Should I Take the Offer?

Could really use some input on my situation:

CAREER SIDE OF THINGS:

Currently:
- ~6 years development experience (lucky to start in development right out of school)
- working for national developer based in low COL city
- running large apartment ($100mm+) projects and managing small internal team of analysts/associates/managers
- promoted to current role ~8 months ago
- several years ahead of me to get to next level in the organization
- projects are majority suburban garden walk-ups with a few 4-story “true” apartments (elevator, shared corridors)
- prior experience was with a boutique developer doing more urban (mid- to high-rise) projects in major market (one of the top 5 biggest cities in US) downtown as well as luxury apartments in suburban downtowns of said major city.

Offer:
- similar role, but more exciting projects (urban high-rise, mixed-use in downtowns). Also a national developer.
- higher COL city (but pay compensates for it, plus a little extra)
- similar timeline for promotion (2 years).
- city they’re based out of happens to be the major city mentioned above^, so I’m familiar with it, have friends there, etc.

  • Deep down, I want to take it, but what am I missing? Any reason not to?

PERSONAL SIDE OF THINGS:

I’ve been dating my gf for 2 yrs and getting ready to propose. Although not ideal, in my mind, taking the offer still makes sense because:

  • all of gf’s family is in the higher COL city mentioned above and have plans to stay, so we’ll be able to be with them if we move there. If we have kids, they’ll be able to see grandparents frequently, have cousins to grow up with, etc. She also grew up there and has mentioned it’s her fav city (as is mine).
  • said city also gives us better access to my family because it has one of the best airports in the world which offers direct flights to a tiny airport in my parents’ hometown, so I could see them more (current city’s airport has no direct flights even to any of the larger city airports farther out from my family, let alone the tiny one right next to my family).
  • since I already lived in said city, I have friends there (more than I have in current city) and am familiar with all it has to offer
  • I’d be back to doing what I love (urban mixed-use in major downtowns, rather than suburban garden)

Cons:
- although said city has lots of companies in my gf’s industry, she’s not getting a ton of traction with the jobs she’s applied to. (She’s had a few interviews but either gets ghosted or HR says they’re not decided on whether they’re actually creating / hiring the role)
- she also makes pretty good money where she’s at and worked hard for her degree and role, but it’s somewhat specialized/niche so she’s scared she won’t be able to find a job in the new city
- because it’s nearly impossible to time everything perfectly (ie both having acceptable offers lined up at the same time, both be in position to leave current roles, etc), we will have to do distance for at least a few months (or longer depending on how long it takes her to get new job). She’s very nervous about this, as it puts pressure on her to have to find a job (very valid concern IMO). I’ve worked hard to express to her there’s no rush, no timeline, that I’m 100% committed to her even if we have to do distance for 2 years (which I truly am, she’s the one I want to marry and spend my life with).

With noting:
- the cities are only 3hrs away.
- if I don’t accept this role, due to interest rates and construction costs, it’s hard to foresee another similar offer coming along (for similar work, similar role, compensation) within the next 1-2 years. Openings seem to have been extremely limited in the last year. So, if we both want to end up in this city, with her family and doing careers we both love in a city we love, now seems to be the time and I have an offer in hand, and she could potentially get exactly what she wants career-wise as well, albeit it could take some time of doing distance.
- At least this new city is big enough that it’s likely we can both find roles, even if it takes time.

The alternative:
- we stay in current city
- we are away from families
- we have fewer friends here who are similar to us
- I’m stuck in a role that I don’t feel challenged by
- although she likes her job and it’s decent pay and she utilizes her degree, she’s not getting a lot of upward advancement and tough time working with her current boss.

Any thoughts on both personal and career level are greatly appreciated! Sorry for long post.

 

Agree, we have to both be in agreement. We've talked it over and she agrees it's probably the best choice, but she is having a lot of trouble getting over the risk of not being able to find a job up there...so she's worried she'll either have to take a job eventually that she doesn't like just so we can be together, or have to do distance for several years which would put a lot of strain on the relationship.

Perhaps I'm more of an optimist, but it's a city that has lots of pharma/food/nutrient/water/environmental companies (she's a chemical engineer at a big pharma company right now), so I can't help but think there will be an opening that works for her in the next 6-12 months at one of those types of companies. 

 

Don’t have as much life/career experience as you do, but based of what you said in your post it seems like a no brainer. Yeah there’s couple kinks to workout but nothing you can’t figure out. Go for it, you may not get another chance in the near future.

 

Would you make enough to support her if she just quit her job and moved with you? Or do you need the 2nd income?

Are y'all thinking kids/family in the near future or still a little ways off?

My sister quit her job 2 years before they had kids to follow her spouse around the country. I thought it was a crazy decision at the time, but it worked out well for them.

 
Most Helpful

On the work side, key considerations for me are:

  • Do you know/respect the people you'd be working with at the new place?  Have you checked this with others in your network?  Things often seem great during interviews but are different once you get there.  Worth double checking as leaving a shop where you ostensibly like the people and they like you is something folks overlook when making this decision.
  • Are you sure you want to be in the business of building higher density product in the near to medium term?  Many investors have been scared of this product-type recently, and you should really feel good about that business before jumping ship at a more senior level.

On the personal side,

  • Cannot overstate how nice being close to grandparents is once you have kids... tough to beat.  
  • Overcommunication is key on these sorts of things.  We've done it a couple of times now, and it has gone reasonably well, but you have to make sure you're both aligned consistently.  We've always framed this as a fun/new adventure that is a part of our family's journey (corny I know), and that has made taking the leap easier each time we've gone through it.  This also gets a ton harder with kids for what it is worth.
  • She sounds way more employable than anyone on this thread... so I wouldn't worry about her finding a job.  The key is does she need one in order to make the move?  If you can support her during the transition, that is a better option than long distance (and two rents!).  Tough to give up a job that she enjoys and does well in... maybe they'd let her do remote?
  • I would also tell her to change the address on her resume to her parents' or family member's home, will make it easier to find a job in that city if they think she already lives there.

Stressful time/situation, but it seems like there is a lot to look forward to for y'all!

 

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