One company that has contacted me quite a while ago is an Indian specialty plastics company. They want to hire me as a full time employee, not as a consultant. The position would be based outside of New Delhi and I would work in India two weeks each month and in the US two weeks each month.
I've had a few phone discussions with the headhunter and a phone interview with the hiring manager and HR director and gave them a salary that I would be willing to accept. I had not heard anything in a few months so I figured it wasn't moving forward.
Last week I got an e-mail that the hiring manager would be in the US this week and wants to meet with me. I will fly up to Boston on Friday for a face to face interview.
Does anyone have any advice regarding working as an ex-pat? They made it very clear that they want me for a 2 -3 year contract and I would only be working for them, no independent work on the side. My concerns are if they are willing to pay what I am asking and how flexible they would be with travel and with when and how long I need to be in India each time. I have my children for two weeks each month so I would be working around my custody schedule if this actually comes to pass. I am also concerned that I am able to have time with GF and I don't want thins to interfere too heavily but I also need income.
I really don't know if I will accept this position. The work is exactly what I enjoy and if there was a way I could act as a consultant to them on specific projects I would jump at it in a heartbeat. As a full time employee I'm not so sure but I need to follow any reasonable leads until I have something that works.
Anybody have any advice? Suggestions? Thoughts?
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - Aubrie
Any way that you could travel there every other month or quarterly?
Otherwise, not a lot of help.
2 weeks on, 2 weeks off with flights is a pretty exhausting schedule. I'm 30 and it takes me 2-3 days to adjust to the time change each direction. That's a LOT of time that you'll lose to adjusting. Even a month on, month off would be easier (but way harder on your time with your kids).
Central Asia also comes with it's own challenges - a lot of people get sick living here. The pollution in Delhi is terrible, and they don't call it "Delhi Belly" for nothing. (I've had 3 bouts of giardia in the last 5 months...and I'm extremely picky about what/where I eat.) Have you ever been to this part of the world before? It's like nowhere else I've traveled or lived.
Would you love the work? Or would you miss consulting? Are the benefits good? Will they pay for business class and let you keep your frequent flier miles? Will you have an apartment in Delhi or live in a hotel? What kind of per diem are they offering for the time you're traveling? How long are you going to want to do this, versus how long until you want to retire, versus what kind of setback will this impose on your consulting business (which may sustain longer into "retirement")?
ETA: My experience is obviously different, having lived abroad full time as a single woman only (no kids), but please feel free to ask questions about the experience, or to PM me about central Asia if you've got questions about my experiences here.
[This message edited by Amazonia at 10:53 AM, May 19th (Monday)]
From a carbon footprint standpoint, air travel is a biggie.
Are you working on a biodegradable plastic because you care about the planet? I think the air miles would more than cancel it out.
Food for thought.
It'll be a lot more convenient for you to have an apartment. That'll enable you to travel light, since you can keep clothes & toiletries in both locations. You'll probably be more comfortable with air conditioning, if the power is stable. That means higher rental and utility costs than standard for New Delhi.
You'll probably want a servant full-time - probably not very expensive, but something to consider.
Ama, my travel experience in Asia has so far been limited to Japan and cities in China (Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing). I know that India is a huge difference and also that going there to work is a lot different then working for a US company that sends you there. I may PM you as I get more details especially if I get close to having to make a decision. At this point its just talking and a trip to Boston is not too bad.
Sisoon, These are really good points about getting an apartment vs hotel and keeping stuff there and asking for help. I know whatever I do they will provide a driver but outside of that I do not know what normal is. And would an apartment be considered part of my salary. I know I am very concerned about the tax implications especially having to pay taxes in both countries.
I would spell out very clearly what the expectations are in terms of flexibility. My experience with India and contract is that they are very 'letter of the law' but that is just my experience
I spent a year travelling back and forth to India. 5 trips in all. The time change can be brutal.
Definitely find out about the driver and apartment. Travelling light is much easier.
All of that said. I LOVED Delhi. It was fantastic time and the people I worked with were fantastic. I really cherish that experience.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Also, consider the cost of doing your taxes for international income. And it's a hassle - I went to Malaysia for Arthur Andersen. They sent the file folder for recording income and expenses from Hong Kong to Chicago by sea! Yup - it arrived in May! Of course, I was an employee - maybe a real client would have been treated better.
Checkout humanworkplace.com. They have a forum, and you might be able to find someone who's doing something like you're contemplating. That could give you current info specific to India.
What do you want to do? Remember - you've got a lot of power here, too, especially if you're willing to walk away from the opportunity.
From US to North Korea the trip took nearly 24 hours with layovers and traveling. I would leave in the morning in US and travel for 24 hours so I would really want to sleep before my trip was complete. But wait you can't because it is night time when you arrive so you had better be sleepy still when you get there. So you struggle to stay awake for the entire trip just to be ready for a good sleep for the job the next morning.
The same thing happens when you travel back home. The only way that I found to make it easier was to add an additional day into the travel to spend a day to help transition my body to the opposite part of the day. That is one reason for the additional pay too. Travel, even when you are used to it costs more than it does to commute to a local job. Always does for me at least.
Those are just the physical aspects that travel can mess you up. Emotionally it has always been hard for me to be away from my kids wife, and family that often. I always hate the goodbyes. I actually began to take the wimpy way out of it with my kids and say my goodbyes the night before. The didn't usually cry that way. And honestly it help me not to cry as much. I would just tell them I would be on a plane when they woke up. Driving away still hurts and I do cry but at least it is not as bad as trying to keep my kids from crying to.
Anyway, that's my take on that type of travel. I wouldn't have minded it quite so much if I was single without children and just wanting to experience a bit more of the world. It is such a huge world and not nearly enough time in a lifetime to take it all in.
Sisoon, I am willing to walk away from this but I am also willing to consider the opportunity if everything lines up and it does have to all line up. I intend to be super critical on this and if it doesn't feel right then I won't go with it.
Ask about holidays too - which country's holidays do you get?
I probably wouldn't do it unless they agreed to pay for a serviced apartment and driver, and I'd be making 150% of my current salary. It's too much trouble to find your own household help, and the travel really is a bitch.
Now, if you decide to take it, come back and we'll talk about the joys of luggage and noise canceling headphones and why you should never eat airline food.
[This message edited by Amazonia at 7:49 PM, May 19th, 2014 (Monday)]
They are being very pushy about this.
They don't appear to want to give you a lot of time to think about it. Based on your description, I expect them to make an offer on Friday and want an answer right away.
There may not be enough time to get financial and medical advice.
You have relatively young kids. Being on travel for two weeks, then home with custody for two weeks is going to be a KILLER.
Traveling to and from India every two weeks is also a killer, and you really won't get a chance to recover. If you were 25 and single, I might say try it.
Unless they are open to negotiation for some of the suggestions you've been given, I would say this is a big, fat NO.
Over the last two years I have been in Trinidad, which is a Caribbean country with African/Indian origins... It is also difficult, but less so, with a shorter trip and better sanitation when you get there. Nonetheless, when you are an ex-pat, you have to deal with long plane rides and timezone changes...
I would have a hard time going back to India on a regular basis. It is too long of a journey and too dirty of a destination. :(
Pointmagnet- What did you think of Trinidad?
Trinidad's sister island of Tobago is a Caribbean paradise, with beautiful beaches and some very nice resorts. I would go there for vacation every year if I could afford it!
The only complaint I have about Trinidad is that nobody seems too concerned about picking up trash. It's a beautiful country but so much trash alongside the roads.
I'm not a good flyer, and that is a LOOOOOOOOOONG Ass flight. To do it every 2 weeks, or even once a month??? No, not gonna happen, I would continue to look for options here in my own backyard.
It would wipe me out in a matter of a few months. I have no doubt.
But that's me. Crossing the pond is doable, but India. Yah no not gonna happen.
Driving there was dangerous too. Traffic laws are not followed at all. I would see a major wreck everyday on the way to and from work. One time they were shrink wrapping a victim to try to save him. Crazy stuff.
You are right though. I could be a very beautiful place. Needs a lot of clean up. Lots of beaches and rain forests environments too.
[This message edited by dontknowwhyme at 12:56 PM, May 20th (Tuesday)]