T Nation

Life Crossroad - Advice?


#1

I’m coming to a point where I know a significant life decision will need to be made. I’m 28, married for five years and don’t have kids. In five years the company I work for will become half mine and in ten, fully mine.

When I first started, I was out of town 3 nights a week. Recently, an opportunity has risen where I will be the face of a large project and open a new office. Trouble is, not quite sure about being away three nights a week and living half time away. It’s a great project, it’ll give me everything I want career wise. It’ll also pay me a lot more. Essentially, it’s the possibility of immediate advancement, which may take three years before a similar, yet closer to home, project comes along.

Several concerns: obviously being away from wife more. Not really setting roots in my community. I don’t have a lot of friends to begin with, but I’m also a workaholic and driven more than people my age.

Regardless if I take this assignment, I will be traveling more. I’ve been asked to speak at conferences throughout the area.

What would you all do? @Jewbacca I know you travel for work. Any regrets?


#2

Is relocation with your wife closer to the project not an option?

I’ve always liked the saying:

Some people live to work and some people work to live.

If you know which you are then I think you know the answer.

Me personally, I work to live and I would likely have turned it down when it was just my wife and I. I would turn it down now that we have kids. Money will always be there for a hard working intelligent person. Time is irreplaceable.

My $0.02.

*Edit:
Very different circumstances, but I know for a fact that there is a hard ceiling where I work unless I am willing to re-locate to NY or commute to NYC. I won’t do it and have already accepted that if I stay here that my position and earnings will be capped, but where I can end up is enough for me.


#3

If you’re planning on having kids later, take the opportunity.

I spent my 20s and early 30s working on projects in different shithole countries. Best investment career wise I’ve ever made, building up qualifications, experience and my resume.

Now, being older and married I basically work 5 minutes from home on a senior position with a very flexible schedule and get to spend a lot of time with my kids.

It’s very difficult to comment on possible effects on one’s relationship with his significant other, but I’ve seen that many couples without kids fell into a separate lives routine over the week with demanding careers, where it more resembles a business affair than a marriage.

Perhaps you and your wife could set up a fixed deadline? I know it helped me personally on shitty projects in the middle of nowhere - ok, I’m in prison for the next 429 days, 428 to go etc. That way you’re defining you increased separation as a temporary period with a fixed expiry date and not a new life routine.


#4

Do you have the ability to hire and fire now? Take your wife with you get her a job where you are going work it as a team. If not you may end up with kids that aren’t yours.


#5

We just relocated last summer. My wife would Lorena Boppit me if I made her move again. Also… I want to sell next year when I double my money. :wink:

Edit for clarity: my wife’s way of saying I’d be a few inches shorter.

I hate the feeling of knowing I could have been more/done more professionally. I have lofty ambitions and not reaching them would be difficult for me. I already regret not correcting a physical issue I had in college, which cause me to quit Baseball.

Did you have much of a non-professional social life? This has been my initial thought. If I miss the child window, I don’t mind adopting when I’m older. I ‘grew up’ one day and realized I still had no immediate desire for kids.

Probably worth mentioning, my wife doesn’t work much. She has her various pursuits here and there, but doesn’t have a job working for a company. Her and I are quite different on this. I love to work, she loves to live.

This could actually be a reality, as building prisons is a possibility.

Yep. Quite sad, when I think about it, but I paid a college kid $100 to drive me last week. I had to drive 3 hours both ways for a 2 hour meeting. I worked the whole drive.

My job would kill my wife. She hates people. Ha! I spend all my time managing people’s distinction and confronting/managing/limiting/mitigating people not meetjng expectations.


#6

7
Being on a construction site in the middle of a desert, no. In other places like South America, yes but it’s a young man’s game - young and unattached preferably.

I’ve met quite a lot of individuals who gave up everything for their jobs/careers. Think George Clooney in the Up in the Air Money. No family, no friends, work basically 24/7. We called them lifers. Guys in 50ies, basically nomads with impressive bank accounts whose life consists of 6 month / 1 year projects - now it’s a shopping mall in Abu Dhabi, next spring it’s a hotel in Bishkek followed by Dushanbe.

And many large companies love such types - well, until they get too old - because you get a bigger bang for your buck. It’s no problem working until 8pm if the only thing that’s waiting for you is a dark hotel room in some provincial town in the middle of nowhere.

And it slowly reels you into this lifestyle because with limited expenses you become addicted to how much you’re making. My exit point was that I’ve set a X saved amount after which I’m out.

My personal opinion of a stranger on the internet based on some flimsy anecdotal evidence is that this is not good.

You should definitely discuss this with your significant other, because chances are you’ll both have to face some challenges and you should be aware of the effects it will have on both of you. Having a spouse that is for example only home on weekends is very taxing, especially mentally.


#7

The only thing I would add is if you take three days out of your relationship then you must add something back in.

People don’t think in absolutes, they see things relatively. So it will be difficult for the relationship to seem amazing if there is less time together than there was before.


#8

Do you work for a GC or work as an owner?

I’ve met a few, and in fact, hiring someone right now who is this way.

If I could swing it, I’d love to travel with my wife. However, she is in a settling mood.

This is something we are working through. She has done life coaching and consulting work. It’s not for a lack of ability or education, rather she just hasn’t had a desire. She has an opportunity that is in an infant stage, which would give her flexibility and path she wants. I’m the type to grind even if I hate what I’m doing. She, however, only will pursue something if it’s interestjng to her.


#9

The three days I am away, I’ll be working. No question there.

While I’m home, I already know I’ll have to quit playing baseball. Spending a fourth day away, doing something for just me will be a non-starter. Obviously that will suck, but I like success more than trying to relive glory days.


#10

There is the crux for me. You need to sit down with your wife and write down financial/career goals and make sure you’re on the same page. If the goal is shared by both of you and compelling, then the sacrifice will be worth it. If you just mindlessly chase “success” with your nose to the grindstone for decades then she might not be there when you’re done with the grindstone.

Do you want $5M in net worth? $50M? House on the Riviera? Be top 50 firms in your industry? Retire by 50? Give a massive wad to your favourite charity? Only you two can work that out.


#11

Hi, it’s Mrs. Jewbacca. Mr. Jewbacca is traveling and I am quite bored at the moment, and so have been trolling his various accounts. He’s also all over a bunch of old Porsche club sites, if you ever want to go harass him.

That said, I think is an appropriate place to give the wife’s perspective.

I knew I was marrying a Type A when I married him. Travel and work is all part of that. I also happen to be Type A, being a doctor. I don’t have travel so much as really sick people that consume my life unexpectedly.

And we have kids. And we have his kids (albeit largely adult now) from his first marriage (also to a doctor).

It’s difficult. Bluntly, having a lot of money makes it a lot more tolerable because we can do things like meet at a vacation home or fly private if we absolutely have to be somewhere.

We also have tremendous family support (of retired Type A people and other Type A siblings). It’s not uncommon for us to have my sister’s kids at the house for a couple weeks, especially during the summer (and vice versa). We have parents that live in our building that can take over kid duty. Etc. This makes things much easier.

We enjoy our life, are both ambitious, and candidly, I would not respect a non-ambitious man who didn’t work hard. My mother and father worked hard. I work hard. I get a lot out of my work, as does Mr. Jewbacca.

So, my initial advice is to go make hay while the Sun shines. Work your ass off. Get ahead. If I was your wife, I’d nag your ass to go do it and not respect you if you caved. But then, I am Type A. Probably A+.

The primary thing in your post that worried me is it appears your wife does not agree. Marriage is a team effort and if you are not 100% behind the plan, things can go terribly wrong.

So, go discuss the pros and cons with your wife. Not us. No one else’s opinion matters.


#12

Thank you for taking the time to respond!

Sadly my love of Porsche quickly diminished when I could not fit into a 911.

Was there ever a conversation about choosing this lifestyle, or did it just happen?

This is interesting and I’ve thought a lot about it this weekend. My wife is very type A and was raised by a man who is constantly working. However, she was not raised wealthy, so most of the hard work was maintaining their farm. Between the above quote and below.

This is what is interesting. Similar to Peter’s Principle “we eventually find our own level of incompetency”, I think she has found her level of comfortability. We are at a point where we own a nice home, do not have non-asset-backed-debt and do not worry financially.

I certainly plan on it, I was hoping for perspective by creating this thread, which you have given me. Ironically, she is out of state right now. When she returns, I leave for three days. We will certainly be discussing long-term goals soon.


#13

As a follow up to this. Since my last post, my wife was offered a job and will be traveling to the east coast and bay-area, quite frequently. Next week I open our new office and she prepare to fly out. It’s mind blowing how both of our careers have exponentially taken off in the same two week time period.


#14

Gotta make hay while the sun shines!