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To consider career over family time(24 Posts)
One trip every 8 weeks or sounds fine to me. I wouldn't get too hung up on the job title/level if I were you. I would take a holistic view and select the option that works best for your whole life including family. And like the poster above, I would say the same to a man (but they might not listen!).
The tax advice is very sage, you will fare better self employed than PAYE.
Personally, I would stick with option 2 for the time being as you can maintain some flexibility and control over your diary.
The MD role sounds fantastic but I can't help thinking that you would be away mon-fri and working long, long hours for very little additional pay.
Why not see how you feel in a couple of years, no reason why you wouldn't be offered another similar role in the future.
Personally it reads like you want to take the MD job because that is the one that is worthy of you and you don't want to lower yourself with a job that you think is too easy.
I think you should do what is right for your children, which means not uprooting them again. You have only moved to the midlands recently.
You're the only person that can answer this OP - only you know how much you need that challenge right now. Personally we've put our lives on hold a bit to avoid disruption of children, but if you are going to be resentful because you aren't stretched, then you may need to move as a frustrated mother won't be great for them either.
I don't do international travel, in fact I try to avoid work travel at all, but that's mainly because I
am lazy do all the school runs so it's a mare to arrange.
I think in the context of the set up you describe, travel would be absolutely fine. You are totally right that having your DH do sole caring for some periods is no bad thing.
Does anyone else do international travel in their jobs?
Very true. I don't want to move dds again, oldest will be heartbroken. She's dyslexic and the teachers really get her if that makes sense. The consultancy role is a good career move too as its areas I haven't worked in before developing bric opportunities overseas so a good cv position. It's a good role. I would be away probably one or two nights a week though but dh would be at home with the kids and I think that's not so bad as long as one parent is at home unless I'm missi g some crucial parenting point?? I actually think its quite nice for dh and me and even the kids to have dad being the sole carer some days and me others as it does demonstrate a bit of equality in our household I guess. The travel thing will be tough but its once every 8 weeks for four nights max five so again unless I'm being blinkered seems ok to me?
Have you taken into account the tax difference between operating on your own vs being an employee & then paying the nanny out of your post tax pay?. Worst case is this is not cost neutral but cost negative.
I made a similar choice to that you are proposing a few years ago & effectively outsourced childcare & my family life. I felt like I was dying a little bit everyday. Sure I was doing great at work & they offered £££s when I quit, but in my experience the cost to me & my family was too great.
If you look at this from a different perspective, you can look after your family well at the moment with some semblance of balance. There will always be bigger & better jobs, it's a question of timing.
It is a little hard to feel like you can't flex your muscles at work in the way that you know that you can, but this is a challenge that can be overcome if you have ticks in all the other boxes.
Or look at the problem from a different angle, how can you tweak the roles you currently have to make them more fulfilling? It might be easier to achieve a change to the current rather than risking it all on a new job which might not live up to your expectations
Maybe distance commute? Home on a Wednesday night, rest of the week in London = you and DH are happy, kids are settled. Unless the rest of your career is likely to be London based, in which case you may as well move now.
Tbh, I think 4 schools before the age of 8 is more than enough. Kids like stability.
Your set up sounds great. Can you push your own consulting role so it is more in line with your seniority?
The next contract for example. Really go for it in the next five to ten years. Can you see it working out how you'd like it?
Ah thanks for clarifying OP - so consulting versus MD jobs are cost neutral.
We had next door neighbours with 3 boys, one about DS's age. They had moved a lot, at least once every 2 years. The older two never brought friends home from school, nor did they seem to bother about toys - they knew it was pointless. The younger boy was heartbroken when he realised they were moving - ok sure he was young enough to build up somewhere else, but imagine as a child going through that process of being the new kid, making friends, settling down, only to have it stripped away from you.
In short what I'm trying to say is that children benefit from stability. If you absolutely have to move, fine then go ahead, but if it's just about your pride then is that a fair reason to uproot your family yet again, particularly as you aren't really going to see much of them anyway if you take the job.
Hopefully other more suitable opportunities will come your way in the future.
I think option two. Why move after so soon.
You can work towards three which might help with the ego part.
Definitely a great home set up with DH, why ruin that?
And although children are portable (up to a point) how will they feel about being uprooted?
Especially if you are then away a lot anyway?
I'm not totally clear from your post but it looks as if the consulting jobs pay the same as the md job,if that's the case then stick with the one with least travelling.
Your children are happy and you are in a good school location and you've already moved your dd 4 times. I'd give the same advice to a man sometimes ambition needs to be tempered by what's best for the family. What does your DH think ?
Thanks all! Yes have lived in sw London up until last September and had a nanny etc so we worked out that financially we would be better off with me taking the consultancy position at 100k ish (still neg) and spending one or two nights in London. The md position will stretch to 130k basic but with tax and nursery / nanny it swallows a lot if that so they come out marginally equal.
I suppose when I read it back it is ego. My ego is a bit bruised that I have to work alongside juniors and not take a big career jump. But I suppose I just need to swallow my pride and I will still be md of my own consultancy I guess. Just finding it hard.
Dh works all over the place - hq in Cambridge, offices in Poole and Hemel Hempstead and he really is the epitome of a home worker which is great as he can do school runs cook tea etc. I'm lucky in that respect.
Adding one more point; if you do turn down the md role, make sure you state that the lack of flexibility was (partly?) a dealbreaker. So many corporates now are desperate to recruit and retain senior female staff, so it will give them good food for thought even if it doesn't alter the situation at present for you.
Good luck whatever you decide to do.
Never having been/ or likely to be in a situation where I am offered a career opportunity like this my only advice is to try to think about how I will feel in 10 years. Will I be glad that I grabbed the chance or will I regret that I missed the only chance I have of spending that time with my young DCs. Only YOU can answer that question.
Will your DH be able to move his job to London?
Think very carefully and practically about what your day to day family routine will be in London (think commute, childcare handover and childcare costs (and you'll probably need a nanny if you both work long hours so that's approx 35k gross pay you need to fund after your taxed salaries). Where will you live? If you can't afford a "good" area (800k plus for a family home) you might want to think about private schools (which apart from the fees can be quite difficult to get a place at). Don't underestimate how costly schooling in London is, you pay fees or you pay high rent/mortgage if you want a good private or state school.
I work at the top end of the salary you are being offered, but I work 4 days a week and DP shares the nanny handover half the time. If I didn't have the flexibility I don't think I'd still be doing it, lots of us daydream about the work-life balance you currently have, plus village living etc.
You can always "ramp up" your career in the future, especially given most of us will be working well into our 70s. But you can't revisit your young family years.
Just giving another perspective!
Quick response - £85k for MD role in London is pretty low IMO. International travel and pressure, need to be £120k and above to be worthwhile.
The consulting jobs may be a bit junior, but could you stick it out for a few years until all kids at school? 22 months is still very very little.
I gave up career to be at home with kids for a while, if I'd had a middle ground I think I'd have bloody jumped at the chance
Personally, I'd move the family further south, probably to somewhere within half and hour of job location. If you are finding it difficult to get decent contracts in Midlands, then it's probably a better move in the long term.
Is your DH supportive of a move? Could his job be changed easily?
Would you consider weekend commuting with the city job? From the sound of the hours you wouldnt get to see much of your family mid week in any event? Perhaps do that for 6 months/a year and if it is working then move the family?
Oh and should mention that we only bought a year ago. I have asked md role for any flexibility on hours / days in office / home but they want five days a week and long hours in office and have said no flexibility. The contracts are also big projects but three days in London one or two from home and some flexi hours.
I posted here a few weeks ago as I was in a complete dilemma summarised here:
Offered an md level role in London. Only female md level in our industry. Ok salary - £85-130k bracket. Five days a week. Pressured. International travel.
My situ currently is that we live in the West Midlands in the countryside. Small mortgage. Dh works from home 3 days a week and helps with child care school runs etc. kids in outstanding village school and really happy.
My background is I have 3 children aged 22mths, 5&8 yrs. I set up as a mgt consultant 7 yrs ago to work as md for myself. But it's hard getting contracts that allow me to be up in midlands and I spend 2 days a week down south.
I'm in a total dilemma as I have 3 options.
1. The big career md job which would mean moving down south (we've moved the kids a lot my dd who's 8 has been in 4 different schools)
2. Continue consulting on two contract options - both mean 4 days a week and 2 of which down south (dh at home with kids) one of the contracts is same money as md job but has some travel every 8 weeks for 3-4 nights in brazil / china. Both contracts are for 1-2 years fixed term.
3. I have some ideas to set up a new business but need to pay off some debt and save first.
Bit that I'm finding hard is that the consulting jobs are just more junior than I'm capable of and I just find it a bit demeaning as the teams involved include two people I used to manage and neither are that good but would now be at the same level as this role.
I don't want to uproot the family, I just feel a bit sick at the prospect of swallowing my pride and doing a job that I can do with my eyes closed.
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