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wwyd- leave or stay

(34 Posts)
cory Wed 29-Oct-08 17:07:58

Have just had offer of job abroad. Lots of issues of different kinds, but the two most important are:

*it may be my last chance of career success; I have a pt job here, but I did put a lot into my PhD and am not getting much recognition here


I can't be sure of the effect on dd who is disabled through Ehlers Danlos. Have had a lot of fights with authorities over the years here, but the situation now is looking good: she has had good medical treatment, we know who to call on if there's a setback, she is at an accessible school where she has a lot of support, transport and all the facilities she needs

As for what it would be like if we relocated, we just don't know. It may be fine, but I can't guarantee it. Have written to the LEA and received reassuring general whaffle but no info about actual schools (of course we can't know what area we'd get a house in yet). In fact, the sort of reassuring whaffle you'd get here- but then it's taken me 4 years of fighting. Not sure I can go through that again tbh. But then again, it may genuinely be fine.

Also- it is a very hilly place (difficult to push a wheelchair). And the climate is the wettest in Europe- so how good is this for someone with a joint condition?
(otoh our present location is poss not v good for ds's asthma as quite polluted).

What would you do? Dh is too nice to say anything, dd clamours that she wants to go, I feel it's all up to me. Have posted this in SN forum as dd's SN does seem to be the most crucial factor.

Tclanger Wed 29-Oct-08 17:17:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Wed 29-Oct-08 18:02:48

Are there any local support groups that could give you a heads up on the school position? or might it be worth you contacting state schools directly in "nice" areas of the place you may move to to get a feel for their attitude? Like TClang - your post doesn't sound desperately enthused, more like you think you should want to advance your career.

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:16:15

Yes, you both have a point, I do feel under pressure. From family, former colleagues (isn't it a shame X hasn't amounted to more...).

Contacting anyone is made more difficult by the fact that I have no active command of the language (I can sort of understand them when they speak and they can sort of understand me, but I don't know what things are called to search on the internet for). So hard to find any support groups. And have no idea what the nice places are of this city. And have to give an answer in a fortnight's time (booohooo).

Am also worried that I have been dd's (fortright and successful) advocate over the years; if I take a very demanding job (and it will be) that job will have to be taken over by dh who is lovely and a great Dad but doesn't stand up to people and whose knowledge of the new language is far less than mine.

silverfrog Wed 29-Oct-08 18:20:59

how much bargaining do you think you'll have wrt your contract/living conditions?

Pre-children (well, dh had his two from first marriage) dh & i moved abroad and we got a lot of things that we needed to have rigth written into his contract (basically saying the company would do their best to help out in any way, etc). We were moving to africa though, so lots of red tape that could be cut through with company clout.

Might be an idea, though, depending on where you are moving - sometimes companies have been through it all before.

It is possible that dh will be offered relocation again in a couple of years, and we would look to have the same kind of reassurances now that we have dd - allowances for therapy/extra medical insurance/travel to medical appts (even if abroad) etc.

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:27:21

It's a foreign university so probably very little. Healthcare is supposedly good there so they would almost certainly not offer us anything to come back here. It's more general niggles about how easy the place would be for her to get around (mountainous!) and what the actual school she could get into (would have to be state, not a massively well paid job) would be like for accessibility.

silverfrog Wed 29-Oct-08 18:30:49

sorry to be blunt, but how much do they (the university) want you for this job?

If it is you they want, there can sometimes be quite a lot of give in contracts...

have you tried asking about accessibility and schools issues? is there someone there who helpd deal with the relocation side of things that could help you with info on schools etc?

these are all things I would expect on relocation

TinySocks Wed 29-Oct-08 18:32:31

If you went for a year and decided that it's not working out for DD, would you be able to go back to the UK to your current position?

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:36:26

erhhhmmm...this is a sore point blush.

They originally advertised it with a job description that was obviously written to fit around their local candidate. I was the token other candidate that was called to interview to fulfill their legal requirements. The job was offered to local candidate who accepted it 6 months ago, but has now changed his mind and withdrawn. They have now offered the job to me. The alternative would be to readvertise, which would mean they had to wait for another year or so before the post was actually filled. So no, they're not desperate to see me there, they're making the best of a bad job.

Having said that, I think I could probably do a good job there and they are a good university.

BriocheDoree Wed 29-Oct-08 18:37:10

You could try posting in the Mumsnet Living Overseas section to see if anyone else lives there. Would this be for a long time or just a short-term posting (couple of years)? We had to do a similar sort of decision in reverse...we were living abroad when we discovered that DD had SN and had to decide to stay or go.
Would you try to get DD into an international (English speaking) school? You could get that written into your contract and then you might be able to contact schools in the area to see how much help they could give you with your DD's additional needs. Would you get private medical insurance?

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:38:31

TinySocks on Wed 29-Oct-08 18:32:31
"If you went for a year and decided that it's not working out for DD, would you be able to go back to the UK to your current position? "

No. My job would probably disappear altogether; it is something that I have created and that is probably only kept going because I keep it going. Dh would also not be able to step into his former job. If we leave, it would be a clean break.

silverfrog Wed 29-Oct-08 18:39:17

I think that gives you quite a lot of bargaining power. The last thing they want to do is have to readvertise, and have the post unfilled for a year or so.

when we went to Africa, dh & I worked on the principle that if you don't ask, you don't get. we were amazed at how much the company just said "oh, ok then" to grin

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:40:42

Brioche, I'll try the Overseas section, thanks. There is no way the salary I have been offered would pay for dd to attend an international school; she would be going to the local state school. And there is an NHS, so would probably not be getting private insurance.

silverfrog Wed 29-Oct-08 18:41:49

any chance of help towards school fees as part of your package? as a relocator, surely they must expect that you would ask?

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:45:32

Silverfrog, what do you think I should ask for?

The problems are as follows:

need for dd to attend accessible school (preferably state and local as we would like her to feel part of the country we live in, not an ex-pat)

need for transport to school

need for there to be someone who understands her condition at local hospital- ok so uni probably can't do anything about that
(have written to hospital but not received answer)

oh and flattening of all those nasty hills and some serious measures taken about the climate grin

The post is an assistant professorship, so not a massively senior job.

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 18:48:35

Might try that, Silverfrog, though tbh I am not massively keen on dd attending international school. I never really saw us as an expat family; always felt I wanted to belong to the community I lived in (so have spent last 15 yrs becoming increasingly English grin). And for me, being educated in a different language from your neighbours would set you apart. If we go, I would expect dd to become Norwegian iyswim.

BriocheDoree Wed 29-Oct-08 19:01:41

Yes, cory, I agree with you...that's why DD goes to French school even though she can't speak English properly!! Trouble with expats is they tend to LEAVE all the time - no sooner have your kids got to know someone than they're gone! Presumably she's already bilingual Swedish so I guess learning Norwegian is going to be easier than, say, Portuguese!

nikos Wed 29-Oct-08 19:09:04

How much do you enjoy your current job? How much energy do you have for a new challenge? If you are really up for it, you sound like the sort of person who could make it all happen. It sounds like it could be a hugely stressful first year though. Working longer hours with a new language to learn and a special needs daughter to look after. Makes me feel exhausted just typing it !!!

silverfrog Wed 29-Oct-08 19:18:05

can see your point re: schools, but I would look at the length of placement - if only for a couple of years then your dd might be better off in an international school, which may have similar set up to what she is used to (and would use this as debating point (ie unsettling for children) to get fees, if that is what you want)

even with an nhs i would ask for private medical insurance - you never know what waiting lists etc are like until you are there, which might be too late (even for routine stuff) - also, private medical sometimes covers dentristry too - how available/affordable is that?

any chance of you knowing what previous contracts have been? would they send you a standard one to look over as a starting point?

off the top of my head, we asked for rent allowances, flights back to the UK once a year, schooling allowances (for UK private school, step-children did not come out with us), diplomatic status (was necessary for us in Africa due to nature of dh's job, not suggesting you should want or need to ask!), help finding somewhere to live/settling in medical insurance (inc repatriation for us, but again, prob not necessary for you).

I'm sure there was a lot more, and to our surprise, the company pretty much gave it all to us...

Peachy Wed 29-Oct-08 19:24:08

If you are thinking about a international school, Soph73 is a good bod to ask; she only has internet access at work so is off for half term but is a Librairian in one and her DH teaches in it as well.

She has been sotted on SN occasionally (son with mosaicism, only 6 months) but if you do want a chat give me the heads up and I shall ask on the postnatal threads we're on when she's back smile

HelensMelons Wed 29-Oct-08 19:25:48

What a difficult decision you have to make.

I haven't been in your position, so can't speak from experience but I was interested in one of your own comments which stated that you felt under pressure, etc - I'm just wondering if you feel that you would be disappointing anyone, someone, yourself, if you didn't go?

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 19:26:30

It wouldn't be a placement, Silverfrog, but probably a job that I would stay in until retirement.

Have to go and cook supper now, but will be back later. Thank you so much everybody, you're really helping me to focus, am getting to stage where I just can't see the wood for trees.

cory Wed 29-Oct-08 20:21:49

Nikos, I do enjoy my current job very much have built it up from nothing and am proud of it, the only problem is the hours (not enough of them to give me a proper salary). And that I don't get the perks that go with a proper fulltime job, like enough office space.

Helen, yes I do feel I'd be disappointing people. My Mum for a start, and my colleagues, and yes, perhaps a part of myself too...though there is another part that feels that moving to the UK was my big adventure and that's the bit I want to hang onto.

Dh changes his tune from day to day. One day he feels all wrong about it, the next he says we're at the age when we should be striking out for adventure. And I never know how much is him talking and how much is him thinking he should say whatever is best for me.

But it's the thought of dd that really worries me. I have put in such a tremendous amount of work keeping her on her feet, helping her to deal with her disability, teaching her to deal with panic attacks, disappointment, pain (painkillers don't work on her condition)- I am worried about suddenly withdrawing (it's a job that would demand a lot of me).

HelensMelons Wed 29-Oct-08 22:00:01

THis might sound boring but would making a list of pros and cons be worthwhile?

It sounds like one of the main issues for you, is the commitment that would be required for the new job, and how this would impact on DD?

TinySocks Thu 30-Oct-08 05:50:26

cory, we live abroad. We found out about DSs neurological problems right in the middle of moving from the UK to here.
What we did is for me to stay behind with DS for four months, while DH moved and did plenty of digging around to find out about the help we can get, etc. When DS and I made the final move we had all the right contacts already in place.

I realise it may not be practical for you to move there for such a long time before the rest of the family, but maybe you could take a few weeks off and travel there to check things out.

I think that you WILL probably get fantastic help in norway anyway.

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