Wedding Woes
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Have you ASKED anyone in your industry these questions?

Dear Prudence,

I’m in my early 30s and have spent the last 10 years living and working in the U.K. with my British husband. I’ve always daydreamed about moving back to the U.S., if just for a temporary stent, and my husband is now on board! Only, now I’m a little worried. Despite growing up in the U.S., I’ve spent my entire career in the U.K., where the work-life balance is great. I work seven-hour days, get 40 vacation days a year, never do overtime or work late, and employers are legally obligated to consider all requests for flexible working. Are the stereotypes about American workplaces—that everyone works long hours, that you’re lucky if you get a couple weeks off per year—actually true? No one seems to post this info in their job ads. I’m excited by the idea of moving back, but I don’t know if a miserable work grind is worth the better weather and delicious Mexican food.

—Work to Live vs. Live at Work

Re: Have you ASKED anyone in your industry these questions?

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    I mean there is a reason anyone in the US with UK/European offices or clients get annoyed when it’s August and the entire office is out for a month. 

    On average I’d say it’s pretty true if you’re an exempt employee. I get a “ton” of vacation at 5 weeks off but that’s PTO/sick time/anything besides protected leave time and that’s still considered high that the average. And I have a ton of flexibility but that’s because of my manger rather than the norm. 

    Of course no one puts this in the job ad! You should ask friends/colleagues that work in the US about their experience but I think you’re going to find the grass isn’t greener here. 
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    banana468banana468 member
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    Why not look into it??  

    I will say it can depend on the business rather than making it the standard.
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    levioosalevioosa member
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    As an American worker....don't do ittttttt. I promise that 99% of workplaces in the US aren't as flexible or as generous with PTO. I was jazzed when I was offered 3 weeks off which is honestly sad. Most places you have to work full time for 10 years before you get 6 weeks off. And don't get me started on places which brag about their "unlimited PTO." To insert the famous meme, "It's a Trap!" 


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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
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    edited May 30
    levioosa said:
    As an American worker....don't do ittttttt. I promise that 99% of workplaces in the US aren't as flexible or as generous with PTO. I was jazzed when I was offered 3 weeks off which is honestly sad. Most places you have to work full time for 10 years before you get 6 weeks off. And don't get me started on places which brag about their "unlimited PTO." To insert the famous meme, "It's a Trap!" 
    DH had a job for about 2 seconds a few years ago that said they had that policy.  It's one of the reasons he turned tail and GTFO on them.  

    I do think I'd need to know what industry LW is in before I can really say whether or not they'll be truly screwed.  It will be more restrictive here, sure...but my industry has generous PTO policies and my company/bosses are incredibly flexible.  I don't often work more than 40 hours a week and I can go to appts w/o using any time off. 
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    CasadenaCasadena member
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    Yes, US companies in general will be far more restrictive with work/life balance. There are exceptions to the norm of course, but overall/average is far different from Europe. If LW has the opportunity to return to the UK with little issue then I probably wouldn't recommend NOT coming to the US for a few years if they'd like to. But jumping in with eyes open will be important. 
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    My experience is certainly not the be all and end all.  But I've worked in a variety of industries in office jobs.

    It's almost always going to be at least a 40-hour work week.  But I've rarely had to work OT and if I did, I got paid extra.

    I've almost always had 3 weeks of vacation.  Plus sick time.  Plus holidays.  Though the amount of holidays has varied.

    So perhaps not as bad as she is picturing.  But it's still almost guaranteed to be night and day, compared to the UK.

    Plus if they are planning to have children, I'm going to take a not-so-wild guess that parental/maternity leave in the UK will blow the US out of the water.

    To my Australian colleagues:  "Oh? Your company shuts down for the last two weeks of December?  And everyone gets paid?  Well, thank goodness!  It would be a travesty to use some of your 8 weeks of vacation just to take some time off for Christmas."
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    If you work for a multi-national, look for a short term assignment in the States. Sure, you'd probably get stuck with the shittier US standard policy, but it keeps your tenure and gives you something to get back to once you get it out of your system. 
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