Desperate For a Job? How Far Would You Go to Get One?

If you follow this blog religiously, you probably know that I have been looking for a full-time job since graduating in December. Well, I am glad to announce that I have been conditionally offered a job! However, the job location isn’t quite what I wanted. Technically, when you apply for some Government jobs, you have to choose three different locations that you would want to work. We live in the DC area and obviously, that was my first choice. My other two choices were for places in Pennsylvania which really would not work for us. I bet you can guess where I am going with this. The position I was hired for is in Pennsylvania and about 2 1/2 hours away. The other kicker is that my fiancee has great job security here in Maryland and we do not want to give that up.

There is still the opportunity that a position will open up in DC but nothing is guaranteed. The job is exactly what I was looking for (other than the location) and I know that I can succeed in the position. After discussing it with my fiancee, we decided that it was best for me to accept the position regardless of the location. If we need to make it work we will. We have family about an hour from the PA location and if I have to stay with them during the week, I will. Hopefully then, something will open up in the DC office where I can transfer.

So, you can see that we are pretty desperate for additional income in our household. We are so desperate that we are willing to uproot our lives during weekdays. So, my question to you is:

How far would you go or what would you do if you were desperate for a job?

20 thoughts on “Desperate For a Job? How Far Would You Go to Get One?

  1. Bible Money Matters

    Wow, that’s pretty intense. I’m not sure I could go that far. I’d go pretty far as far as doing menial jobs, or accepting something that wasn’t quite a fit. But being that far away from home during the week is tough. My wife and I have friends that did this – living apart during the week, home on the weekends, and it was extremely tough on them. I’m hoping you can make it work better than they did, and you’ll get a close by opening soon. Congrats on the job, and good luck!

  2. MLR

    The IRS has a huge location in Philadelphia, is that where you will be working?

    But, even an hour commute for me is too much. Two hours RT = 8% of my day spent in the car… to get to and from work. Another 9 hrs working = 38% of my day. 7 hrs sleeping = 29% of my day. What’s that leave for “free” time? 25% of my day.

    My goal is to maximize that last number, so right now I have a 40 minute commute each way (an extra 2.5% to my day!) but am looking at moving someplace that would make my commute 20 minutes each way.

    I could not do what you did, so I respect that!

  3. ObliviousInvestor

    a) Congrats!
    b) I wish you good luck with either the DC-located position opening up, or with the move not being so bad.

    And you didn’t tell us: what’s the job? Federal government, plus no mention of the position…My bet’s on CIA agent. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Adam Post author

    @BMM – We hope that a position will open up in DC before I even get settled in PA. I actually will have to do training until March 2009 where I will be traveling to different venues during that time. So if you think about it, even if I got the DC position, I would still be away from home.

    Believe me, I do not want to do this type of scenario for very long. I am just hoping that working hard will allow me to transfer to a different location.

    @MLR – The position is actually in the capital. Like I said, hopefully it won’t be for too long. My father also has a full-size camper and if I have to live in that during the week (to make the commute smaller) I will definitely do it.

    @Oblivious – The job is with the Department of Treasury (the better way of saying the IRS). Or could that be my cover for a CIA agent? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. ObliviousInvestor

    Ah, very cool. As a tax accountant myself, many of my friends/colleagues are former IRS employees. From what I hear, it’s a great place to work.

    And I’m envious of your ability to invest in TSP funds. 1/10th the expense ratios of even Vanguard funds. Jeez.

  6. Adam Post author

    @Oblivious – It will be nice to be able to invest so cheap. However, there is only five funds (I believe) so not much ability to look for some high performers.

  7. ObliviousInvestor

    That’s true–just the 5 funds plus the lifecycle funds (which are just target date funds made up of the other 5).

    But being a hardcore believer in passive management (and in the impossibility of choosing ahead-of-time which active fund will outperform), I’m of the belief that controlling costs is the single best thing an investor can do to improve returns.

    And in that regard, TSP funds are literally unbeatable. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Adam Post author

    @Oblivious – You are right there. I am in the process of reading The Bogleheads’ so I am feeling the same way you do!

  9. Mrs. Micah

    Congrats again, Adam. As far as living arrangements go, I think this could work for you two–especially if you haven’t been living together already. Not saying that from a moral standpoint, but a practical one. Micah & I will have been married for 2 years this summer. We’re so used to being around each other every day that we’d feel the loss strongly, even if it’s just the loss of having him on the computer behind me while I write over here on my computer.

    But if you’re doing this from the get-go for the first few months/year of your marriage, it should be something you two can pull off since you’re already at a place where you’re changing up your relationship. Hope you’ll be able to switch to the DC bureau soon!

    The most dramatic case I knew of someone making this work was a professor who commuted from Minnesota to Harrisburg. He flew home twice a month and taught Tues, Weds, & Thurs so he could make long-weekends of it when he did. It was a matter of jobs again and they both needed the work. Fortunately, he saved on living by paying a very small amount for a basement room in another professor’s house.

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  11. Adam Post author

    @Mrs Micah – Unfortunately, we have been living together for about 6 months. I imagine that will make it somewhat hard. However, we are accustomed to long times apart. When I went to graduate school in Texas, I was away for a least two months at a time. I think being able to still see each other through Skype really helped. Also the fact that we have been dating for almost 8 years helps too. It’s not like we are in the awkward first few months of knowing each other.

    We are just praying that is doesn’t even come to this. The DC office hasn’t even hired anyone yet and if the other office wants my services, what’s to say the DC office doesn’t either.

  12. Mrs. Micah

    The 8 years definitely helps. Micah & I were together for 5 before we got married and we were used to seeing each other every day in the summer & then once or twice a month in the fall. But I also hope that it doesn’t come to that for you two. Keep us updated! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. Jesse

    I moved to a different state (1000 miles) for a business opportunity. It didnt quite work out for a few reasons but we ended up staying in the state and moving to a nicer area, buying a house and I got a better job that has freed me up to pursue much more interesting and profitable things in my off time.

    I wasnt separated from my wife though, and that can make things much more difficult. I also miss my family which are still in my previous state.

  15. Paul @ FiscalGeek

    Good luck on your new adventure Adam. I commuted 95 miles each way every day for almost two years. It was brutal but we had a house that we couldn’t sell. It was very hard, I started the commute when my firstborn was about 6 months old. I would leave the house at 10am and arrive back home at about 1am. But you do what you’ve got to do when you need to provide for your family. Hope it works out well for you guys and it’s always amazing what new opportunities will arise when you are patient.
    .-= Paul @ FiscalGeekยดs lastest post ..Week in Review: Post Lawn Mowing Roundup =-.

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  17. Adam Post author

    @Paul – We know that it’s going to be rough but like you said, you have to do certain things to provide for your family. It will definitely work out and I know that I will be moving to a closer branch ASAP. Just got to stay positive!

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  19. Funny about Money

    Ah, a commuter marriage. Several of my friends have managed these–seems to go with the territory for academics.

    Any chance you can move someplace midway in-between, so each person has “only” an hour-&-fifteen-minute commute? The camper scheme is slightly alarming, though one friend did well with this when he was working as ME for the Gallup newspaper and she was an IT guru at the Great Desert University (he lived in the paper’s parking lot for months on end). But they were about as unconventional as it gets. Later he discovered he could get paid to park his camper at state and national parks, sitting around pretending to work as the “caretaker.” One thing leads to another! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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