Chasing my career was leading me down a path I did not want to continue with.
Work Life & Personal Effectiveness

‘Why I Walked Away From a Multi-Million Pound Opportunity’

Chasing my career was leading me down a path I did not want to continue with.
Chasing my career was leading me down a path I did not want to continue with.

For me being the best dad I can be means everything.

Absolutely everything!

Having grown up in a violent, chaotic and alcoholic household I am determined that history will not repeat itself with my three daughters.

That they will have the best childhood possible.

My beautiful, gorgeous daughters who in spite of my parenting foibles and fears are developing into three confident, healthy and dare I say it spirited, young ladies.

Like many Dads I speak to, since our eldest arrived eight and a half years ago, I have struggled with the ever moving challenge of balancing a high level corporate job and home life.

Cursed with the double-edged ambition of excelling in both my career and in fatherhood, it is something that I have recently failed at.


Stress. Arguments. Working away. Exhaustion. More arguments.

I am often reminded that:

‘If you are not careful you will blink and just might miss the most precious, formative years of your children’s lives’.

Despite my best efforts there have been repeated missed school concerts, sports days, parents evenings, the list goes on ad infinitum.

Well last Monday in one respect I made one of the boldest decisions I have ever made in my life.

I walked away from a multi-million pound opportunity that would have been life changing to myself and my family from a financial security point of view.

The sacrifice however would have been not being present and actively participating in the most important formative years of my daughters (aged 8, 6 and 4) for at least the next five years.

Yes, there would have been money to pay for more holidays, cars etc but at what cost?

At best an absent Dad.

At worst more depression, unhappiness and I am pretty certain a downward trajectory to divorce.

They say the greatest gift that you can give your children is your time.

And that is exactly what I am determined to achieve as I commence the next chapter in my life to attempt to achieve the holy grail of being a present parent AND achieving success in my career.

Ideas4Dads is something that was conceived before my eldest was born and I have been blogging on and off for the last five years.

This time it is different.

This time Ideas4Dads is here to stay with my vision of building a community of like minded Dads to help inspire each other to be even better.

Its been a while but I am glad to be back.

Watch this space!

As always I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

What sacrifices as a parent have you made?

Did it work out?

If you could change one thing about the last five years from a work-life balance point of view what would that be?

As always it would be great to hear from you with your comments below πŸ™‚

And don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook (Personal), Facebook Page, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pintrest.

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70 thoughts on “‘Why I Walked Away From a Multi-Million Pound Opportunity’”

  1. Well done and good luck. Balancing everything is a near impossible task but having your prioritise in order is so important. I always put my children first, recently that has hurt me when trying to go back to work(especially with a daughter who was moved 300 miles away) and we have decided to look for a business opportunity that allows both parents to work together and within a reasonable travel time.

    1. Many thanks Adam much appreciated – balance really is the Holy Grail. I admire anyone who is able to work with their partner – High Command and I have tried over the years to do this in various guises and we have just not been able to make it work – there is only one boss who wears the trousers in our relationship πŸ˜‰

  2. Welcome back to the world of blogging mate! I quit a well-paid job three years ago to spend more time with my family and haven’t looked back. I work full-time from home now so see everyone much more than I used to. I never miss important things at school anymore and truly have the best of both worlds. I applaud the choice you have made, sir!

    1. Cheers Tom – it’s good to be back – more comebacks than Frank Sinatra lol – I take great heart and hope from what you have achieved and fingers crossed I’ll be able to make a go of it too πŸ™‚

  3. Children always choose time and connection with the people they love over fancy days out and the latest gadget they have to play with on their own so well done for making the decision that was best for you all. Sadly I’ve recently seen within our wider family how a work/parenting inbalance can rupture a family beyond repair and it saddens me so much.
    For us we choose freedom of time over money it means we can’t afford holidays or to replace things when they break but every day life is good and we don’t feel the need to escape it so don’t feel we miss out. Having struggled with infertility for so long we cherish every moment with our children so it works for us

    1. Thanks Nic πŸ™‚ I hold true to the fact that the greatest gift you can a child is your time – I think we have suffered from a large dose of boiling frog syndrome where the effects of the last 18 months has slowly overwhelmed us!

  4. Well done you – your daughters will be so proud to know that you value them so much. I was having a similar conversation the other week with someone who chooses to work two jobs seven days a week for money. I said that although my kids have not had the best of everything in terms of branded items etc they have had my time and love which I think is more important than buying things. It did not go down very well with this particular person but as a child, I felt very unwanted and unloved I swore that my kids would never feel that way. #blogstravaganza

    1. Thank you so much for your words – I really hope it works out. Where there is a will there is a way πŸ™‚ I have to be so careful I don’t project my childhood experiences and fears of repeating it with my family – one day at a time it is already getting better πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Sarah – I am so conscious that in the blink of an eye they will be grown up and dont want to miss it!

  5. Good to see you’ve bounced back Tom. I must say I am intrigued by this multi-million pound opportunity! You’ve made the decision I would have done. Money is not everything. Look forward to reading your future blog posts.

    1. Thanks John much appreciated – so good to be back – I have certainly come to realise that money is not anything and although I am going through a much expected period of grieving for what could have been I know it is the right decision for me, my kids and my marriage. I think when the time is right I will share the story that almost was πŸ™‚

  6. Good for you! It takes courage and conviction to turn down a tempting and lucrative opportunity like that. Your daughters will thank you for it. Pen x #thesatsesh

    1. Thank you – couple of weeks in now and not regretting it a for second now – definitely the right decision and exciting times ahead πŸ™‚

  7. #thesatsesh sorry I’m late commenting this week, little dude is a time sapper – but then i guess this post topic means i don’t need to apologies. You did what was right for you and your tribe, I think thats all you can do. Perhaps in a few years the outcome may be different.

  8. A bold and brave decision. Too often the father is seen as the provider and that must have weighed heavily. My Dad was a hard work truck driver and he missed most things them I was a lad. I was determined not to do the same with my girls. When the eldest was young I saw I was starting work earlier and leaving later and it was a spiral I was heading down. I said “no more”. I started working my contracted hours and being there more for my girls and family on the whole. Financially we could be better but mentally I am doing OK and I ah HAPPY.

    1. Thank you and well done for putting you and your family first. I am determined to not let my childhood repeat itself and to give my girls the best upbringing possible. You just can’t put a value on good mental health.

  9. Welcome back! What a huge decision, but its the right one! As you say, five years away from your family is a long time and missing out on those important childhood years is something that money cant buy!
    I was fortunate to be made redundant a few months before the twins were born so now my blog is my income and I love the ability to work from home and see my boys grow up right in front of my eyes!
    Thanks for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales, look forward to seeing you back next week!

    1. Thank you. It’s feels right if a little scary. As you say money can’t buy back those missed years of not seeing your family grow up. Glad it’s all working out for you with generating an income from your blog πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Tom, well done! When you are old and wrinkly you may well remember the opportunity you let pass you by, but I bet you never regret it. Money is rarely the stuff memories are made of, we just need enough. A big house is just as livable as a small house, an old car gets us from A to b just the same as a fancy car and we don’t need to eat steak every night… As for making sacrifices myself? As a parent, it goes with the territory, but I’ve made none I’ll regret.

    Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal.


  11. My first thought after reading the title of this was ‘are you mental?!’, but now I understand why you turned it down. A tough decision, but your children will always remember you being there for them. Thanks for joining in with #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Thank you I do hope so – part of me is incredibly nervous, the other is incredibly excited – hopefully the two will balance out πŸ™‚

  12. good for you! no amount of money, holidays and things compensate for the absense of a parent. My hubby missed much of his first 2 kids childhood because of work and he’ll never get that time back. Our relationship was very different. not much money ut plenty of time…. our son had the best childhood (he tells us that) and as a now 20 year old has a fantastic and close relationship to his dad and me. Right decision xxx #dreamteam

  13. Wow tough decision! My father had to make a similar decision when my sister and I were small. Fab job and financial security forever, but 2 weeks of every month away from home. He chose us and I am glad that he did! Good luck with your adventure and thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam

  14. Welcome back to blogging mate. Sometimes you just have to make decisions that are for family. Like you my childhood was a total disaster and decided a long time ago that my kids come first and yes time is vital. Thankfully being s blogger allows me. To be there for the important moments and also pick up from school sometimes the little things are just as important. Well done on your decision I’m sure you won’t regret it Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  15. Well done on putting family first and welcome back to the world of blogging. I’m interested to read the deal you turned down in due course. Family definitely comes first

  16. Good for you. I totally agree that it’s just not worth sacrificing the family relationship for career advancement. I quit work to stay home with the kids when they were little and then I went back for a few years, but it stressed out the whole family (they were still pretty young at the time). I decided to quit again and stay home even though it has made finances a lot tighter.

    1. I think it is a very noble thing to accept that your career and bringing up a family don’t mix. My pride didn’t want me to waslk away as I saw it as a failure but it is the best thing I have ever done. Glad it worked put for you πŸ™‚

  17. Journalism has yet to present me with a multi-million-pound choice but it is one of those careers that can be completely sapping when it comes to work-life balance. When Albie was born I was a political correspondent spending up to 3/4 evenings a week at council meetings, rather than parenting. Fortunately, Albie didn’t fancy early nights so I had plenty of cuddles when he came home!

    Now, a chance promotion means I get a bit more time – but as I’ll shortly be blogging, even this doesn’t always fit in well with family life. If it came to moving on, many of the roles to move on to would mean a commute to London. This would result in me leaving earlier and getting home much later, not something I want to do at the moment. I don’t want to be the dad who was absent in my child’s early life, so I say good on you!

    I wouldn’t be a journalist without asking the cheeky question, though…what was the opportunity you turned down? πŸ˜‰

    1. Congrats on the promotion. Well done in having the awareness that you don’t want to be an absent father. Perhaps freelance journalism could be an option for you one day? Re opportunity I will most certainly write more about it shortly but it was a high stakes management buy out πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks! I’m sure he’ll appreciate in on those rainy days in a few years when I’m trying to teach him shorthand and he’s just trying to get on his Playstation! Freelancing not really on the agenda at the moment – less budget for that stuff these days, certainly locally – but maybe in the future.

  18. That’s so amazing, well done on bucking the trend and doing what’s best for your family. I think it must be so difficult for dad’s to make that choice as historically men are on the one hand considered the bread winner or are expected to meet unrealistic financial expectations but on the other hand are criticized for putting their work before their families. Childhood is so short and such a precious time, in my mind it feels such a shame not to make the choice to enjoy it. #blogcrush

  19. I’m docking my cap to you and think that was a brave and honourable decision. Your daughters are set to have the best possible start will always love and appreciate you for it, I’m certain. My husband travels for work, but will drop anything if our son or daughter need him (they are adults now). We have all kept really close – it takes some organising but boy is it worth it. x

    1. Thank you that so kind of you to say πŸ™‚ love what you say about organisation – I am a strong believer that this is a key element to a happy family πŸ™‚

  20. That was truly a brave decision but I have confidence that it will all work out in the end. Money doesn’t bring you happiness, especially if it means you have to spend so long away from your family. You asked if we’d made any sacrifices, well mine is not as big as yours but along the same line. I was put down on the rota to work on Christmas day when my older children were just 4 and 5 years old. Well, as you can imagine, I really didn’t want to miss Christmas day with my children so after trying unsuccessfully to swap with someone, I ended up giving in my notice. But it was a crappy job anyway and I ended up in a much better one just a few months later.

    1. Ah thank you. Some days I feel it is but some days I am filled with fear and the feeling if Oh God what have I done. I’m sure it will work out in the long run. Well done for sticking to you’re values and handing your notice on so you could spend Christmas with you’re family. We never get a second chance with these things πŸ™‚

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