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Will our move to the countryside seriously restrict my work options?(13 Posts)
We are planning to move to the country from London. I have always dreamed of being in a more rural place, would love the lifestyle more, and imagine I would find more like-minded people too. My DS would love being more out and about as well. All perferct. However....I am worried I might seriously damage my work-future. I have worked full-time for a while in quite a senior role. Now I work from home as a free-lancer. In my current situation the move would work out fine, I could still commute once a week for meetings in the city (although evening-networking would be less easy). I plan to step up though in a few years time, and either find a full-time role again, or ramp-up my free-lance business. In the latter case I imagine most of my clients would be in London (with an 1,5 hour commute that would be quite far). What's your experience? Is it much harder to find professional roles 1,5 hour from London? Should I be practical and stay put? Should I just go, and worry about the consequences later?
We did what you proposing 3 yrs ago.since then ive had a dc2 gone back to wfh 3 days a week with meetings in birmingham/bristol and been made redundant . dh has changed his job and is working in canary wharf. 2hrs commiture one way. First off nothing is as easy as living in London. I miss the house price rises and Dh being home. However I love my big house, country schools and there is a real community. I will go back to work when dd starts school and it will mean adjusting my salary expectations moreover because I don't want to work at a senior level ( not quite there in my head yet!)but I am 30mins from a major town with seemingly lots of employment. If I could I'd reduce Dh's commute but that's all is change... Unless of course we came into money and I'd buy a big villa in somewhere like Barnes
It depends enormously on what field your role is in. If it's something that you could freelance for smaller, local-sh businesses, then no problem, other than a cut in yr fees/hourly rate, and a change in how you network.
Why move to the country when you plan for full-time work in the future with most of your clients in London?
I think you are possibly looking at country life through rose-tinted specs.
Of course it will be harder!
I previously lived in the M4 corridor. There were always loads of opportunities. I then moved 45 minutes north. What a difference! Fewer jobs... lower salaries...
Depends on what your priorities are really. If you want to work in London in future then I would be looking at a 40 minute train ride tops otherwise you are going to spend most of your life on a train/shelling out for fares.
There's an awful lot of imagining and dreaming and use of the conditional tense in your proposed scenario Do you know anything about living in the country? I think your employment prospects will definitely suffer unless you are prepared to see less of your dc and suffer a long commute. It also depends on what kind of area you work in, e.g. my dh works in property finance and couldn't see ever working outside of London unless he changed role quite significantly and took a large drop in salary and status. You, on the other hand, have a role which does at least lend itself to freelancing so may be less affected by being outside a major city.
It will be extremely hard! I live about 1.5 hours out from London in rural Wiltshire. Very little work around ... I am fairly flexible and well skilled. But also much harder to find childcare around here. I think I have seriously damaged my chances for a satisfying career by being here. Train journeys are rubbish. I used too used to live in the M4 corridor many more opportunities there.
Agree with everyone that has said it will be hard. I am about 1.5 hours from London (on a good day with a following wind...) and gave up a good professional job for the privilege. A few specifics that I would add -
When I started looking "locally" for work - in a similar field of work but in a large commuter town, I found I was interviewing (unsuccessfully) for roles at less than half or sometimes a third of my previous salary.
Where I live, being a SAHM is the norm so childcare is limited, especially for school-age children. Our school has a breakfast club but limited after-school or holiday provision.
On the upside, I have found a group of smart like-minded mums here that are freelancing or trying to build businesses and we have found we can support each other with childcare where necessary. For me, this has meant I can continue to do the freelance work at a reasonable level of remuneration (in hourly terms) rather than take a lower paid job for more hours.
Thank you so much for your honest views, and confirming my fears. It seems to be similar for many people: the jobs are in London, but life is in the countryside. No idea what to do decide now, of course....
KirstyTate, you might like to know that our school here in London has limited after school facilities and even less to offer in holidays. The only after school club in the areas used to have a waiting list. Not any longer, but it certainly does not have a good image, so I decided to stay away from there. However we do have a large number of au-pairs, nannies and babysitters on offer, and I know thats not the same outside of London.
Personally I manage with teenage babysitters, kind neighbours and playdates at the right time (from kind SAHM's). Which works out well for an 8 year old.
Why is life in the countryside? And why can't your DS go out in London? Could you just move somewhere in London with more parks? Must say I have same idea of moving away from the crowds, but I think there's too much here for us still to make that really desirable.
Madwinter - we moved out of London 10 years ago and I agree with pretty much everything that has been posted. What you need to decide is - is is the lifestyle change that is your priority or is your career more important? I don't think you can have both, unless you get a nanny and never see your child. But what is the point of that? Something has to give and it's another one of those parental compromises that has to be decided on ;)Where we are (about an hour from London) there are plenty of childcare options and facilities on offer in the villages, and it is possible to commute to London, but like I say, if you do that you miss out on seeing your child. Tough choice I know ;)
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