I want a new job, where should I move to? - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-17-2008, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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I want a new job, where should I move to?

so i have been working at the same smaller online retail company for just over 3 full years now. i do online marketing. i was one of the first employees hired (id #3). i've seen some great growth at the company but havent necessarily been recognized at anyone special. i have great amounts of experience, im recognized in the industry as an expert, and ive got the itch to get out of southern california.

i guess i have thought i would stay at my current job for the next year while i completed and accelerated MBA program. i've been out of college for just over 1 year. i was thinking that maybe i would get more work experience before i go back. im currently getting registered for the mba which starts in sept. with the recent break up w/ my serious long term gf (4yrs) im thinking a fresh start somewhere would be a good thing. if i was to leave town, i'd have to find a way to be able to

theres a company that wants me to come work for them. they are based in san jose/san fran, but also have an office in portland. theres a possibility that i could work from home, but not sure. its a great opportunity to work at a real start up. i know all the people id be working with and they are great nice people. the founder has some great connections in the industry and i think i could learn even more.

i also know folks at an online retail company based in seattle. they only informally mentioned that i would be a benefit to the team when i visited during my road trip (i stayed at the owner's house).


what do you folks think?

what are the costs of living in portland or bay area vs. southern california?


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 03:44 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

From speaking to some former co-workers who have transferred up to Hillsboro, OR (about 20 mins from Portland) and some friends in SoCal, here are some numbers using gorilla math (ie: this isn't gospel).

Overall, Portland would be about 5-10% "cheaper" than Riverside. Food, housing, and gas would be less expensive, but you would probably pay more for utilities.

I think you already know that the COL in the SF Bay Area would be much higher than Riverside. Is the company location in SJ or SF? There's actually quite a big difference there, especially when it comes to housing. If they're in SF, you're likely not going to want to try to actually live there because housing will probably be at least twice as expensive as it is in Riverside. Of course, SJ is no relative bargain either as housing will cost at least 50% more than Riverside. No matter what part of the Bay Area, though, everything will cost more - food, utilities, healthcare, and probably gas, too (especially if you're in SF).


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:47 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

Something else to consider, most small businesses fail in the first 5 years. If it is a really great opportunity I say jump on it, but unless the job is going to offer you something significantly better then your current one (much better benifits, much higher pay, paying for your education, etc) don't do it.

Just my 2 cents. I haven't been to Portland, but I know the area a bit. A more cozy smaller Seattle basically. I would kill to live there personally.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 10:50 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

Add me to the list of people who would kill to live in Portland. I do kind of love where I work now though, so unless Harvard decides to up and move to Portland I'll be hanging out here for a while


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 08:15 PM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

the bay area is super expensive. but its a great place to live



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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 05:34 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

Im glad Im not the only crazy one to just up and move to a different state. Except in my case it would from Illinois to Eugene OR and hopefully go to school. That is currently the plan as of right now.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-19-2008, 07:20 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

hey, i am ramonica =) first off, congrats on the grad. from college...and best of luck with the MBA program! and sorry to hear about the break up, but sometimes these things happen for a reason....

my take is about the norcal/socal transition...i do not have any experience in WA or OR (only traveled throughout both states), but I would have loved to try out portland if I had an opportunity! i have heard nothing but good about portland and seattle...cept for the rain. a lot of rain. ??? regardless...the west coast in general is my choice by far. try out the salary calculators on salary.com or monster.com also, state websites are helpful to gauge what the median salary is for your type of job.

it's all about the quality of life you want. being born/raised in the east bay area/central valley and moving to oakland, union city, hayward, SF, daly city, atherton/palo alto, walnut creek, livermore, santa monica, koreatown/downtown LA area, san diego and now effing newport news, VIRGINIA [boo - we didnt really have a choice to move here, it was move or find another job].... i can honestly say i totally miss the bay and what it has to offer regardless of prices and COL... if you want it bad enough, you will figure out a way to make it work. each city in America is more expensive these days if you think about it. we will never see 99 cent gas again...the cost of milk and eggs will not go down. it's only up from here.

here's my example of one of my "did it all for the job/relationship" experiences at age 19-22:
i commuted 3 hours each way to work just to maintain my cool job in SF as a product development design assistant: I would start at 5am, drive in traffic 1 hour, take BART from pleasanton 1 hour, take Muni (bus) to Van Ness/Ghiradelli Square or Potrero Hill, then walk. every day. that's commitment. it was all for love...the guy i was living with was in modesto/riverbank. if i knew what i know now, i would have just kept my ass in the bay area (east bay is easier to find cheaper housing to me).

ask yourself if you are prepared for a challege, risk, and how much are you willing to do to be "happy"... the areas you said "san fran/san jose" they are almost 2-3 hours away from each other depending on traffic and location of job/housing. you can easily live one place and take public/mass transportation, ie BART, amtrak, light rail (caltrans), bus, van/carpool, ferry, etc. (if you can manage that "sardine can feeling", some cant handle it, some can).

setting aside some cash as a cushion will greatly help you with any type of transitional move, even if the company offers to pay for relocation, which I think they should with that kind of move....well, depending on how much stuff you have, but it does help to have some kind of sign on bonus or relocation help with getting a place.

sorry for the novel, but considering i have moved around almost half my life and all of my working years within CA, i feel i can really offer some advice


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

thanks for the feedback everyone!

the office locations are palo alto, and SF (near AT&T park) and not sure where in portland area.

talked to my mom a little bit about it, theres a long time family friend i could live with in pleasanton. thats like a 1hr commute to either bay area location.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 02:40 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

Let me tell you something... I was raised in San Francisco, went to UCR, FINALLY back in the bay area

Riverside was a great college experience for me, but if I were to work/live there, I'd shoot myself.

San Francisco/bay area is the best location for recent grad. I have talked to many professionals, most are big names in their respective field and the bay area has many opportunities (computer tech, and biological research jobs) for recent graduates who have the skills to back up the talk. I dont know how it is in computer tech, but in biomedical research, there are many collaborations up here because all the universities (berkeley, davis, ucsc, ucsf, stanford) and all the major biotech companies are so close to each. Good science doesn't come from one mastery anymore. I can only assume the same for the computer tech field because of the similar environment

Coming back to the bay area from Socal reminds me of how GREAT the bay area is. Unlike socal, you can breathe and not worry about lung cancer, there are trees around, you dont have to deal with the dead heat, you dont have to deal with the traffic. Also, the food is simply better up here (friends from socal agree with me).

Sure it's a little more expensive up here, but it's just that much more comfortable up here with so much more opportunities.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-20-2008, 03:56 AM
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Re: I want a new job, where should I move to?

I grew up in Portland (until I was 18) then moved to San Luis Obispo CA for college, and have been in San Francisco for about 3 years now...plus i have both friends and family in Seattle and have been there many times as well, so I'd say I have a pretty good experience in or near all the places you're thinking about. Of all these places, San Francisco and Portland are a very close first and second place "best locations ever" on the west coast.

SF has a much better burgeoning tech startup scene (i have worked for a few, still currently do), but portland also has a great tech/online presence but the people are a lot more laid back about it. In SF it's all about fighting for the next big $10mil VC check, expect 10+ hour days a lot of the time at almost any startup. In Portland, it's all about making a decent living and having plenty of time to relax. 8 hour days tops.

You won't get nearly as high of a salary for the same job in Portland as you will in SF, but the cost of living up there is FAR LOWER than SF. I'm talking 10-15% or even 20% when you factor in rent/mortgage costs. For example: I currently pay $800/mo rent in SF for my half of a reasonable sized 2-bedroom apartment. In Portland that will practically rent you a mansion-- my little sis still lives up in Portland and pays $450/mo for half of a pretty big 3-bedroom HOUSE, not including the unfinished basement which they use to store bikes and tools and what not. Food costs and such are very slightly cheaper, not nearly on the same scale as rent, but it's still noticeable.

As far as weather, it does rain a lot in Portland. But I was up there for two weeks not long ago and it was sunny and mid-80s (or sometimes into the 90's) the whole time. Came back to SF and was greeted by mid-60's and a wall of fog.

For a recent grad, there's probably more bar/clubbing/mischief experiences to be had easily in SF than Portland, which should certainly be considered given your current relationship status. But Portland is not that far behind. All in all, I can tell you that I sincerely love and know both cities well, and you'll be super happy in either. Just have to decide which vibe is better for you, and hopefully this description helps with that


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