Anyone jealous of their spouse's business trips?

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Caroline
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Anyone jealous of their spouse's business trips?

Post by Caroline » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:07 pm

This belongs in an "emotional support" forum, but since we don't have such a thing yet.....


Every time my hubby mentions that he might have an upcoming international or domestic business trip, I am both proud and very jealous of him. I really don't like being jealous but I can't escape the feeling of being left behind and longing for the same promotions, recognition, and breakthroughs in my own professional pursuits. I am sure that I will eventually have business trips of my own, but until that happens, it feels like he is progressing faster because he is a Finn and because of his connections- 2 of his relatives happen to work at the same company!

I am aware that there are many couples who travel together when one parter is going on a business trip and the other has flexible freelance work. I would love to travel that way, but hubby has a rather conservative approach to the idea. If I were to go along to the same bus. trip destination, I would have to plan it and pay for it myself, and likely arrive on a different flight. I am theoretically prepared to do that.

Upcoming business trips of course have some benefits for me too if I stay in Oulu- I have complete use of the car while he's away, the salary bonuses from the trips, etc.


There is another level to this. I endured an awful lot of skepticism and discouragement from local Finns (including my husband, some of his relatives, and various acquaintances) when I was planning to start my business. Because Finnish people don't like taking risks and don't believe in anything until it actually happens, I came *this close* to giving up on my plans, but my strong will prevailed and I decided that the risk of failure is nowhere near as scary as abandoning a dream.


And so I guess that I feel it's a bit hypocritical to expect me to be raving praise for business trips that will result in more recognition for him, while he once tried to convince me that it's not worth it to become an entrepreneur in Finland (he is now quite supportive of my business, but when I first brought up the idea he wasn’t).

What do others think of this?


Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!

Anyone jealous of their spouse's business trips?

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gavin

Post by gavin » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:31 pm

Hei

Well, personally I think it's good to get a breather from the other half every now and then. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that... Admitidely it's usually me that's jetting off for business, but I really am 100% sure that mari is happy to get a break from me while I am away too. Mari has also travelled away quite a lot with work, and it has never been a problem for us. Is it too simplistic to see it as a positive thing to get some 'personal' time?

On the business front, all the people in mari's family (including Mari) think I am totally crazy to have my own business. Why work like mad, show little results in the first years, when you can have a job, get a salary and do 8-4 (3.30 on Fridays)?!

On one hand I think Finns do not have the 'I want this to be mine' drive, on the other hand I think that perhaps they just understand the tax system better :wink:

Mari has been very supoportive of my business over the years (because she knows that that's what makes me happy) but she'd be over the moon if I told her I'd pack it all in and go work locally for a crap salary...

It's not easy running a business in Finland, but that's what we choose and that's enough for me :D

Cheers
Gavin

Anders
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Post by Anders » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:51 pm

Who said business trips is all glory? Getting up way to early in the morning, crappy flight food, endless waiting at some airports, rude cabdrivers and lonely dinners. I have been traveling a fair part of my working life and mostly it's lonely and boring. It's fun to do it once in a while bit when it's opposite (you're only home once in a while) then it's a real pain for yourself and the relationship. Think about that next time.
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Caroline
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Post by Caroline » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:51 pm

gavin wrote:Hei

Mari has also travelled away quite a lot with work, and it has never been a problem for us. Is it too simplistic to see it as a positive thing to get some 'personal' time?


Cheers
Gavin

But as I said, it seems to be a different issue when both partners are at approximately the same level in their careers. What if one is just starting out and the other is much more firmly established? Did you ever have a phase like that and was the viewpoint different then?
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!

gavin

Post by gavin » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:00 pm

Caroline wrote:But as I said, it seems to be a different issue when both partners are at approximately the same level in their careers. What if one is just starting out and the other is much more firmly established? Did you ever have a phase like that and was the viewpoint different then?
I met Mari when I was studying and our qualifications are much the same, even though she's a little younger than me. I seriously don't think that we have ever been comparing where we are career wise. On paper, I am much more advanced than she is (anyway, much more widely known in the industry) but that simply never crossed our minds...

Much more important is are we happy as a whole? It should not be linked to career... I seriously doubt that Mari is jelous of my career, in fact I just asked her, and now she's off changing her underwear after peeing herself laughing... :wink:

I mean, you havn't been running your business long, have you? you can't expect to be in the same place, if you just started up, and he works for a established company.

If your company is a success, then you will feel much more satidfied in 5 years time than your husband will if he's still working for someone else.

Anders is also right. Business trips are rarely 'Jollies' I've been to la list of interesting countries as long as your arm, and only seen airports, offices, sawmills and forests, before getting back to the airport again...No company wants to pay a sh!t load of money to get a consultant to enjoy himself :wink:

I think you're right, it's just your perception, you feel like you should be at the same level as hubby, well, you could always go back, and put him in the disadvantage, and get on the corporate ladder yourself...

kira
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Post by kira » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:29 pm

Caroline wrote:
But as I said, it seems to be a different issue when both partners are at approximately the same level in their careers. What if one is just starting out and the other is much more firmly established? Did you ever have a phase like that and was the viewpoint different then?
I think this situation really is more difficult. I was in a similar situation myself a couple of years ago. My bf (now my husband) had a great job, big salary and nice business trips nearly every month. Sometimes, he was two weeks on a business trip, two weeks at home, and left again. At that time, I was a freelancer at the very beginning of my career - I was sure I did the right thing because I really liked my work. But there was little or no recognition at all (and no business trips). Sometimes, this was not at all easy.

But Caroline, these things do change rather quickly. Or at least this is what I experienced. Today, my husband has his own business - which also means much less business trips. And I have a job which is great because it never gets boring. And - there have been some very nice business trips last year. So this time, I am the one who leaves and he is the one who takes me to the airport. But we both are really happy with what we do.

I think the most important thing is not if you can go on business trips and earn lots of money, but if you really like the work you do.
The rest might come later anyhow... :)

And starting a business in a country like Finland is already a great achievement in itself, isn't it?

Caroline
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Post by Caroline » Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:50 pm

Ok, thank you all for your input. I have been talking about it with my hubby all along but it helps to know what others have gone through too.

There are multiple issues in this topic so it's hard to lump everything together- one's personality and attitude (what's important in marriage depends on the partners), courage in being an entrepreneur, and cultural differences.
Former expat in Finland, now living in New Hampshire USA.

Remembah whea ya pahked ya cah!

BAT

Post by BAT » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:27 pm

I sometimes get jealous about my husband's business trips, but usually only the ones where he gets to spend more than a couple of days and he gets out to see some sights. Sometimes he is away for only 24 hours, and I know he is spending a lot the time in various forms of transport and the rest of the time in a meeting room. Those kinds of trips I am not jealous of because I know how boring and exhausting those must be for him. Perhaps one day I can travel with him - it would be fun!

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eashton
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Post by eashton » Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:21 pm

I used to travel quite a lot on business and, really, after a while it sucked. Wherever you go anymore, you see more of the same, especially in the US. It's tiring and he likely is jealous of you getting to stay at home and not live out of a suitcase. Why wait for a business trip to take a holiday as I've combined a conference with a holiday before and it was too long and I was too worn out from the conference to really enjoy it.

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MinnaRaisanen
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Post by MinnaRaisanen » Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:25 am

I have something to say that I'm so glad was brought up by someone else because I thought I was alone with my feelings.

I can totally relate to feeling jealous of your partner's work. My bf doesn't have the greatest job in the world or make a ton of money, but he never complains about work. He likes what he does and will one day inherit the company from his father. My jealousy stems from the fact that I just can't seem to find work here that is satisfying and challenging for me. I think it wouldn't be far off to say I feel a pang of jealousy for any foreigner with a 'good' job :roll:

I feel utterly useless in the career department and I think that is the core of all the 'whining' many of you think I do :roll: Back home I worked in Television and really loved that work environment, but here it's almost impossible to get work in TV so I end up with dead end jobs that I hate.

Also, I find that I am a little bit of a snob as far as my education is concerned. I worked really hard in University and got really good grades so it's not an easy pill to swallow when the only work I can get is this crap I'm doing now. Maybe I just don't know what is out there or have the right resources, i don't know....

Sorry if you think I am whining, but I just wanted to finally get that off my chest!
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

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Alicia
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Post by Alicia » Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:21 am

My other half's first business trip came after I had been in Finland for two weeks. He went to Russia for a week, but then it was extended to almost two.

I had cope in a place a barely knew. I had no friends, but an extra shy mate of Matts' who was in charge of my well being. I went shopping and bought all the wrong things, but it was a good experience too. I was very lonely but found all sorts of new things in Vaasa during that time.

Since then he has been to Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and everywhere in between. He tests engines on ships, and I am not so jealous when he goes, it is long hours, cold showers and I am not so good with sea sickness.

I did tag along on a course that he attended in Copenhagen and that was worth it. I shopped and saw the sights, he studied.

I am not so jealous of his trips, but I don't like when he almost misses things, he just made it to his cousin's wedding and arrived just hours before we were supposed to go to the theatre last time.

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Post by dusty_bin » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:49 pm

Apart from a meeting that was solely to to pass on information, when was the last time a meeting was better done remotely?

I have used remote conferencing often enough to know its limitations. If you get paid to travel to meet face to face, then that's what you do, or leave.

Remote conferencing certainly has its place, but I would not willingly negotiate using it, even with people I knew well. I would not use it for a matter in which I had a personal interest. The lack of insight from NVC overpowers the inconvenience of travel in most cases. When this is not important then yes, but that to my mind is things like the CEO firing all the staff from his office, messages to the whole of a group. If I am depending upon feedback, or needing to convince, or be convinced then we need to meet. OTOH, if you are not good at negotiating, probably due to lack of sensitivity to NVC then, I guess, it makes little difference! ;)

If you tell your boss that you want to do meetings remotely, you are telling him/her one, or two things:
1) I don't want to do the job any more.
or
2) I can't do the job very well so face to face communication offers me and my contacts no benefit.

The above is my opinion only and as such more than likely incorrect!
All those writing in this thread are, I am sure, all perfectly competant at their jobs!

dusty_bin
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Post by dusty_bin » Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:27 pm

No, I don't mean sales. I am not a sales person by profession, but if you took that away from my post then you should read the following!

It is a rare case where a sales person should NEED to travel to a different country, or even different region of most countries. In most cases the sales task can be best completed by those already in the field, although I can think of enough exceptions to account for a lot of frequent flyer points!

No, if you are a trainer, for example, then you are actually selling, if you are working on a field consultancy project, then you are selling. A good teacher is ALWAYS selling! A good manager is always selling. their product is knowledge, vision and credibility.

If you are having to persuade people to accept the 'details' of your project plan then you are selling and the job IS best done face to face. If you can get away with 'telling' and gaining aceptance is not an issue then I would agree, that a face to face visit is not essential, but on the other hand, most firms where the culture is one of direction, rather than gaining ownership and accpetance tend to be less than the best in their fields. So perhaps a turnaround in thinking might then help...

As I said, if your role is purely to impart knowledge, as in technical training, perhaps you can get away with not travelling. OTOH, if you are a project manager, then technical training should surely not be something that is a major part of your role? If it is, then you are surely not a project manager, but primarily a technical trainer? And then yes, perhaps even, record your presentations and run them on line...
But would you want that job?

BTW, I have attended many training sessions that were conducted as online sessions. The benefit to the trainer of not being on site are far outweighed by the reduction in the quality and amount of information imparted. To put a number on it; assume that the target group is some 30 strong, assume they have a charge/earning rate of only $100 per hour, a very low figure. Conservatively assume a 10% loss to each in terms of information uptake and shall we say 16 hours of training, over two days.
The lost charge out of the staff is $48000. If the information loss between face to face is just 10%, the IMMEDIATE loss/waste is $4800. If you then assume, reasonably, that the impaired learning has an ongoing cost, otherwise why train? Then the ongoing cost is hard to quantify, but is MUCH higher.
The cost of you getting the best out of your audience by you actually attending is very small in comparison.

Even if your charge rate were as high as $1000 per day in comparison to these low value workers, you should be going. In reality the disparity is probably much closer. Even with much smaller groups, when considering the ongoing losses, you should be going!

So, I stick to the point in the last post!


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