Bicoastal Is For The Birds

Danielle and her husband have been living bicoastally since October. If Danielle leaves Portland, she won't have a job. Should she make the move anyway? Dave says yes.

QUESTION: Danielle in Portland and her husband have been living bicoastal since October. Her husband found a job in the Southeast after graduation, and he left Oregon to take the job. But if Danielle leaves Portland, she won't have a job. Should she make the move anyway? Dave says yes and offers some other ideas for employment.

ANSWER: Yes. This isn't any fun either, is it? I have tremendous respect for military families, because I couldn't do it. If I can't be at home with my wife every so often, it's a problem. One of you is going to give up your really great job to have a life.

You could find out if you could do your job remotely or do some consulting on a remote basis—maybe not as an employee, but they could give you some projects to work on because they know you're good. With some FedEx, web access and Skype, you could stay connected with product design stuff. The downside for you with Charlottesville, Virginia, is it's a small town. It's not a community where you'll have a job lined up like you did somewhere the size of Portland.

If you called me up and told me you were getting married but wouldn't live together for the first year, I would tell you to rethink that. You make $50,000 a year. If you told me $250,000, we might have to think about it. But I'm gone. Go be with your husband. Take two more years to get out of debt, but have a life in the process. I couldn't do it, and I can't recommend to somebody else something I couldn't do. The thing is, you're not going to have a net loss of $50,000, because you can do something.

I would talk to your company about doing some consulting and start shopping for some kind of position in Charlottesville. It's a university community if I remember correctly. You may be able to teach marketing at the college.