Let's talk jobs that require travel

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Anonymous User
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Let's talk jobs that require travel

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:56 am

In-house lawyer here thinking about applying to a job that requires fairly significant travel (20-30%). My current job doesn't really require travel so I'm having trouble wrapping my head around what my life might look like with so much travel. I've got a one year old baby and wife that I love to see every night. This opportunity is outstanding in every other aspect, so I wrestle with it. Good long term prospects, sophisticated work, better pay, etc.

I'd love to hear from folks that travel this much, how you've balanced it, whether you hate the travel aspect, and questions I may want to focus upon during an interview. Bonus points if you've had in house jobs without travel before and can compare the downside/upside, and bonus points for those with young families.

Any input/musings welcome to help me think this through.

Anonymous User
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Re: Let's talk jobs that require travel

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:56 am

Grew up with a father who was in-house and travelled 1-2 weeks out of every month. Would be gone for 5-10 days at a time. The traveling stopped by the time I was in high school, but by then we were not very close. My advice would be to make the most of the time you have at home, so that you are still involved in your family's life. It is really easy to say "I just got home from 10 days abroad, I am tired." But your wife and kids just spent 10 days waiting for you to get home.

On the other hand, he made $$ and loved traveling. So there's that.

jhett

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Re: Let's talk jobs that require travel

Postby jhett » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:05 am

I'm currently in-house, with minimal travel (2-3 times a year) and a young child. So not fully qualified to answer, but here are some things I've noticed:

1. Are the travel destinations close or far away, and how long are each trip? Short overnights aren't really big issues, as you are only away for 1-2 nights. If it's a long international trip, that can wreck havoc with your family's schedule.

2. Do you have family close by that can assist with childcare duties? If so, that alleviates a lot of the burden on your spouse.

3. Buy something for the child and the spouse on every trip - not to buy their affection or anything, but just to show that you are always thinking of them.

4. Skype/Gchat/Facetime is a great way to keep in contact on a daily basis.

5. Flexibility in choosing your preferred travel carrier and travel times is helpful. Some companies might severely restrict your choice of carriers and price points. But if you can choose better travel times / carriers at a higher expense, it helps a lot. For example, choosing a nighttime flight after your kid has gone down for the night, or arriving so that you can be home for dinner.

6. If you get personal air miles for business travel... then you can travel your way to a free family vacation!

7. Your family can accompany you on some trips. For example, meeting in Orlando? Disneyworld! Depending on the travel reimbursement policy, you may also find a way to get reimbursed for certain personal expenses (e.g., a daily meal budget can be used to cover certain family meals if it's fairly cheap). I managed to get a long international trip with my family almost fully covered by my employer.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Let's talk jobs that require travel

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:33 pm

I'm in-house with a moderate amount of travel (3-4 international trips and 3-4 domestic trips a year). I have a baby at home and a spouse in biglaw. I'd say it's a mixed bag.

On one hand, I really enjoy getting out of the office and seeing new places. The destinations are usually desirable (big difference between going to major European cities and being stuck in some small town in the rural South). On the other hand, I do feel bad leaving my spouse to do 100% of the childcare duties on top of a demanding work schedule. Fortunately, we have a lot of family in town- which is what makes it possible. It's worth noting that I rarely travel for more than 4-5 days at a time (even overseas). It would be much tougher to be gone for weeks. With shorter trips- the toughest thing is just logistics, we can stand being apart for a few days at a time. Having airline status and lots of miles is a nice perk for coordinating personal family travel. Not something you can ask in an interview- but being in an organization that flies business class internationally makes a big difference. It could be something to ask HR discreetly post-offer.

I will also say that I grew up with a dad who traveled on a semi-regular basis. I remember a some trips were a few weeks long. However, I never felt like I had an absentee father because he made a very concerted effort to stay in touch during his travels and made time with us whenever humanly possible.



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