in his new role.
5. Husband pitches boss telecommuting idea
6. Boss says yes = yay. Boss says no = hand in notice.

Both of you should save your salary increases really seriously in this period as there is a high chance you will need to pay for two places, a lot of airfare, relocating your husband and his job search period in a new city with no job.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:23 PM on September 17, 2010 [17 favorites]

Sounds like a job for a bottle of wine and a giant Pros/Cons list that the two of you make together. Weighted appropriately by both of you. We don't have all the facts, like all the 'soft' stuff, as 2bucksplus points out, which can turn out to be more important in the long run.
posted by emyd at 12:25 PM on September 17, 2010

I think DarlingBri has outlined a great approach. Also, my attitude is that people such as your husband's old boss won't really hold it against your husband if he makes the difficult choice to prioritize his family and his own mental health over his job. Anyone who would hold such a grudge isn't worth it anyway.

Keep moving forward, you never know what's going to happen. Don't prematurely close any doors. Good luck!
posted by amanda at 12:41 PM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Agree with DarlingBri. Also keep in mind, while we all know you are the best for the jobs you are applying for, there are likely other people interviewing. Your husband definitely having a job is good insurance. See what happens and in the meantime have him float the idea of telecommuting to his friend/old boss. If he ends up having to leave because of an unbelievable offer i think he should give old boss a good amount of notice (maybe a month). Also it seems that while they have been talking about this for 6 months the old boss was able to quickly hire your husband which makes me think he can quickly hire someone else if he needs the spot filled.
posted by Busmick at 12:58 PM on September 17, 2010

Sorry, also with respect to not burning bridges, if a really great position comes up for you your husband can smooth it over saying it was too good to pass up and in a location we have always wanted to move to, its closer to family etc etc (little white lies acceptable). That along with a good amount of notice should be enough.
posted by Busmick at 1:01 PM on September 17, 2010

Your husband can always tell TOAFB that you "just" got a job offer on the other side of the country which you are considering. TAOFB does not know nor need to know the actual date your husband thought about this.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:14 PM on September 17, 2010

I'd go to one or the other place. Add up total salary possible in both places.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:48 PM on September 17, 2010

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