Thursday, 1 March 2012

Why give up a good job in a recession?

When we decided to leave our jobs, house and life in the UK there were many triggers for our decision. We both felt deep-down unease at the path our lives were taking and, while only in our mid-twenties, we felt that somehow we had lost our way.  The suburban mediocrity of our lives, while pleasant, wasn’t the life we wanted. 

Our jobs were stable and respectable but also repetitive and dull- neither of us felt any passion for our day to day work. I worked in a field I enjoyed- corporate social responsibility, but in a job with no prospects and in a very quiet office where time seemed to slow down.  My husband’s job was in a field he didn’t enjoy, in an office where most people stayed for life and talk of other career prospects away from the company was almost entirely unknown. However it was a good job in a nice area with good future earning potential, so why would anyone leave?  

To cut down your clutter and start thinking in a minimalist way, you clearly do not have to leave the country. But we did. For us, our whole life in the UK was another tie to a life we didn’t want, not now anyway. We had become bogged down with society’s expectations of what graduates do, what young families do and what we should want. 

My loves- travel, writing, cooking, my family, reading.
J’s loves- photography, travel, writing, family, languages. 

So why were we doing jobs that failed to include or facilitate any of these? If you have the luxury to choose, why would anyone stay in a job they had no passion for?

In the UK we would desperately struggle to pay our bills without at least one of us working full time but we both craved more family time while our children are still young. My husband is a linguist but was struggling to fulfil his language ambitions in the UK. We love to travel and discover different cultures. 

We needed our children to be safe and happy and to be in an environment where we could guarantee good medical assistance if necessary. We wanted to home-school if possible. All of this and our previous experiences in Asia added up to moving back to China to teach English at a University. 

We now live in a clean and spartan top floor flat on a University campus in Sichuan province. We’re not rich, we don’t have lots of savings but we’re determined to make this new life work for us.  We’re discovering new things, nurturing our children and seeing where our interests and dreams will lead us.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I so admire the two of you for pursuing your dreams with the responsibilities of marriage and children.

    After completing a graduate degree that I discovered I didn't like, I have been gradually shifting my focus towards a field that I hope will interest me more -- without going back to school. It is slow going for me and very scary, but I, too, can't stand the idea of working forever in a job I hate just to achieve "the good life" that everyone expects of me.

    If I had a partner, I'd love to go abroad and teach English in order to live in an Asian country. Trouble is, I'm just too scared to pull up roots all by myself :-)