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Old 15.02.2011, 23:00
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

I think some more precise questions are:
Do you want to spend the next 10 years in Switzerland or the States?
Do you want your children to grow up in Switzerland or the States?
Can you get used to living in a foreign country or would you feel more at home in the States?

Will you really be happy here?
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  #22  
Old 15.02.2011, 23:06
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

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I think some more precise questions are:
Do you want to spend the next 10 years in Switzerland or the States?
Neither. We're only looking 2 to 5 years into the future and honestly don't see ourselves spending 10 years in either country.

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Do you want your children to grow up in Switzerland or the States?
Out of the two, Switzerland. We don't want them in the American school system

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Can you get used to living in a foreign country or would you feel more at home in the States?
Both are foreign to us. But I'm more comfortable here daily and this will continue to grow as my French improves.

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Will you really be happy here?
No idea. But we'll try!
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  #23  
Old 15.02.2011, 23:07
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

Go to silicon valley. You can have a great life there and your partner can have a stellar career.
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Old 15.02.2011, 23:56
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

For us, it's not a binary equation, career vs. family - the two are intertwined.

My husband is my family. It is important to him to take on interesting challenges, to find fulfillment in his career. He loves what he does, his work is an integral part of who he is. And as I am rather fond of the man, that he finds satisfaction in his work is important to me as well. Just as my aspirations/goals are important to him.

If a move would mean an exciting challenge for one of us, often that's then the best thing for the family as a whole - and we then figure out a way to provide for the family happiness wherever the next posting lands us.

But if we weigh up the pros and cons and find there are compelling family reasons why we need to stay put, we do so.

And sometimes we have had to live apart temporarily in order to meet both needs.

We have done pretty much every variation of the stay/go, family/career dance... and learned that one can make just about anything work.

Just remember: A family is not created by, nor tied to, a place.

Best of luck to you.

Last edited by meloncollie; 16.02.2011 at 00:22.
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  #25  
Old 16.02.2011, 00:22
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

You are 30. You are thinking about children. In your situation, and knowing what I know now, I would pick the solution that best favoured starting a family.

You see, I had the best education. So it was really simple to go on and get a really good job. I had a great career which I prioritised above everything else. It was all that I knew, and all that I had been prepared for since going to senior school. No one ever mentioned children. Unfortunately it was also a career that, short of employing a team of live in nannies, was pretty impossible to combine with a family. So I prioritised the thing I knew, my work. But eventually, almost 15 years after first getting together with my husband, we had our first child. And nothing was ever the same again. It was and still is the best best thing I have ever ever done in my life. By a long, long mile. Ever.

I see your age and I think, you are so lucky and clued in to be already thinking about a family (I was older than you). The problem is, I didn't realise really how great it would be until I actually got round to doing it. If I had known, I'd have started 10 years earlier.

So my choice was to think my career was more important. And, as far as I am concerned I got it wrong.

Good luck with your decision.
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  #26  
Old 16.02.2011, 00:58
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

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I'm not asking what you think we should do, but rather... whats your priority? Do you put your family life and security ahead, or your career?
Regarding my priority, it has switched from career to family life as soon as I got married.

And my word is reflected by my life: when my wife and I were trying to have a baby for nearly 5 years, we kept our jobs without changes in career in Finland, although I wanted to go and live in South of Europe. Well, my wife was 35 years old when we started trying, so it was definitely not the time to undergo big changes in life. When the baby finally came, I started planning moves in my career, and when the baby was one year old and was for sure a healthy one, I resigned from my 8-year-long job in Finland, we moved abroad (from Finland to Switzerland), and I gave a good turn to my career (better position, better salary, but unfortunately more working hours and more stress). Family life came first, and when this point was "stable and satisfactory" for my wife and I, we considered the career boost and going to adventurous paths of life.

Also, regarding the issue of ages, it does not make a big difference to delay a career boost by a few years. However, it can make a big difference for a woman in her thirties to delay trying having a baby by a few years. And the regrets can be much bitter than those of a missed boost to the career.

/Paul
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  #27  
Old 16.02.2011, 00:59
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

I am in Silicon Valley right now. And I'm trying to move to Zurich. :-)

The pace of life here is a lot faster. Your profile doesn't say which country
you're from. If you're from the UK you will get quite a culture shock here.
No, the SV is not like the rest of the US.

May I ask which industry your husband is in? He's probably in tech, but
finance tech or internet tech or other kind of tech? I ask because his career
and financial situation will only improve if he quits his current job after
relocating here and then join a startup. And work 12-14 hour days for 6-7
days a week while praying for a buyout offer.

He can do that only if he's in the internet tech industry.

Yeah, that's the culture here. At 37, he would not last long in a startup
environment. And if he is not interested in a startup, why come here in the
first place? If the money is the same in CH vs US, why come to SV?

DavidSJC

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On the other hand, my husband has been offered the same position he holds here, in Silicon Valley. There is no extra money involved (his salary would be the same in US$ as Chf), but we would be starting from scratch again and going through the hellish ineptitude and stress that comes with relocating with the company.
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  #28  
Old 16.02.2011, 06:35
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

Hi, I won't pretend to know all your circumstances, but this is my background. I grew up in California, went to University there, and had my first job in the Silicon Valley (lived there 3 years). Total time in California: 20 years.

I have been living in Switzerland now for 23 years, moved here single, now have a family with 2 young kids.

My recommendation: stay put in Switzerland. The quality of life here blows the Silicon valley away. This place is also a paradise for kids. Plus they grow up bilingual, an incredible gift. California? Great place to go on vacation. But I would never want to live there again, especially now.
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  #29  
Old 16.02.2011, 09:11
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

Sage advice here.
I would stay with in Switzerland, for all its quirks and difficulties it is a better life for families and with children being planned, health care plays a big part. You just cannot compare what you get here to the states (or even Australia!!) and as a first time parent, it helped my nerves no end knowing that if we had a problem it was never a problem to get help.
Careerwise there are as many opportunities here as anywhere else, also he will hit 40 in 3 years, a big "WTF am I doing with my life" for men (as you experienced hitting 30 as a woman). For me becoming a father for the first time at 40 did help me put a few things into perspective at this stage of my life. If I were to offer advice, I would say to research and target companies here for the next promotion that offer good family benefits (paternity leave, work from home, health insurance ect), trying to find a balance between family needs and company expectations is never easy but a whole lot easier with a company that is sympathetic to families.

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Regarding my priority, it has switched from career to family life as soon as I got married.

And my word is reflected by my life: when my wife and I were trying to have a baby for nearly 5 years, we kept our jobs without changes in career in Finland, although I wanted to go and live in South of Europe. Well, my wife was 35 years old when we started trying, so it was definitely not the time to undergo big changes in life. When the baby finally came, I started planning moves in my career, and when the baby was one year old and was for sure a healthy one, I resigned from my 8-year-long job in Finland, we moved abroad (from Finland to Switzerland), and I gave a good turn to my career (better position, better salary, but unfortunately more working hours and more stress). Family life came first, and when this point was "stable and satisfactory" for my wife and I, we considered the career boost and going to adventurous paths of life.

Also, regarding the issue of ages, it does not make a big difference to delay a career boost by a few years. However, it can make a big difference for a woman in her thirties to delay trying having a baby by a few years. And the regrets can be much bitter than those of a missed boost to the career.

/Paul
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Old 16.02.2011, 09:25
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

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Do you put your family life and security ahead, or your career?
Family life, no contest.

Plus, you can't try for a baby forever you know .
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Old 16.02.2011, 09:57
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

There is no contest. Put family and quality of life first. In 5 years the senior people in the company won't even remember, yet alone appreciate sacrifices you guys made...do what's right for you, now.
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Old 16.02.2011, 10:01
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

Sounds like you answered your own question. And yes I would also put family first
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Old 16.02.2011, 10:13
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

I wish I could separate the two as easily as many of you seem to be able to. I take home much of my positive energy from the office when things go well at work and, unfortunately, if I go through a tough time at work, I tend to be more difficult and grumpy back with the family.
I guess that it is a personal thing, but in my case a nice balance is needed. If I realized that I am not satisfied with what I do at work (because of a whole series of factors), then I'd have to consider having a change in order to not affect also my family.
After all, I spend I lot of time at work and to me it is important to feel good with what I do.
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Old 16.02.2011, 10:29
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

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Sounds like you answered your own question. And yes I would also put family first
Yes I think we have... In the grand scheme of things 2 years is very little time at all. But when it comes to things like starting a family, 2 years can make a large difference (as many of you have mentioned).
Unless his office pulls off a magic trick in the next week or so, its looking highly likely that I'll be floating around EF for quite some time
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:10
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

life and career are linked. if job in CH disappears then your life could change considerably.

Also, you've set your question as an either/or. It's not clear to me that the family life wouldn't be better in SV. I'm sure life would certainly be livelier.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:16
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

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After all, I spend I lot of time at work and to me it is important to feel good with what I do.
This is very true of course. However not everyone would be willing to travel to other countries because of a job. Other family members are also involved. It's not that I was ever in this position though.
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  #37  
Old 16.02.2011, 11:28
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

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I wish I could separate the two as easily as many of you seem to be able to. I take home much of my positive energy from the office when things go well at work and, unfortunately, if I go through a tough time at work, I tend to be more difficult and grumpy back with the family.
I guess that it is a personal thing, but in my case a nice balance is needed. If I realized that I am not satisfied with what I do at work (because of a whole series of factors), then I'd have to consider having a change in order to not affect also my family.
After all, I spend I lot of time at work and to me it is important to feel good with what I do.
That's the way I see it too. I could not live without a job that provides me with a decent income and independency. Luckily for me my two kids are now old enough to go to day school or boarding school respectively, since childcare for young ones her is basically non-existent. I had not planned on having more than one child (and as some of you know even tried for a third not too long ago), they somehow happened to enter my life on the way. It was hard to be in a fulltime job when they were little - not because I missed being with them but organising childcare/nannies/au-pairs.
It is possible to have both and I know I am priviliged in a way that I make quite a bit of money to be able to afford boarding schools and such.

Switzerland is not the worst place in the world to bring up children once they are old enough to go to school. Listen to your heart, it will tell you what to do.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:35
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

For me, I haven't really had a chance to find out as I only have a career but no family myself (parents don't count ) ...... but one thing I wanted to add to this conversation, if it ain't feel absolutely the right thing to do, don't do it!

In my experience (although only about career moves), when it felt the right thing to do, I didn't bother thinking about other things. If I thought about the pros and cons of either sides to make a decision, I already knew it's not going to be a good one. Not sure if that helped, but that's how I go about things
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:44
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

Put family first, and then career second. Careers change over time, but family is constant. And who ever said on their deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office"?

I put a lot into my career early on in my life, received industry awards, etc. But then my kids came along and every employer I go to now, I tell them at the interview that I will not work long hours. Everyone knows where they stand, I can leave work on time with no guilt, and spend time with my family. It's a conscious decision I have made to invest in the family and take my foot off the gas regarding my career. I still get good job offers because my credentials are high (a pay-off from my efforts early in my career), but I'm not prepared to sacrifice my family for my career.

But then everyone's different and my decisions are good for me.
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Old 16.02.2011, 11:48
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Re: Family life or career? Whats more important to you?

Strike a balance. I have seen too many people put all their effort into career at the expense of family. Career goes pear shaped, family get fed up with playing second fiddle to career and that goes pear shaped too, result no career and sad lonely existence filled with regret.
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