Career/Life Decision Help Needed
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
McCree 12-Dec-18
Scoot 12-Dec-18
Ace 12-Dec-18
JohnMC 12-Dec-18
Russell 12-Dec-18
IdyllwildArcher 12-Dec-18
TrapperKayak 12-Dec-18
Wayniac 12-Dec-18
wild1 12-Dec-18
Shiras 12-Dec-18
APauls 12-Dec-18
Aspen Ghost 12-Dec-18
wildwilderness 12-Dec-18
Treeline 12-Dec-18
Scoot 12-Dec-18
IdyllwildArcher 12-Dec-18
KY EyeBow 12-Dec-18
WV Mountaineer 12-Dec-18
Scoot 12-Dec-18
cnelk 12-Dec-18
Guardian hunter 12-Dec-18
Rocky D 12-Dec-18
BoggsBowhunts 12-Dec-18
BTM 12-Dec-18
Rick 3 12-Dec-18
Genesis 12-Dec-18
Franklin 12-Dec-18
Z Barebow 12-Dec-18
Tonybear61 12-Dec-18
JL 12-Dec-18
Duke 12-Dec-18
TreeWalker 13-Dec-18
WapitiBob 13-Dec-18
Scar Finga 13-Dec-18
Billyvanness 13-Dec-18
Bob H in NH 13-Dec-18
Bob H in NH 13-Dec-18
craig 13-Dec-18
NEIAbowhunter 13-Dec-18
Kurt 13-Dec-18
elkstabber 13-Dec-18
SaddleReaper 13-Dec-18
YZF-88 13-Dec-18
bowyer45 13-Dec-18
chesapeake born 13-Dec-18
Buffalo1 13-Dec-18
Eric Vaillancourt 17-Dec-18
From: McCree
I apologize...this is a little long, I'll try to keep it to the facts. I'm 39 years old, happily married with 3 little girls ages 4, 6 and 8. I'm a degreed engineer, 4 years in manufacturing, 10 years in utilities (coal fired power plant) and just over a year in pharma manufacturing. I live in the Midwest. The only thing holding me here is my parents. My only brother passed in 2012 at the age of 27 from cancer. I feel like I have to stay close to them because I'm all they have. However, I also feel like I'm limiting my self and my girls...there is so much more out there, opportunities, experiences, etc. I'm really torn! Recently I found out that a coworker/friend was diagnosed with cancer. He is the 5th coworker diagnosed since I started with my current employer. It really scares me and makes me think it's a sign that its time for a change. Unfortunately my financial responsibilities limit my employment options here. I have to make good money to afford my house etc. (yes, I'm house poor) and employment opportunities in this area are few and far between. I built my house on family ground as well so that's another complicated piece. This also limits my hunting opportunities which really hurts me! My wife would move in a heart beat, not an issue! As time passes I'm leaning more and more towards taking the leap but its scary. I've lived here all my life and know nothing else. If we were to do this we could build/buy smarter and put less financial stress on ourselves, provide more opportunity for our kids, etc. I would love to gain employment in a field I'm truly passionate about. Everywhere I've worked since college graduation has been based on financial compensation. That's important but I want to do something I'm truly passionate about. No clue what that job is, that's a question for all of you. I thought about engineering for a bow manufacturer but I'm afraid that would take the fun out of it. I don't know, I guess I'm just rambling. Basically I'm just looking for input from the group on the whole situation and some good options if anyone has any suggestions. If we were to do this we'd be looking to move west, Colorado or surrounding states. Thanks all!

From: Scoot
How old are your parents and how is their health? How close are you to them? How would you and they do with you moving west with regard to not being close to each other geographically?

I moved away from home- it was great! But not nearly as great as when I moved back home.

From: Ace
Couple of thoughts from a Recruiter with a lot of experience and who does a lot of "career counseling":

DON'T make a move away from a negative, move toward a positive. It may feel like the same thing sometimes, but it's not. If that's unclear, it's because you haven't sorted out all the important stuff yet. Keep striving to get to know yourself better, that's a life long task, but well worth it.

Money is important, but if it's at or near the top of your list, you're doing something wrong. Satisfaction in life has to come from many places to be long-lasting and fulfilling. If you disagree with this, you're doing it wrong (which of course you are free to do).

Working at something you love, like in the hunting industry, often negatively affects both your job and your hobby, I have seen people make it work, but it's rare. Try instead to do something you like well enough, which affords you the ability, means, and time to do the things you love. That way you get some fulfillment from different sources.

5 people at one company with Cancer? Get the hell out of there, and maybe talk to a lawyer!

Seriously man, if you want to discuss this further, PM me, we can chat or email or whatever. What you are feeling and going through is not uncommon.

Life is short, you will have to take some risks, but they have to be measured, and within your own risk tolerance profile.

Hang in there, keep searching for answers. And keep hugging your kids and telling those you love, that you love them.

From: JohnMC
A lot of opportunity in CO. Also a lot of people. I have been here 20 years and it seems hunting gets harder and harder. Tags have gotten hard to draw and places more crowded. The front range is very congested with people. I also think you will be shocked at home prices here. 400k is about entry price many places, some places that won't buy anything.

From: Russell
Besides the guidance that Ace provided, there's many engineering opportunities here in Huntsville, AL .

Cost of living is favorable too.

PM me if you need some guidance.

Have you posted a similar question about moving on these boards before? There was a similar thread a while back, but it was more about moving, not career.

As far as your career, I think it's a pipe dream to find happiness through your employment. People who do usually find passion in their work and don't have something else besides that. A job is something that you should not hate and should be a means to and end, that end being making you and your family comfortable enough to pursue happiness. Happiness is found through family, friends, and your personal passions, like hunting.

Only you can make you happy. If you want more or different, then go out there and get it. If you want to move to the west, do it and you won't be disappointed. You don't owe anything to anyone except your wife and kids and you have to do what's best for them and yourself.

But don't try and find happiness and fulfillment through your job. Take the best job that you can find that will allow you the money and time off to engage in what really makes you happy.

From: TrapperKayak
I moved from NY (way upstate) to Montana when I was 22. Lived out there for over 30 years (mt for 10 Wa for 20). My father hated me leaving. Mom said go for it. I had and have regrets leaving them but you have to live YOUR life, or you will regret not doing that. I made my career of the thing I loved second best..fisheries, and saved my favorite hunting for personal enjoyment only. I had no wife until I was 49 though, and dont have kids. There are trade offs. You can have what you want by the sounds. Take your family and git. Do your level best to stay in close touch with those you left behind though. You will all be happiest that way. Live your dream, you only get one shot at it.

From: Wayniac
Like you, my background is engineering. I am currently trying to balance my need to be happy with my job, with possibly taking a lower income.

I passed on an opportunity to transfer to a sister division in Southern Maine back in 2000 or so (I was around the same age as you are now) - mainly because my sis needed help with my nephews, and because my Mom was sick.

At times I regret it - wonder what if's... but I wouldn't trade the time with my nephews in their formative years and the time I had with my Mom until she passed.

I DO think I'd enjoy Maine WAYYY more than CT, especially in the current atmosphere here.

I'd also add (as above) - it would be great but EXTREMEMLY rare to combine your passion for hunting with your job.

Not sure I have any good advice - just wanted to share that you're not the only one to go through that. Good luck in your quest

From: wild1
I don't know if it's possible for you, but if it were me, I'd take my time, find the best possible career move and take my parents with me.

Nothing gives me more peace-of-mind than doing what I can for my family, including my parents.

From: Shiras
Some really good advice here. I look at my current job in research and realize that I could go to a lot of other companies and make a lot more more, but I would also lose the 32 days of vacation I get each year due to the time I have put in. I also think you don't have to wake up everyday loving your job, but if you wake up everyday dreading your job then it has to change.

As far as a job in the hunting industry...I have always tried to keep my passion and my career separate. When my passion becomes a job then I have lost what I love about it.

From: APauls
I don't want to sound pessimistic, because in fact I think I am an optimist. But I think waking up loving what you do every day is a pipe dream. I'm with Idyl on this one. Very very rarely do people legitimately love what they do. Like seriously love it more than just telling the world on FB that they love it. No one can put themselves in your shoes and face the consequences of your decision.

As a christian I approach these situations differently than a non-christian because I view my life's priorities differently and not my own. I don't know if you are a man of the faith or not, but either way I hope you find peace in your wrestle with your decision. I can understand, as I've thought many times about moving to "greener pastures" but there's so much more to life than work and hunting. For me, contentment is something that's usually mental and a continuous struggle. So easy to always want more!

From: Aspen Ghost
It actually sounds like you are in an ideal place so I'm having trouble figuring out what you are missing and why you feel limited. You have an education that companies pay well for and are working in a well paying industry but live in a relatively low cost of living area, and on family ground near your parents. That all sounds ideal. If you move to another place that you think will be less "limiting" you probably will end up in a higher cost of living area without much upside on income. So, yes, you'll get your smaller house but you'll be just as cash strapped or more so. And no grandparents nearby for your kids. And when your parents get older and have health issues you will wish you are closer.

There are opportunities in Colorado and other densely populated areas in the pharma industry but you will take a huge cut in quality of life. Cost of living is outrageous and traffic sucks where these jobs are.

Most guys are looking for what you already have; a well paying career in a low cost of living area that is family friendly. Think hard before leaping. In a few years you won't be as house poor. If that's putting pressure on you, focus on it and prioritize reducing your mortgage balance. A few years of living extremely frugally will do two things: 1. you'll find out you really don't need a lot of things you thought you did and 2. your 30 year mortgage can turn into a 15 year mortgage.

Once you get your mortgage in a better situation you will have the ability to take the family to these "more exciting" locations on vacation and maybe even go on a hunting trip or two to these more exotic locales.

You are hitting the bottom trough of the Happiness curve. The 40's is generally the hardest time for people, realizing that this may be it, while seeing others who appear to have accomplished way more, and have more of what we want. Usually by your 50's you are satisfied with your life and can enjoy what you have, and it only gets better (so I've heard).

Of course you should make sound life choices with the responsibilities of a family. With unemployment so low, it would be a good time to explore options, however I concur with the sentiment about making work your passion- it's usually an excuse for 'enjoying poverty' ;) (unless you are a genius entrepreneur, but at your age seems, unlikely)

Disclaimer, I just made a big move to improve work options and increased hunting adventures.

From: Treeline
Lots of great advice here!

I am also an engineer.

Moved to Colorado almost 30 years ago to pursue my passions and find a job that would keep the rent paid and lights on while giving me the time to be in the hills. My best job ever was working at a shut down mine site doing reclamation and water projects. Large amount of private property in some of the most scenic country in the lower 48 surrounded by National Forest. Great hunting and fishing just outside my door in any direction. Like living and working in a post card. Although the town I lived near was not one that most would find appealing for very long due to the long winters and lack of any amenities, it was perfect for me. Finally got fed up with not having any advancement opportunity and moved on to chase higher salaries. That has resulted in much lower overall quality of life, less time for pursuing my passions, bigger bills and deeper in debt.

You will find that the salaries paid for engineers are lower and the cost of living higher than you would anticipate over in the Western States. Colorado is booming and the cost for a even a starter home on the front range is insane. Hard to say how long the boom will last. Funny thing is our taxes have increased with all these extra people and what we get for those taxes seems to be diminished. Traffic is horrendous on the front range and not getting any better.

I am looking to get out of Colorado now because it is too crowded and the cost of living here is just not worth it for me. Just keep plugging away and looking for the right opportunity in Alaska or Wyoming...

It would be well worth your time to start doing some family vacations out to the western states to start looking at potential moves and put together a matrix to evaluate your options. Once you have it narrowed down, you can then focus on specific areas for a job search and save money like crazy in the meantime to get to the place you want to be then make something happen from there.

Good luck in your search! It does sound like your wife is on board and adventurous so your biggest hurdle is already cleared! Go for it!

From: Scoot
McCree- I replied to your PM.

"As far as your career, I think it's a pipe dream to find happiness through your employment. People who do usually find passion in their work and don't have something else besides that. A job is something that you should not hate and should be a means to and end, that end being making you and your family comfortable enough to pursue happiness. Happiness is found through family, friends, and your personal passions, like hunting."

That's probably pretty darn true. That being said, I like what I do a lot. No doubt some days I am PO'd and hate things at work, but mostly it's really good and I'm very lucky to have the independence and ability to do what I want at my work (and I'm anything but "the boss"). I work with great people, which makes things much, much easier.

"You don't owe anything to anyone except your wife and kids and you have to do what's best for them and yourself."

This whole topic is extremely person-dependent, so what works for one may not work for another. Also, what some prioritize or believe may be very different across people. Take Ike's comment above- mostly I agree. However, I don't feel that way about my parents- I do, in fact, owe them a ton and I feel forever indebted to them. I was blessed with great parents and would really struggle to leave them in their elder years. I was here when my mom passed, and I'm very fortunate to have lived around her in her last years and been with her in her last days. I'm now very fortunate to be close to my dad while he goes through his remaining years without his wife. I wouldn't have missed this for just about anything and I'm so glad my kids get to know their grandpa. But... many would choose to have been gone, and that's totally their prerogative. No right or wrong answer.

Perhaps poorly worded, but I stand by the statement that only you can make you happy. And if you live your entire life for other people, you will live an unhappy and regret-filled life - my opinion, but coming from someone who went from being very unhappy to very happy.

From: KY EyeBow
No one can answer your question for you. We are all different and got that way via many different paths. I came back to my home town ( in KY ) after I completed my education and while it is not ideal, I am glad that I am here. I was here for my parents when my father died several years ago and this was a huge help to my mother. I have a brother that lives 75 miles away, but it might as well be 500 miles as he really only helps when he wants to ie. comes back to hunt. To that end, I continue to take care of family matters here that no one else is able to/willing to do. Like Scoot above, I do feel like I owe my parents because they made many sacrifices for me and I feel it is my duty to repay that to them. Time for you to continue to search your soul until you find the best answer for you, not what someone suggests on the internet! Good luck

I agree with Ike. I do believe we gravitate towards things that we find interesting. But, for me, there is no love for my job.

I went in Forestey Resources Management thinking what could be better then working in the woods managing natural resources for landowners. After doing it for 21 years, there is a lot more worse then there is good I used to think was the job.

Do what interests you but, allows you the financial freedom and time to do the things you want with the people that make you happy.

I’m kinda in the same boat. I’m the only one of three kids that moved back to live close to my parents. I understand that thought. But, I also feel like I’ve missed out on opportunity’s of better money, better jobs, and doing many more things I live then I can do living here. It’s up to you to decide what’s best.

Just my thoughts. If opportunity existed to live in Montana and make a living, that’s where I’d go. I’d told you Colorado before going back this last fall. But, with the traffic and the amount of hippies stoners in a lot of the western part of the state, I’d keep driving now.

From: Scoot
Just for the sake of clarifying Ike, I definitely wasn't disagreeing with you. Mostly I think you are spot on, and where I don't think you are spot on doesn't mean I think you are wrong, I just think that is not applicable to me. It's just that 1 small sliver of what you said doesn't apply well to me, that's all. What works for one may not work for many others… it's so idiosyncratic. In the end I definitely agree with the above though, only you can make you happy.

From: cnelk
IMO - If you're gonna move, now is the time when your kids are young. The older they get the harder it will be for everybody. In 10 short years, the oldest will be gone and soon after the others will be too. And you will still be a young man.

That cancer part would definitely get my attention for sure too.

I grew up in the midwest and always had this nagging feeling about something better. So 30 years ago I made the move to Colorado. I had no intentions of staying here at that time, but I played the cards that I was dealt and Im still in the same house with not one regret.

There is no guarantee for tomorrow and Im betting that nagging feeling you have will not soon pass. Only get bigger

Best of luck

Great topic! I believe it is at the core of a lot of our lives. I made the decision to go full time in the hunting industry after my first patent. No regrets. However, you mentioned the word fear many times. From a faith perspective turn that over to god. It worked for me and many of my friends. Remember, no good decisions come from fear of greed. He true to you and your family. Praying for you. G

From: Rocky D
Happiness is a quotient, sum, and cumulative effect of basically three life spheres. Work, family, and recreation linked together and these come together is happiness. All three are not equal that need to be balanced with each individual.

If you need a reason the health would be enough. Sometimes it is better to have a primary reason to call us to action. If the western lifestyle is the reason then ride that train and if a more enjoyable career is then focus on that. I just wouldn’t use a shotgun approach of thought to make a life changing decision. I would choose my primary motive and let the rest support that decision based on what an area could support.

Don't do something that you think you'll regret. Don't NOT do something that you think you'll regret not doing.

From: BTM
At college commencement the keynote speaker said something I've never forgotten: "Many of you are facing tough decisions re. careers and life in general, and it's hard to have all the facts at your disposal to make the 'best' one. And sometimes there is no 'best' decision. The best decision is usually the one MADE FORCEFULLY. Gather as much information and advice that you can, but don't dither around too much in 'analysis paralysis.' Once you've decided on a path, give it everything you've got and don't look back."

That advice was 40 years ago, and it has proven true.

From: Rick 3
There are several things you need to do before you decide to make a huge change in your life. Getting a new job in an industry that you are skilled at is not a huge change. Moving from your home state far away is a huge change.

1. Don't believe everything you read about how great a place is. Do your research and make a list of pro's and con's about the areas/states. Then make sure that if you do move there you are not stuck in the job you get when you get there. Alot of places are limited, but if you make a sound decision and don't like the job you get you can move on and get a better job with the same pay range.

2. Definitely look for work elsewhere. I agree that having 5 people at your current job get cancer is nuts. If there is already cancer in your family (i.e. your brother), get the hell out of there asap. The other good thing is that there are alot of jobs available where you can work remotely and commute when necessary.

3. Don't take anyone's word for the area. Yes I said this again. Do lots of honework on everything from cost of living, taxes, etc. You can never know too much avoht an area before you get there.

4. If you find a job in the hunting industry and you are excited about it jump in it. Don't be afraid to try! You could end up being the owner of the next big thing in hunting, but if you don't get into the industry you will never know.

Good luck!

From: Genesis
Hunting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.This site really magnifies it’s importance but it pales to having the best family life you can provide for your family.

Most of us would swap better income and vocational opportunities as it affords not only opportunities for our family but more QUALITY hunting opportunities for us as well.

Frankly, money will put you further away from the crowds and into better hunting than living in the bedroom of a bunch of over pressured animals.

I stayed home.I have a fantastic career and have been blessed beyond measure and the downside to that is I have to drive,drive,drive to quality hunting.Drive I do.

So,it’s not really about WHERE you live,if you are as committed to your hunting as your family everything will work out perfectly ......a little driving or flying never hurt anyone.

From: Franklin
When you are a husband and a father you are pushing a stone up a hill. Many view it as their duty or their passion or their sole purpose in life. Many men completely ignore their wants and needs for their children, wife or family.

Sounds like you are in a personal funk and need to start looking at ALL the positives in your life. 5 people getting cancer at a job would be considered "a cluster" or a statistical miracle. Something is wrong there.

My opinion would be to get out from under the "wet blanket" of your home. Downsize if need be to take some pressure off. This would allow some extra money for family vacations....which are some of my fondest memories....and also trips for yourself or your wife and yourself. Sounds like it`s not your location in as much as not "living" a full life.

From: Z Barebow
I am not going to claim your exact situation. But some similarities with what I went through in '06. (Similar to your age at that time)

I liked my work, just not who I was doing it for. I put up with situation for 5+ years and finally decided I needed to control my own destiny. My kids were of an age where if a change was to be made, now was the time. (Much like your wife, my was ready to move) Her mom lived in same town, but somewhat strained relationship.

I ended up taking a job for slightly less money, but it was the right move. (I got lucky and sold my previous house before the real estate cliff).

That move was the best thing ever for myself and my family. If your decision is best for you and your immediate family, who can fault you?

From: Tonybear61
I am a health and safety consultant with a chemistry, engineering and biology background. In my career (based in Midwest) I have had the opportunity to travel all over the US(except AK and HI), but now prefer to be limited to my home state of MN and a few trips to surrounding states in the Midwest. I live about 1/2 hour from the core metro, in a quiet neighborhood, a third tier city so to speak. Can hunt and fish a lot of places 10-15 minutes from home, international airport is maybe 40 minutes away. A lot of big and middle sized mfg. companies looking for engineers right now. So are construction companies and the municipalities. Heck 3 of the largest solar panel arrays are within 15-20 minutes from my place. The technology requiring engineering in medical, research, university environments, construction is huge not only in the metro but rest of the state as well. Other than the politics Liberal Dems, Rhino GOP, and independent party leaders ( yeah we had one for a governor) mostly a good place to live in and raise a family..

From: JL
1. When I was young I thought I wanted to be a fishing guide but came to realize that when you NEED to depend on your love for your bread and butter 24/7/ might turn from a love to a grind and wouldn't be fun.

"I've lived here all my life and know nothing else. "

2. I left home and the folks in a small town when I was 20 to go into the military and never moved back there. I (plus wife and 2 girls) moved 8 or 9 times in 30 years. The actual physical move is not that bad. There are check lists online that will guide you thru it. I always had a job on the other end and often had to look for a home in a short period. It's a little stressful but it always worked out. You can make a house-hunting trip before you do the actual move so you have a job and a place to stay before you even leave your current place.

3. Leaving your parents or taking them with you....that is a family decision and the second one that has to be decided. Skype can be your friend!! The first is what to do about your current job and the cancer thing.

4. Alot of folks have decided to leave the small town they grew up in. It can be a little intimidating and emotional but fear not....proper planning and commitment will make it easy.

Good luck....alot of good advice already given.

From: Duke
Pray on it and listen to Him. You will eventually know the right answer and will not question yourself or your choice. Everyone is inherently different and situations are different.

Good luck on your journey of life.

From: TreeWalker
This is your path, your adventure. You are in a fortunate position to have options. And the kids get older and you get older, your options may be much more limited. You have selected a good time to review things.

We will all be gone one day. If you prefer to live close to family and be ready to fill the potential role of caretaker then that is fine. If they are healthy then they likely are in no hurry to surrender their independence anytime soon. Heck, they may someday feel they can't move away since you are still there.

I have a question. Is your goal as a parent that adult children anchor down the road from you and your spouse? Or do you want them each to follow their own path whether that is a house across the street from you or a city far, far away?

I chased adventure and career as a young adult. I have not lived in the same state as another older family member for 35 years. I can be in a room with any of my extended family in less than 48 hours. Can call. Can email. Can Skype. We gather for family events such as weddings.

My success gave my parents peace of mind. That is a nice gift and can be given from across the street or the globe.

From: WapitiBob
I'd have been long gone before they got to no. 5. You have a problem there; in the ground, in the air, or at work.

From: Scar Finga
I left California 17 years ago right after my dad died. I hate California!

My mom is still there, one of my sisters plus several of my nephews and nieces all live close to her. She is remarried now and doing well, just getting old (85).

There has been a few hard times, but overall I am sure it was the best decision for me and my wife. I don't think I have ever regretted it. Make a sound and educated decision, not emotional! The cancer thing alone would be enough for me to leave, and I mean now!!! That's not an emotional decision, that is just plain smart!

As others have said, pray about it and God lead you. He will put you where He wants you to be.

BTW... AZ has some excellent opportunities as well! Just about everything is booming, but housing is going up.

Good Luck!

Follow your bliss amigo and don’t wait because the older your kids get the harder it will be on them. I moved to Colorado in the mid 90s with everything I owned in the back of my truck. It was the best decision of my life.

From: Bob H in NH
Take vacations to places you MIGHT want to live, check them out. We did. Wife and I are now moving to WY in the spring. We've been out west several times and EVERY TIME we've not wanted to come back. Yes it's vacation, but it was a sign.

Our family is a bit different, our two sons are both mid-20's and married, parents are all healthy, our biggest "doubts" in this decision where: - It's a different lifestyle/culture, what if we don't like it? - Can we handle being away from family? No grandkids yet, but it's coming, while parents are healthy, they ain't getting any younger

My wife is an air force brat, so moving is nothing to her. For me, I am the "rebel" in the family, I moved a whole hour a way.

My boss jokingly said he'd support me working from the west when before our last hunting trip in October I jokingly said "we may not come back". That put the wheels in motion, then a corporate reorg tripled my group I manage, but 70% are in DC so already remote.

the kicker: over thanksgiving a second friend in teh last 12 months died of a heart attack, at our age. Enough is enough, time to make a move rather than "someday"

From: Bob H in NH
sorry, duplicate post.

From: craig
You only get one life.

Tons of good advice here and I'm just going to pretty much echo the crowd. The short version is I quit my job with the National Park Service which I have a Master's for and loved but would have to move every 4-6 months to chase work until I could get a permanent job (probably about 7 years until that would happen) to pour cement. I did it for my family and to be close to both my parents and my wife's parents. I grew up in construction and enjoy cementing. Change of pace every day, different locations fairly often, and a good boss and co worker. Money isn't bad either and I'm laid off in the winter to hunt and fish which is pretty awesome too. My advice would be to go for it. I would have the conversation with your parents just out of respect but remember you're doing it for you and your family.

As far as career advice, I don't have much. I'm not in tune with the engineering world and what it offers. If the circumstances are such that it's possible your co workers are getting cancer from their employment I'd be leaving as soon as possible. Another thing is consider the possibility of turning something you love into a job. For example, if you love fishing and become a tournament pro you turned your passion into a job. Most times that kills the fun aspect of it. IMO and apparently most others here, try and find something you enjoy and don't mind it becoming work. Enjoy life to the fullest and if you think you're family will find that opportunity else where, take the leap!

From: Kurt
I'd make the move west but everyone has different priorities. Sell the house now before the economy drops and home sales tank, relocate to the new chosen area. Your job security is your engineering my experience you will be able to get a job.

I moved west from Wisconsin to Colorado when I graduated from college with a degree in engineering. I'd worked in CO two summers while in college and knew I wanted to live there. 35 years later after a great run in CO with the family, bowhunting, job, etc we moved up to BC. We've lived here 9 years and again, a great run for us. It was a great job opportunity and I was ready to hunt new species in new places. We've retired here and enjoy the opportunities to experience "new country".

Good luck with your choice!

From: elkstabber
Another engineer here. I didn't realize that we're that common here on BS. But for about half of my adult life I chased my true passion - fishing. After chasing for all those years I simply ran out of passion for it and have mostly quit fishing. That was something that I never thought could happen.

As others have mentioned chasing your passion can be very disappointing in the long term. And it will be very very very disappointing for your family that can't spend time with you because you're always at work. Chasing one's true passion involves a lot of overtime.

I hope you find an area that makes all of your family happy and I'm sure you can find a comfortable engineering position. Work to LIVE!

From: SaddleReaper
"I thought about engineering for a bow manufacturer but I'm afraid that would take the fun out of it"

I might be the only one reading this thread who has "been there, done that"... but I'm also only 28 and don't have a family to consider. So I can't give advice for anything else besides what I know about the archery industry...

I was a lead design engineer with a bow manufacturer for a number of years. Engineering in the archery industry can suck the fun out of archery in a hurry, or more likely the institution around you can, if you don't get in with a good one. For me that was the case. I left my dream career with the fastest growing bow name in the industry, due to mismanagement, and the fact that out of the 25 or so original people who I began my career with, nearly all had been driven out in 4 years time. Today few people remain with that company/ group that participate in archery or hunting, let alone actually care. I can't say this holds true to any other company in the industry, but I would imagine the problems are similar. Aside from my personal bad experiences I can tell you this...

As we speak, the bow business is primarily a battle for market share. Engineering and marketing's job has never been harder. It's a very litigious industry and difficult to move the innovation needle unless you work for a company with deep pockets for capital investment, and one that is already well established and ahead on R&D and the product development cycle. There are a few companies that hold the majority of patents, and if you aren't working for one of them (big 4), you're gonna pull your hair out trying to build the better mouse trap. Note: Rex Darlington owns a good many patents (collects royalties), but Darton isn't one of the big/ popular name brands. So if you're not in with a big company, or have some ground breaking idea, to some extent you're left to regurgitate something aesthetically new with minor improvements each year. The big leaps and bounds in compound bow technology have already been made, even before my time in the business. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly some things to be improved, but the gains may even be marginal. Overall system efficiencies, tuning features, and integration of new materials are areas that can really be improved upon. And if you're really creative... new cam systems.

Another thing to consider is that engineers in the archery industry are generally underpaid from my experience, and in talking with fellow engineers for other companies. Also due to the timing of bow launches (October through ATA show time frame) finding time away from work to hunt can sometimes be difficult if a product launch faces any issues. Another thing to consider is the locations of said companies... you're trying to leave the midwest so that rules out Mathews, G5/ prime, xpedition, and the other east coast companies. Hopefully I haven't scared you completely, but the industry is not all its cracked up to be. There are lots of engineering opportunities out there that will allow you far more time and money to do the things you enjoy to do... and you won't go home uninterested in picking up your bow to sling some arrows and unwind.

From: YZF-88
I'm a engineer as well. I actually interviewed with one of the bow manufacturers before moving but I didn't like the area they were located. Job market is good right now! 7 years ago I picked up and moved out west. All of our family is still back in WI. The fact that your wife would be willing to move (just like mine was) made the decision a no brainer. I got paid more to live where I vacationed anyway. So basically, I get paid to enjoy hunting out west...and I can still go back whenever!

From: bowyer45
You'll never be happy by having or getting, but by realizing what you already have.

Move East young man,the Metropolitan area of DC,Baltimore, Northern VA is job heaven the right now and not to mention the cultural offerings, , this area is great for fed job ,and being close to Md and Va and tons of gov contractors, not to mention public hunting, and the Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, AWESOME.

From: Buffalo1
"In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." Theodore Roosevelt.

Job changes and relocation are decisions that only you can make that will be in the best interest of you and your family. No one on this website can make that decision for you. No one knows all of the facts except yourself. You have to weigh things out and make a decision.

Studies have shown that there is not a direct correlation to happiness and money once a family has $70k in annual household income.

Happiness comes from within once your basic needs are met.

It might be time to look inside and see what is missing.

I am always looking to hire good engineers. We have locations in East Texas, Akron, OH, and Millington, MI.

Good luck,

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