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Thread: Need Advice, career vs. family?

  1. #1
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    Default Need Advice, career vs. family?

    So here is the problem, granite a good one to have, I have had the dream job for 4+ years now but it is in a miserable place! I don't mind it where I'm located but my wife does and she has sacrificed plenty so I could work my dream job, God bless her soul!!! But she has finally come and stated she doesn't want to raise kids here and doesn't want to live here forever. I have been since I got my 3 years in looking at getting a job closer to were we came from but that place is in such demand that it's soooooo hard, as we all know how hard it is to get into this career. S my question to all of you is, when does having your dream job become irrelevant against you life and family happiness?? If that makes sense. Am I suppose to just give up this job and get one close to "home" and not love it like I do the fire service? ANYYYY input on how you all would handle the situation would be great and much appreciated! Thank you very much!!

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    Just my opinion and perspective, but I would always put family above all else. Not sure where you are or where you're trying to go, but maybe there's some kind of compromise you and the wife can come up with? I've been actively looking for a few years now and had to have the talk with my wife about where she would go and where she absolutely, without giving it a second thought wouldn't go. Once I knew that, I started applying anywhere and everywhere she was willing to give it a shot. If you're a medic, you should be able to get at least close to where you want with 4+ years. Maybe you go that route (ONLY if you're interested) and that opens up every door out there for you to apply. One last thing, departments are all different in their culture, how they treat people, etc. BUT, would it be worth working for a smaller, less desirable department to keep the family together. It would still be the greatest job around! Good luck man! I hope you guys come to some sort of mutually beneficial decision.

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    I did the exact same thing skitahoe did. The wife really doesn't want me to do firefighting at all so we decided that I would only test for departments that she was willing to move to.

    I would personally always put my family before a job but that's just my 2 cents.

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    how far away is the city you want to live in from where you work now???

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    how far away is the city you want to live in from where you work now???
    5 hours........

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    I want to reiterate that this isn't a question of family or fire job, guess I should of worded differently. It's that she wants me to quit this job if I can't get closer and find another job that is close to home, firefighter or not! Ad I've thought about it and just being a volly on the side, but we all know that just ain't the same!! I want to stay until I find fire job close and she has just had enough... And if I could tell ya where I was at you would all prolly understand were she is coming from haha.

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    Drive five hours till you land another fd job closer

    Look for closer fd jobs to the city you want to live in , even if hour or two drive

    Take another job in the city you want to live in and start testing in nearby cities


    Ask for a year reprieve while you test closer and if no job move and keep testing

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    I think some of these others have offered good advice, I'll just add:

    1. Put your family first - if they are not happy, you aren't going to be happy, either. Do whatever it takes to avoid being another divorce statistic. Pay attention to what your wife's concerns are, and strive to address them as best you can. Leave no opportunity to make things better unexplored or attempted!

    2. Look for places closer to where she wants to be - get a map and draw a circle around that place that is about 60 miles away, and 120 miles away, based on the scale of the map. Being no further than an hour or two away from that sweet spot may be enough for both of you, but seeing it on a map, having that discussion, looking at the departments that have career staffing inside those circles, will help put everything into perspective for you both. As others have suggested - move to the place she wants to be, and apply at the departments in and around it.

    3. Good news/bad news - You have the dream job now. It's usually easier for a good career firefighter to find another job as a career firefighter than it is for folks who have no track record as a career firefighter (whether or not that's fair is a different discussion). Provided the places you found in the map are in the same state as that sweet spot that your wife is seeking, they may like the idea of hiring someone with the certificates and experience you offer - especially if you have a good work record and good performance assessments in your work history at the current department. Bad news is that you'll still have to compete for any career openings wherever you decide to apply. You may have more competition - you'll have to be at your best in every aspect of your application process - physically and mentally fit, best behavior in accordance with the law (that also means no driving violations - not even a parking ticket!), and continuing to improve yourself through training, education, and new achievements. You want to be "the guy that everyone wants to hire." You did that once - do it again.
    FireMuscleMan21 likes this.

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    a well respected chief addressed ready-to-graduate recruits by saying "if you do what is right for your family, you will always be making the right decision."
    Last edited by Buffalo21; 03-07-2013 at 06:26 PM.

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    I put six years on with my old department before my wife & I decided we didn't want to raise our kids in the city I worked for. Now I'm working as a probie for a department in a completely different part of the country. My wife was more than patient with the testing process this second time around, and I have to say that already having a job made me much more confident and less nervous when I interviewed with my current department.

    I grew up with a firefighter father & wanted to give my kids the same experience I got. I think firefighting is one of the most family friendly careers out there. My wife & I are actually thinking about starting homeschooling for a while so we can take better advantage of the awesome schedule this career affords me, taking the kids & travelling around /exploring on my days off. If you love the job, stick with it. Talk it through with your wife & work together to find the best solution. Like others have said, if you need to, move closer to where ever the destination 5 hours away is, & commute (I would shoot for somewhere midway if that's feasible, although I had a buddy in my neighborhood who lived in Tucson but worked for a FD in California (granted his department ran a schedule that lent itself to being able to travel a bit more than the traditional department schedule does).I commuted for an hour to live in a better area for my family, but ultimately we ended up moving to a different region of the country altogether.

    Do what's best for everyone, yourself included. It's a lot harder to be a good husband/dad when you're working a miserable job, killing yourself to make it work. If you love your job, it's easy to do, and makes you more pleasant on your days off (at least from my own experience.)
    FireMuscleMan21 likes this.

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    Wow very much appreciate the time y'all took to give some advice, it is all great words of wisdomw and I appreciate it so much! I know we got some challenges in future on what todo with our lives and lets hope it works out!!! Thanks again! It's great to hear what other people in situation have done

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    A good carrier is very good for you and your family.Carrier advancement is very important in ones life.I appreciate your struggle for better carrier growth and will surly make your family a happy family.

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    It's "c a r e e r"
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