Great Career move...not Sure Though

Updated on May 05, 2010
R.D. asks from California, MD
12 answers

I have been offered a great job that would not only expand my career, but help my family more as well. This job requires a MINIMUM of six weeks of travel, in two week intervals. I already know ahead of time that one of the trips is over one of my daughter's dance performances. This year I would have been gone when my second child turned 5. The only time I have EVER spent a night away from my kids, was when I was about 5 months 4 months pregnant with number 3, and that was only for 3 nights before my baby brother shipped off to Iraq (I went to Texas). Otherwise, I have never been away from them. My husband recently lost his job though, and this raise would help us out. But the big kicker, is that I owe my company no $8k for my MBA classes, and the new company will not pay them back. Though they are giving me a $4k signing bonus. BUT - my husband was just also recently laid off, so I was hoping to put that $4k in the bank so we can then make mortgage payments through October if it takes that long for him to get back to work. He has some interviews lined up as well, so I dont think it will take that long, but I' not sure. So I have some reservations about accepting, but at the same time am very excited about the career opportunity. And the family is able to travel with me at least once a year and we can make some vacation time out of it too. One trip each year is also to they are not all local. Advice? Helpful suggestions? Thanks!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice and words of wisdom mama's! I ended up taking the job!! I started two weeks ago and am overwhelmed right now in learning this new career path. There was a very last minute trip to Egypt planned (next week) and I am not able to go because I don't have my passport yet - so SCORE! haha, I do want to go, but not just yet. And I got the dates for the December trip - I'll fly back the morning of my daught'er's dance, so I'll be here for the show!! And for April and my son's birthday - the destination is Baltimore!! How perfect is that?!? Granted, I will be home before his birthday, but the whole family can come stay a few nights with me at the Gaylord...such an amazing hotel! So things are looking like they will work out. I don't want to count myself lucky just yet, but I'm feeling great about my decision!

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Actually YOU have said it all by expressing your excitement at the new employment option, though carefully listing the pros and cons. If your husband is supportive of the decision, absolutely take the new job! You are likely young and this is quite a nice opportunity to break out of just more US-based work and it will give you a taste of international travel and overseas professional environments. Also, your travel will likely be offerred as at least business class---a nice perk when you travel alone and which many couples convert to two economy tickets so your husband can travel with you for some of the trips if babysitting can be arranged. Missing a few of your children's events here and there, are not the disasters people try to make them out to be, though you will need to work on your own guilt. Your children need to recognize that you have a job to do and are proud of your work, as well as them. A happy , fulfilled parent benefits them more than one whose work is boring or tedious. Your husband will fill in. You will all benefit from your enhanced capabilities and earnings and growth. When your husband is employed again, the kids will learn of parental negotiations and sharing of responsibilities at home and at work as you each balance the others' schedule. Go now before the opportunity passes to someone else! The $4K issue will soon be behind you with a reasonable payback schedule. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hi - I would say trust your gut on the new job. You and your husband know what's best for your family, and it sounds like you're excited about this (hopefully he is, too). As far as the $8K, I would bet that your old company will negotiate a payback schedule with you, especially if you make it clear you want to repay the money and remain on good terms with them. I handle employment law matters for my company, and we would never sue someone over an $8K tuition payment. We would negotiate a payback schedule that gives us the best chance of getting our money back. I don't know about MD, but in VA your employer cannot garnish your final wages to repay the $8K unless you expressly signed something giving them permission to do that (and even then they can't take you below the minimum wage). If you didn't sign something to that effect, then you probably agreed to repay the money within XX days/weeks/months after your employment ends, and you can probably negotiate for a longer period. Good luck!

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answers from Jacksonville on

I would take the job, especially if it pays more and is what you want. I would use the 4K bonus to pay off your current job, one less loan you have outstanding or less at least. I would use the pay from the current job to SAVE one month's mortgage each time if you can to allow for your husband's job loss. Is your husband on board with this. Evaluate your current budget, cut expenses and try to plan ahead for the days that he is be working.


answers from Washington DC on


This is a choice only you can make. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Why do I want to change jobs?
a. Is there lack of career growth in your present position?
b. Is your current job giving you what you need? My answer to this is NO as you accepted the interview with the new company.

2. Other than money - what will I gain in taking this new position?

3. Is this my "dream job"? If the answer is "no" - don't take it.

4. Will your current company counter the offer you received? If so - would that change your mind about leaving?

Write a list of your reservations and what it is you are excited about with this new job opportunity. If the excitement outweighs the reservations then you need to make a decision. Your husband MUST be on-board with this. This just isn't about money - this will be about him taking up the slack when you are traveling - shopping, cooking, schedules, baseball, soccer, ballet, etc. - whatever extracurricular activities your children have scheduled. Some husbands can't handle it - they get easily overwhelmed. I don't know if this is your husband or not.

The economy - blah - companies are hiring all over - they can afford to be picky. Yes, people are laying off (as evidence in your husband being laid off). The economy is cyclic - it goes up and down - just like life. Like anything in life - it's what you make of it. You can be negative and bring yourself down. Or you can look at it positively - this gives you an opportunity to see just how blessed you's all in how you look at it.

Keep in mind that the $4K sign-on bonus the new company is offering you will be less than $4k as they will take out taxes.

If you leave your current company owing them money - if you have any vacation or other funds - they are allowed to garnish those before releasing any funds to you.

What does your husband do? Does he have a clearance? If so - I can pass his resume around to hiring managers that I know. You can contact me personally.

Best regards,




answers from Tulsa on

kids are only young once but saying that at this economy if you can find anything at all jump on it.


answers from Washington DC on

i'm going to take yet another perspective and say don't take it because of the economy etc, but because it sounds like a fantastic opportunity! parents' travel is part of life for many families, and while some may end up permanently scarred like one of the posters here, most adjust just fine and it's simply part of how their family structure operates. the 8K is an excellent investment in your future and well worth repaying, basically it's a student loan. yes, it will be an adjustment for you and your kids, and yes, there will be difficult and lonely and heartbreaking moments. but there is potential for all of that in life itself.
don't decline wonderful adventures.
good luck!



answers from Orlando on

I guess it depends on how great the raise would be, plus if there is ZERO opportunity for professional growth with your current company, plus if they will let you pay off the $8K in small payments so you don't have to pay a chunk now in case your hubbie doesn't find work right away...... I personally could NOT take a job traveling away from my family (even if I could take them, because you are kidding yourself if you think traveling WITH your children for a work related trip will be a vacation), but that's just me



answers from Washington DC on

if you can get yourself to be excited about the job than do it. this is a unique opportunity for you husband to be superparent and for you to stretch your corporate wings. however, if you are going to be miserable stay home and make other cut backs. only you can answer this question.



answers from New York on

don't second guess. this is a greta opportunity. yes kids are young once but you're doing it mainly for the kids. if i were you, i'd jump on it right away.
use 4k to pay off company or make a deal with them to make monthly payments. try to renegotiate with new company for paying off the loan you have with the current one. doesn't hurt to ask.
good luck


answers from Washington DC on

I agree with Denise. In this economy and in the situation you are in, it looks like you will be needing to make the sacrifices necessary to take care of your family. You will be missing the recital and birthday. The kids will not. Dad'll be there and he will make it a wonderful memory for them. Just know that you are doing it all for them. Congratulations on the new career!



answers from Springfield on

I would take the job and do your best to relieve your mommy guilt. You have no choice... you owe money and do not have a great deal coming in. Your husband will pick up the slack when you are away and this might be a great opportunity for him to bond with your little ones.
And who knows?! You may pay off your loans/ put $ in the bank and your husband will get a new job before you have to leave on your first big trip.



answers from Washington DC on

well, I have a different perspective. it sounds like taking the new job will actually put you $4k in the hole from the outset, with a currently unemployed husband. unless the raise is huge, that's going to negatively impact your bottom line, not to mention your security, for quite a time. I get that you want to advance your career, but I wonder, is there a chance for a similar opportunity at your current company?

also, don't discount how much that kind of travel is going to wear on you. and don't discount the impact it will have on your children. not to mention, you're asking your husband to be a single parent to 3 kids for weeks at a time. granted, it sounds like it's going to be a two-week trip every 4 months, which isn't that bad. but it's a huge leap from what you all are used to.

I know that people say a happy mommy is a happy family and all that, and I agree to an extent, but I gotta say, my mom took a similar opportunity when I was 5 and my brother was 7, and it essentially destroyed our relationship. I could no longer rely on her. I have vivid memories of sobbing on the phone, mommy please come home I miss you, and her saying sorry, she can't. I know, kids need to grow up and be independent, but the scars from what I perceived to be maternal abandonment are deep.

So, make sure that this really is going to be the economic boon and career advancement opportunity that you say. and then really compare what those are worth with what your current relationship with your children is worth -- b/c no one can argue with the fact that it ~will~ change, even if people want to attack me for holding you back, which I'm not trying to do..... I'm not saying that working moms, or even travelling moms, can't have good relationships with their kids. I'm just sharing my story and trying to give you another perspective to weigh as you make your very personal decision.

good luck with this. sometimes the best opportunities are the most frustrating to get your head around.... :)

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