I am applying for a job in academia in a different country than the one I live in with my family.

The job is in a very good institution, well paid compared to what I earn now. I am close to mid-career, and looking for a boost in opportunity and salary that I could not find close to here now.

We (spouse + 2 kids ~ 10yo) live in a country roughly 2-3 hours away (by plane) from the new job location. Their life is where we live now, the schools are good, etc etc, so they won't be moving with me if I take the job. I would have to commute every week or so.

S.O. and I discussed it and we think we can make it as a couple. The boost in responsibilities and salary are significant, but of course we have no experience of this (S.O. is not in academia).

What would be the impact of this change on our life as a family? How does it turn out most of the time?

  • While this is a good question, it might be more fitting for the Workplace community Jul 21, 2017 at 8:46
  • 1
    Would you be able to work remotely a substantial part of the time? Is the new job a permanent contract or expected to be temporary?
    – gerrit
    Jul 21, 2017 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


What a massive decision you have to face and I don't envy the decision you have to make.

I don't think there is any magic formula for this and comparing the situations of other couples is a moot point; it's comparing apples and oranges. If you both believe its the best thing for you to take this job then there's no reason why you can't make this work, in the short term.

Have you discussed what the plan is further down the road? Would there be any suggestion of your family moving to country B when the children get to the end of their primary education and are starting secondary school? At roughly 10 years old, they're still very much young enough to make the move without worrying about them making new friends and learning the language (if that's an issue), kids are very adaptable in these situations.

Beyond just your family, what about you? You'll be alone in a new country with your family over a thousand miles away? Skype and regular messaging may seem like it'll help but at the end of the day, and I don't mean to bum you out, you will be on your own the majority of the time.

I hope it works out for you regardless of your decision!

  • I don't agree that it's fair to 10-year-old kids to make the move as a family without worrying about them.
    – gerrit
    Jul 21, 2017 at 10:57
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    Absolutely but I meant it only in relative terms. 10 year old children are still under normal circumstances completely beholden to their parents, whereas a few years down the line as they enter puberty et cetera, they're going to have more of an identity and connection with a specific location.
    – Derek
    Jul 21, 2017 at 12:16

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