Brain-Storming 8

Situation: Peter has got a job offer in a country far from his home country. The job pays well and is a significant upgrade from his current job. He will have to stay there at least 5 years. The question that is bothering him is that he does not know anyone in that country and he will have to build everything from scratch (setting up a home, building friendships etc.). He is also worried because this probably means he will have to be away from his tightly-connected family. He is not sure if he can do well without them around and even if he does, if he can do well with a sane mind. Therefore, he is torn between accepting this offer or staying at his current job, which also has potential future promotion opportunities (but all less good than the position in the job offer).

Questions: Should Peter take the challenge and accept the offer? If he does, how should he go around setting up a new life in a new country in the least harmful way? How can he find people that can potentially become good friends that he can rely on like family? Should he try to find such people or should he try to learn to survive on his own?

39 thoughts on “Brain-Storming 8

  1. I think when parents get older,they need ur support emotionally and at that time to be away from.them during their twilight years is not right especially if the current job isn’t that bad coz being with family he will get mental satisfaction and peace which no money can buy.
    Besides there may be a difference in the salary but living alone will increase the expenditure like rent as well thus reducing the difference of increased money gap anyways..

    1. So your stance is that family should be priority. And this is despite the fact that the position in the job offer is much better than the current job (in addition to the money), which might imply a better career. Is that correct?

      1. I think recently, I am feeling your stance better. I chose to go in a similar situation but recently I have been thinking about my family more often. So, family will always be on the mind, I guess.

      2. Absolutely..we cant be selfish coz if that attitude persists we will always end up leaving things for betterment and never have any stable relationship

  2. I have consistently faced this dilemma and have always chosen to stay near my family. That is also because of the values I hold and the priorities I have. I asked myself every time- would I regret not having been there for my family, or would I regret not having had a fabulous career. To me the answer was clear. But everyone has to decide for themselves, you rarely get it all!

    1. I agree that we rarely got it all. I was in a similar situation and I chose to go. Now, however, I want to reverse back the time, in a sense. I have had many opportunities, but I am also thinking how I can get my family back in my daily life.

    1. Not necessarily. I chose to go in a similar situation. And from some of the comments, I am not the only one. Some people can choose to go after a better career or salary or new experiences although they value family. Don’t you think?

  3. If I would be Peter I would accept the offer right away! Setting up a new life in a different country without knowing anyone, I did it and it was not that difficult for me because I am not a tight-to-family person. Connecting with expat communities can always help in setting the new life and the new friends.

    1. How do you connect with them? I also did a similar thing and I connected with a lot of people. But I am a family person and I still tend to crave for more. How do you make up for the lack of family ties?
      I am guessing maybe the excitement of settling somewhere could help, which helped me greatly. Was that so for you too?

      1. It did for me too! But the feeling of missing family hit later. Then, you have to find some reconciliation. I guess Peter might try to go first and see how he feels about it. He must be willing to leave the job and come back if he feels he needs his family.

      2. Exactly! If he doesn’t go, he will always live with the feeling “what if?”…
        At least he goes and if really cannot leave without his family around then he always can go back 😉

  4. We all need to spread our wings at some point in our life. Better earlier than later. Everyone says that we need to stay close to family and roots, but one also needs to seek new ventures to know if we have the potential. We cant learn what we are made of until we test our limits.

  5. Answers to the questions :

    (4) Surviving alone is a skill, but only of emergency. So find well-wishers and friends as not all can be done alone.

    (3) New good friends as reliable as family ? Only if, he is lucky because it depends on both the parties – how approachable he is and how reliable the other is.

    (2) There should be roughly an algorithm to do this, that begins with office for help. Such guidance should be the norm in some countries or in some standard deputation jobs. If not, look for similar expats among colleagues. Least harmful way ? Initially stick to known persons and gradually know the ways of that country and its people.

    (1) It is a question of priority – family time vs paycheck, keeping in mind that it is no more than 5 years to spare but that 5 years is significantly huge period for a growing child, if any and for aging parents.

    Finally, it is noteworthy that “Money lost MAY be regained later, but time lost IS gone forever.”

    Still in doubt ? Ask him, how he wishes to spend time in future.

    1. Good points! I agree to the points on the money and time. But I am also thinking that since the new job is in a new country, he will experience a lot of new things and learn a lot. So, that experience may be considered almost equally valuable like family. We grow with experience.
      I also think that finding friends will take some challenge as there are many factors and family is irreplaceable (for me, anyways). Not that we have to stay with our families all the time but we might want to keep them in the center for more decisions we make.

  6. Yes! Yes! Peter should accept the job and start anew in this faraway place. I did what Peter should do many times during my life and never lived to regret the decision.

      1. I did, but I managed to come home once a year. For me, that was often enough. Quite ironically, I found that I had better visits with family in the past even though I lived farther away than I do now. That’s because I had an entire summer to do nice, long visits. Today, because I no longer have such long vacation periods, I actually have fewer opportunities to get quality visit time in.

      2. That is an interesting contrast! On your first point, I am assuming that you had a satisfactory reason to stay away from your family, which probably helped you cope with being away for a whole year. Am I right?

      3. Yes. I made huge money while abroad. I spent several years in the oil-rich Persian Gulf and I got paid really well in both Turkey and Egypt. Going abroad and making really good money (while having free accommodations, etc) I was able to change my financial situation forever. Plus, I got to see the world. That, by itself, is worth a fortune.

      4. That is really cool! I agree that such experiences are a treasure! But I also think that family is also a treasure. I think I don’t want to give up either, which is usually hard.

      5. Simplified decision tree :
        IF ( age[parents] = HIGH OR age[children] = LOW )
        THEN reject
        ELSE IF ( income[job] – expense[stay] = HIGH )
        THEN accept
        ELSE other_decisive_factors

  7. Thank you for sharing!.. he should carefully research his options and decide on what will give him happiness for the future… it appears that he does not have a great deal of confidence in himself, that will be the first hurdle he will have to overcome to move forward.. I suspect that in the end, if he does not take the job offer, and as family and friends fade away over time, he may indeed regret that decision… 🙂

    “The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” ― Joel Brown

      1. Well, I were just making an observation based on the information presented.. and it appeared to me that he was concerned about the security of the family, somewhat concerned about not having them close by for support rather than spending time with the family… 🙂

      2. Perhaps if he would listen to his heart, and not his mind, he would not have to give up anything totally… 🙂

        “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” – Douglas H. Everett

      3. I have a niece that lives in New York and works on an administrative board for a college.. she has two more years to go before she can retire from the college.. family and the love of her life reside here on the prairies.. in order to save the retirement, she uses technology to communicate and travels back and forth the 700+ miles by air on the weekends, weather permitting.. After the two years have passed, she can retire and do what she wishes…

        I have a daughter that works for a international company and she also raises and shows horses (currently Western Saddle).. A couple of years back, the company decided to close the office where she lives and ask her if she wished to move to the corporate office, some 400 miles away.. She would have to uproot her life and have to leave the horses… they came to an agreement, she works from home… she uses technology to communicate with family, etc and visits when she can..

        It may not be for every one and a great deal of information is missing about Peter that would be needed to make a final decision, but as Mary Kay Ash said “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right”…

      4. Good examples! All in all, then, listen to what your heart/mind says.
        It would be ideal to be able to work from home in such a situation. In cases where you cannot do this, then listen to your heart.

  8. Although it’s different, I’ve been in the military for 18 years and my wife, my kids and I have moved 6 times. I also grew up as a military child and moved just as much, in 15 years. From that perspective I would say it’s not always a bad thing when you move away. The downside is you will only see your extended family when you visit. The upside is you will experience a new world. You will see the world and what it really is, not what they tell you on the news and television. This helps with broadening your perspectives and your cultural awareness. You will also meet people with new viewpoints, new skills, and who can help you become a more rounded and well-developed person simply by adding to your depth and well-roundedness. With the increased salary, maybe he can send for his family and get them out to see the rest of the world as well. It would be a life-changing vacation for a lot of them.

    I think there are pros and cons but I wanted to point out some of these from my personal experience.

    1. Thanks a lot for sharing this! I was in a similar conflict and I chose to go as well and I agree to all you say. It indeed brings in a new perspective and you start seeing things differently and more broadly. But I also often think of my family and wish I was with them. I wish there was a way to do both.

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