Living at Home Limits Career Choices
Q: At 50, I sold my home to travel abroad to satisfy my wanderlust. After a couple of years, I had enough traveling and settled down in a new location in the country for the weather. I easily got a job in my field, so I did not check out the type of people in the area, the lifestyle or much of anything other than the job market. Within the first year, I realized this was not where I wanted to make a new home, but I stayed for a few more years to give it a chance. I never changed my mind about it, so I decided to temporarily move in with my parents and think about my next move. In the meantime, I got a job there.
Their town does not have many companies with offices and job openings in my field. Also, the companies are very small and offer no benefits. On the flip side, I like living with my parents compared to living alone. I am torn over what to do.
A: You have several factors to consider, and ultimately, only you can decide. You can continue living with your parents and accept the limited number of jobs in their area, understanding that you will not be rebuilding your career or making a substantial salary. You can move nearby so you have easy access to your parents, but again accept the limitations in employment and your finances. You can also send resumes to larger companies outside the area and explain you are ready to move to that location. Of course, if you move first to a city where you will most likely get a job, the companies will consider you to be a better candidate. It's too easy for a person to change his or her mind about moving, thereby delaying the company's hiring process.
Moving and accepting a job at a company offering full benefits will be better for your financial future and ultimately lead to an easier life. Your age is an important factor to consider; as someone in your 50s, you have at least 15 more years to work before you receive Medicare (on which you do not want to rely). Getting a full-time job at a larger company with a comprehensive benefits package may be your smartest move in bridging the financial gap until that time.
The next issue you face might relate to your parents' health and financial matters. It sounds like you need to have an honest, though perhaps difficult, conversation with them. Landing a job in a larger city with major employers would solve your career and financial dilemma. It may also resolve your feeling of loneliness since you will have a greater number of people to meet and with whom to develop friendships.
You could always drive or fly several hours to visit your parents, whether it's to help them with a particular situation or just to visit. You could also establish a regular call schedule and email them in between calls if you miss them. In other words, you can have a close relationship with your parents without living in the same space.
Your hesitation to leave now might be caused by feelings of guilt for traveling abroad for years where you did not see them. A few visits to a therapist to discuss reasons for your hesitation could resolve the issue. It's understandable to worry about moving far away, if your parents' health is in question, but your open conversation should touch on all possibilities.
Email career and life coach: Lindsey@LindseyNovak.com with your workplace problems and issues. Ms. Novak responds to all emails. For more information, visit www.lindseynovak.com, and for past columns, see www.creators.com/read/At-Work-Lindsey-Novak.
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