Thursday, May 05, 2011
Maybe I'm wise beyond my years, or not wise at all - but it has become a common occurrence over the past year or so for the company to ask me if I would like to relocate.
This question regarding relocation always comes with this look that says "we'll make sure it works out real good for you" and I don't know if that means they're presenting be the bottom rung of a corporate ladder or flashing dollar sign eyes at me.
But regardless, I'm always really quick to say "no."
There was a time, my wife and I were living in the town we went to college and for our engagement and our first months of marriage we often dreamed and talked about what would get us to leave. We even talked about "work relocation" but knew it was impossible since we both worked for organizations that only existed in a single location -- where we lived.
My "career path" wasn't long term, and when an opportunity that was right came up - we moved.
But this scenario was different then what's presented now. Now, another major move since the one mentioned previously, we have settled in exactly the place we want to live, and would be happy to live here forever, we are near family, rooting ourselves in the lives of other people, and making home with young children.
All my "no" saying, has so far worked out, and other opportunities crop up where I work that certainly reinforce the previous decisions to avoid moving or taking jobs with frequent travel.
Frankly, I think the concept of relocation is a tricky one - even if I was forced to move to keep my job, I'd still say "no." The concept of place, family and home out-weigh the concept of job.
Some might suggest that the bad economy should make me more interested in such suggestions of making the company happy, but frankly, the economy makes it more worrisome because should something negative happen to my company, or a season of lay-offs the idea of being stranded in a city I don't like with a home or a lease sounds awful.
Additionally, with a working spouse who also is happy in her current work situation, the though of readjusting our entire lives around my career seems strange.
For other people, or perhaps in other times, the job factor might be higher in determining living location, but at least at this time in our lives, my professional life is, while an important part of my life, just a piece of my life. And thus, relocation just is not an option.