Wednesday, 20 October 2010

A gulf apart

I was not expecting an agency to call this morning and tell me about a contract opportunity in the Persian Gulf. They need someone with my skills apparently, someone who can train and mentor; someone who can walk into a new situation, make sense of it and provide the client with meaningful information; someone who is expert in Excel and working with large volumes of raw data.

As Dr. Seuss would have said, "Somebody, somebody, has to you see..."

Its quite a dilema. I could apply for the role. I would like to. It appeals to my sense of adventure. I've never been to the Middle East. All that desert and dry air... Despite having been brought up on an island, I've never been too enamoured by rain.

Oh, and the daily rate is very good, double what I was getting only a month ago, flights and accommodation included...

There are significant downsides though, I would be away from my wife and children for two to three months. That is a huge downside. I've worked away for a much shorter time, only three weeks, and though I don't recall uttering the words myself, I believe my wife when she reminded me I said never again!

It is incredibly lonely to be away from ones family for a long time. My kids will change in that time and I will miss it. Why did I write will? Spirit of the adventurer rises again.

Of my 100 goals, Goals 19 through 26 are all about my family. Would pursuing this role make it easier or harder for me to be a good father, to be a loving and faithful husband? Undoubtably harder. These are just a small subset, eight out of one hundred goals and yet my family are more important to me than doubling my income or experiencing an adventure.

I need to decide today whether to pursue this role. Any opinions would be appreciated.


  1. Make two lists, all the advantages and all the disadvantages...

  2. If it was me I'd want to know who I'd be working for and to what end as I would imagine there's quite a lot of dodgy stuff goes on around there!

    I guess the other important question though would be how do your family feel about it?

    2 to 3 months doesn't sound like a huge amount of time as a one-off and it does sound like it could be quite an experience. Probably not good to dash off though if Teri and the kids don't want you to!

    I guess if you do decide to go it'll be important to make sure you've got good communication links back home - e.g. Skype maybe, or see if they'll pay for your phone calls!

    Praying about it would probably be a good idea if you haven't done that already...?

  3. I see you've already made your mind up, but I would have said go for it. You'll make a bucket-load of much-needed rhino (is it tax-free?), it'll be an experience for sure, and there's a good chance you'll make the sort of contacts you'd never meet otherwise, so bringing you more and better work in the future. This last one could be a big deal, people like to know people, and in the middle east, they really want to know who you are. Twist their arms to fly out the family half way through the job. Worth a second thought if you haven't got something else on the boil yet.