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Should I Stay or Should I go?

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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Thang_N.


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Posted September 23 2003 - 07:01 AM

Well my department at work is getting LAID OFF and they have asked if anyone wants to relocate to Michigan. I've been raised practically all my life in California and love it here, but housing and cost is so expensive. My wife likes the idea of moving to somewhere we can buy our home outright and still be able to buy a new car. She can stay home and watch the kids one 2 years old and another coming in January of 2004. But the thing is i love the Bay Area and all my family and hers is in California, I don't have much time to decide as management needs to fill the position ASAP. Anybody ever been in this situation? Any advice out there? I'm just kinda torn.

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted September 23 2003 - 07:11 AM

1) Where in Michigan? 2) What do you do, and how is the job outlook for your area? 3) Are they cutting pay, benefits, etc? Is this a buyout, a downsizing, etc? Will the pay moving expenses? The biggest thing to try to figure out is the longevity of the position in MI. I've seen numerous companies shuttle people around just to cut them, and you don't want to be that guy. Work on your resume NOW. Start contacting and networking NOW. That may give you a better idea of your options.

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   WadeB


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Posted September 23 2003 - 07:24 AM

Thang, I can't give you advice based on the economics of it, ie getting laid off vs. moving to Mich. but I can tell you, as one who has spent most of my life in a warmer climate, that MI will be a shock to your system. I had lived in GA most of my life until moving to MI since my then soon to be wife was from there and had a good job w/ IBM. Somehow I survived 2 winters there, but when she was offered a transfer to GA, we jumped at it. I was thrilled to leave. The winters are long, grey, and cold, not to mention the snow. The lack of sun more than the cold really bothered me, very depressing. The roads are terrible, it's still a high cost of living, at least compared to metro Atlanta, and right now it's pretty economically depressed. I believe metro Detroit is actually losing population. There are some cool neighborhoods around metro Detroit with a lot to do, like Royal Oak, Berkley, Birmingham, but they are very expensive. Otherwise, the only good thing I have to say about the state is about the northern part. It's green and hilly and very pretty, but only for a few months out of the year. My 2cents: If you can swing another job, stay where you are. The positives you list certainly outweigh any positives intrinsic to living in Michigan.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Thang_N.


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Posted September 23 2003 - 07:24 AM

It's in Saginaw Michigan, I work mainly in DSL arena, jobs don't look too hot around here. Pay would be the same, which is nice and why my wife would be staying home, and yes the are willing to pay for relocation.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   BrianW



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Posted September 23 2003 - 11:23 AM

As one who has been laid off, I would tend to go by the principle that it's easier to keep a job than it is to get a job. I'd move, if I were in your position. But your job prospects may be different from mine.
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#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Bob Graz

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Posted September 23 2003 - 12:21 PM

Go where the job is. It'll be an adventure. If you don't like it, it's easier to find a job when you have one than when you don't. I've lived in Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. There have been pro's and con's to all, but it's been a very positive experience for me and my family. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Philip_G



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Posted September 23 2003 - 12:34 PM

go to MI! going from the bay area to MI with the same pay rate should be a considerable raise considering the cost of living.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Ryan_C


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Posted September 23 2003 - 03:26 PM

I echo BrianW's comments. I have been laid off twice since graduating college in Dec. 99. Trust me, take the job in Michigan, especially if they are paying the relocation. Worst cast scenario, you move there, and look for another job in warmer climates while you work. Better that than looking for a job and NOT working, believe me.
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#9 of 24 OFFLINE   DonRoeber



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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:04 AM

If they're willing to pay the relocation, they're investing in you. I'd be surprised if they lay you off after you move. Be sure that the relocation expenses don't include any sort of stipulation that you stay with the company for X years. Or if they do include such verbage, make sure you agree with it.
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#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:11 AM

[quote] If they're willing to pay the relocation, they're investing in you. I'd be surprised if they lay you off after you move. [quote]

I completely agree with you Don, it is definitely a positive sign.

I say take it. You can always move back if the economy picks up, and it will be an adventure.

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Jerry Almeida

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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:21 AM

Thang, I was faced with a similar situation a few years ago; the move was from Florida to Pennsylvania. My wife and I decided to make the move, and ended up regretting it. We never realized how important it was to be near family. While we were up there my wife got pregnant, and we decided that it was more important to us that our child be near her grandparents than the financial benefits, so we moved back. We ended up only being there for exactly 11 months. We're happy that we moved back, and don't regret if for a second. Living near family may not be as important to some people as it does to me, and I may come off as being silly for moving somewhere for only 11 months then moving back. But you mentioned family in your original post, so I thought this point of view might help. Good luck to you and your family, whatever decision you make. Jerry
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#12 of 24 OFFLINE   BrettB



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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:33 AM

If you go there will be trouble
An' if you stay it will be double
Posted Image

Sounds like you should go. The drastic change in weather is a concern, but hey, kids love snow.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Michael Varacin

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Posted September 24 2003 - 03:17 AM

Wait! If you are going to move 2/3 the way across the country for a job in a place you don't even know if you're going to like, you need to do an important thing first! Agree to a severance package! The theory of "they paid my relocation, so they won't lay me off" is invalid! Any smart financial wizard at a company knows that it's still better to cut losses then continue to throw away money. So agree to a severance package. If they say they can't do anything more then standard, call them on their bluff...all severance is negotiable... I will never take another job without that upfront. After that, I can't offer any advice...there are too many personal factors in a decision like this for anyone of us to say what to do.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Thang_N.


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Posted September 24 2003 - 09:10 AM

Hello everybody, I'm still alittle lost on what to do. I am really leaning towards going back to school, and get a degree(electrical Engineering) but that's going to take some time. My wife really wants to go so that we can live more comfortable and not have to struggle like we would here. But I feel that if I moved there, it will not be really a plan. Just to be able to buy a house there upfront, and work day to day wondering if they will let me go eventually. I agree that being close to family is very important and feel that's not enough money even there to draw me away. My wife wants to go, but I'm thinking I would like to give her more stability in the future. I'm 26 years old and feel my job is a joke, that anyone off the street can be trained to do. I've talked to my wife about how I feel, but she doesnt want to have our kids go through any struggles. I don't mean to make my wife sound bad at all, she's a wonderful woman that's why I married her. But I'm starting to really think I should get back to school and get a degree.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   GregBe


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Posted September 24 2003 - 09:30 AM

Thang, I was in a very similar position as you, and moved from San Jose to D.C. The job I moved for did not work out, and wound up moving back to the Bay Area after one year. Even though the cost of living is expensive, there is no other place like it. Trust me, I have 2 kids, and moving across the country with children is a whole different ballgame than without. The only way I would consider it, if I were you, is if I either absolutely loved my job (which it doesn't seem that you do), or I liked the new location better than where I was moving from (It seems that you like the Bay Area and don't know much about Michigan). I would stay put. My $.02 Greg

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Brandon_T



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Posted September 24 2003 - 09:35 AM

Hello, I live in the outskirts of Flint, Michigan which is right below Saginaw. I work in and around Saginaw. Couple of things. 1. The weather. It will be a tough transition for you and your family. The snow isn't the bad thing, the cold can even be tolerable with a good movie and home theater. The problem like previously mentioned is the lack of sun. I swear I have gone a month in the winter without ever seeing the sun. That definatly takes its toll on you. 2. Saginaw. I am going to be honest here. The crime sucks if you live in the city, but not many people do. Downtown in the month of April there were 22 murders I believe. However, the suburbs offer some of the nicest communities around. Most of that part of Michigan is Farm Land. I deal with a lot of people that are in that area and the overall quality of people is great. You may want to look into some of the local communites that have a good school system, like Birch Run. They are basically a small farm community that has a large outlet mall just off the expressway. Don't let that discourage you. This mall gives a large amount of revenue to the local community in taxes and they have a very highly regarded school system. 3. Cost of Living. Going to be cheaper than Cali. bottom line. Unless you are going to the Detroit Subs. you can live comfortably on a average salary. If you want more info about that, send me a pm and I can give you some examples. 4. Who cares if someone off the street can do your job. You have a family to support and if it pays well, and they are willing to relocate you, there must be something special about you that they want. Hope this all helps, and if you have any questions, just ask and I will respond here. Brandon

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted September 24 2003 - 10:11 AM

Sounds like you need to decide between long-term goals vs. short-term fixes. Clearly the relocation is the easy way to go. Weather/family aside, you'll still be employed, you'll be able to buy a house, your family will be comfy, etc. But if you really want to go back to school and get an engineering degree, and if you have the drive and skills, in a few years (assuming you do well in school and network properly) you'll probably get a good paying job. EEs are almost always in demand, especially in California. Dot-Bombs come and go, but true EEs have in-depth knowledge of stuff and are valued more than HTML programmers, software gurus, etc. You'll struggle for a few years but will hopefully make it worthwhile in 5-10 years. So it basically comes down to: how serious are you about the going-back-to-school-to-get-an-EE degree. If you are totally committed, apply yourself completely, and are determined to succeed at it, I say stay. If you're not 100% sure and you may half-ass it through school, potentially drop out or graduate with a poor GPA, then go to MI.

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#18 of 24 OFFLINE   DaveGTP



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Posted September 24 2003 - 11:14 AM

I can at least offer some input on the area you are talking about. Well, I live in Midland, MI (about 20-25 minutes from Saginaw) and go to school at Saginaw Valley State University for Electrical Engineering - I'm in Saginaw 5 days a week. I work in I/S as a contractor. I went to our local community college, Delta College, for a couple of years and then moved to SVSU this semester. Delta is considered among the best community colleges in the state (and cheap too!) Delta is surrounded by cornfields and other farmland - tractors driving around and all. I ended up late a couple times due to tractors on the road.

The crime rate in some parts of Saginaw is a bit iffy, but other areas (the aforementioned farmland areas like Birch Run, Auburn, Freeland) are pretty much low on crime, especially violent crime. The area is very rural for the most part. One thing I am pretty sure of - from what I know of housing prices out in your part of the country, you can get an awfully large/nice house here on a big hunk of land for a lot cheaper than your area. You might want to peruse some house listings for Saginaw.

[quote] Who cares if someone off the street can do your job. You have a family to support and if it pays well, and they are willing to relocate you, there must be something special about you that they want [quote] MY attitude these days. With the economy in the dumps, any good job is something to hang on to.

I will say, I'm not a real warm-weather guy, so I like it up here. It's plenty warm in the summer, and plenty cold in the winter. The leaves, waterfalls (up north, especially the U.P.), sand dunes, and many lakes (and Great Lakes) make for some very nice scenery if you are used to the city.
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#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:09 PM

Wow Thang - a real stumper.

I moved from Modesto to Florida seven years ago and could not be HAPPIER!! Posted Image !!

The job I had in FL (which was not waiting for me - I found it after arrival) led me on a path where now I have an income that is more than adequate. I own waterfront house with ocean access and it is valued at only $500,000 (which is still double what I paid three years ago)

I made new friends, met a wife, settled in a career. I look back and wonder why I waited so long. The taxes and costs are much lowere here - and the politics are substantially more, um, er, civilized? Not the word, but you know what I mean. (no weirdness or instability)

Now - In fairness, my sister (10 yrs older) had already moved here three years before and my parents moved here a year before I arrived. My brother in law (20 years older) lust retired and moved here as well. I have family close. It is also warm (in fact, too warm - no snowskiing and the season NEVER changes!!) But small price to pay to be out of CA. Now CA is just a fun place to visit where we know lots of people (including my brother)

If you were foolish enough to place the decision in my hands - I woud probably say go for it. Maybe your family will follow you as mine did my sister! OF course the decision, thankfully, is yours to make.

I would only point out that in time you can always go back to CA, but you can't go back in time and take this offer when it is gone. You cannot try it when you are younger...

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Eric_L



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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:11 PM

One more thing for everyone here - In the CA central valley it is not uncommon to go a month without seeing the sun either. Foggy and overcast. I used to drive up to the mountains just to get above the clouds and make sure it was still there. I suspect the Bay Area is the same, though I never lived there full time.

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