When this dad is considering making a career shift, he asks Reddit:
My wife (30f) and I (32m) are fortunate to both work in lucrative jobs. The thing is, I don't find my work particularly useful to society or meaningful, and have long felt guilty about not using my skills for something better.
Basically, I feel like a sell out. I've discussed this with my wife many times, but she has a different mentality - skeptical about the idea of being able to "do good" with your career. I think she internally roles her eyes when I bring up these sort of concerns.
I recently got an offer from a company where I'd feel far better about the work I'd be doing. The thing is, while this job also pays a lot objectively, it pays significantly less than my current job.
With that being said, our household income would still be far above average, and the change in income would have no impact on our day to day life. It would just mean that we'd save at a lower rate.
The new job would be mostly remote, but would involve some traveling. 2 weeks when I start, and then 1 or 2 weeks every quarter. Also, the new company might ask me to relocate to the other side of the country eventually.
This would certainly be annoying, but to me, seems doable because we don't have many strong attachments to our current city (wife could work from the new location too), and we both like the part of the country we'd need to relocate to.
My wife gets upset whenever I bring up the possibility of taking this job, although she tries to hide it, and doesn't outright say she doesn't want me to take it. She implies that the travel is not responsible given that we have a 1-year-old...
(even though her mother lives with us and helps take care of the baby), and seems hung up on the fact that the new job would pay less.
She also refuses to consider eventually relocating. She basically thinks I'm being selfish, and prioritizing my personal ambitions above my family.
From my perspective, the amount of travel seems relatively little, there's no good reason to rule out relocating eventually, the difference in pay will have no major impact on our lives, and we would still have enough income to save a lot.
I think this is a fair tradeoff for doing work that I find much more meaningful and potentially useful for others. Am I being selfish?
YTA. This is your wife and child and you're talking about making a major life choice. She should have some input and it should be a conversation. You two need to figure out a way to talk to each other.
Why are you even applying to jobs that would require you to move without having your wife onboard? "Honey pack up your life so I can take a job that pays less, pulls you away from everything you currently know and love, and I will be around less."
So you'd be fine with leaving your wife alone with the kid for a week or two at a time, and she would not be fine with it. Amazing.
You presumably also have to consider the feelings of the grandmother who takes care of the baby while you and your wife are out doing your lucrative jobs. Will she also wish to move to the far side of the country one day?
I don't think you have thought it through. You are not a single man without responsibilities, you are part of a family. Yes, it is important that you feel good about the work you do.
No, it's not that big a deal that you won't be able to save quite as fast. But these are not the most important points to consider. Your wife says you are prioritising your personal ambitions above your family. Isn't she right? Talk more. Think harder. Right now, ESH.
YTA. So, you want to leave them in a worse financial position AND leave her with less support and help. And you somehow think you’re not an AH? Really?