What's Your Problem?

I've worked in the customer services department of a retailer for over six years. The company has decided to relocate from Berkshire to rural Wales.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

My manager has said he'd like me to relocate and can offer me a promotion, and there will be some help with the cost of moving, but it's a big decision. I'm married with two children under the age of five. I'm not sure what to do because although I really like my job and my wife is up for the move, I've never been to Wales and I don't know what this upheaval might mean for us all. All our family and friends are here. Is the risk worth it?

A: YOU SAY that you've never been to Wales as others might say that they've never been to Papua New Guinea. You can get from Newbury to Swansea in well under three hours - almost all of it on the M4. They speak English in Wales and use the same currency. There are good schools and hospitals. There are restaurants and railways and they show recent film releases without sub-titles.

Please excuse this gentle mockery, but I strongly suspect that you've allowed your ignorance of the place to magnify its strangeness in your mind.

Contemplating any move of this kind is bound to stir up a bit of apprehension; you're exchanging the comfortable known for the slightly scary unknown. But your children are at a convenient age and, best of all, your wife is up for it.

What I'd suggest is that you and your wife park the kids with friends or grandparents and hit the M4. Drive to that bit of rural Wales where your company plans to relocate and book yourselves in somewhere for a few days.

You may not be thrilled with absolutely everything you find, but at least you'll be replacing your wilder imaginings with a little first-hand observation.

You like your job and the company. There's the prospect of promotion. And they'll even help you with your moving costs. You ask if the risk is worth it. My guess is this: the greater risk is your living to regret letting an interesting opportunity pass you by.


Jeremy Bullmore is a former creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London. His book Another Bad Day at the Office is published by Penguin at £6.99. Address your problem to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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