Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

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jay22
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by jay22 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:32 pm

David, you do not have to move to the midwest! Have you considered moving to Sacramento and look for opportunities with the State? Your skill-set (tech+business) will be in demand here. Plus, your wife might be able to retain her job if her work allows remote work. A lot of people from Sac commute to the bay area twice a week and work 3 days remotely. 2M in savings gives you a lot of options.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more.

SurferLife
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by SurferLife » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:35 pm

Someone already touched on it briefly, but I wanted to reiterate the homeschool option and add to it. Choosing to homeschool your kids would essentially be an instant income for you of whatever you're paying now in tuition. In addition, California offers a yearly homeschool stipend of $2,600 per/kid, per/year (it must be used for education); it's a great deal. So your salary would be your current tuition rates for both kids plus $5,200. Perhaps that's not what you want to do, but with what you've saved and your wife's income, it seems like you could retire now with this scenario.

Balance
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Balance » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:41 pm

If you currently live 30-40 miles from SV and you have "terrible" public schools you should consider moving out to the Tri Valley Area (Dublin/San Ramon/Pleasanton) which is also 30 miles from SV. Your drive will be comparable but all the public schools are 9's and 10's. The rent will cost you $3k/Mo+ which is comparable to what you are paying now.

Or you can move to Sunnyvale which has good public schools as expect to pay $4-5K per month in rent but will have a great commute to work.

I think you have options. There were areas in the Bay Area that once had terrible public schools but many neighborhoods have been transitioning and the public schools have been getting better across the board. Best of luck to you.

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HomerJ
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by HomerJ » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:43 pm

Hyperborea wrote:I too am a non-US person living in the Bay Area for over 20 years now and I've traveled around the US. There are only a few places in the US that I would consider living for the long term. So, I understand the OP's reluctance to move elsewhere. It's hard to consider living somewhere with fewer amenities. It's even harder as a foreigner living in some of these places that have been suggested. In some of them it might be even more difficult if you are not caucasian or worse are in a mixed race marriage. We have no idea of the OP's situation and some of these places might not be that welcoming of Californians (ever heard the term Kalifornication used in some of these places) never mind foreigners, maybe non-Christians, maybe non-white.
You know we're not talking about small towns deep in rural America here, right? (and even most of those aren't as bad you think).

We're talking about major metropolitan cities with millions of residents, universities, museums, theatres, symphonies, restaurants, parks, art districts, farmer markets, etc.

Near oceans, lakes, mountains, rivers, and forests.

The U.S. is huge, and 90% of Fortune 1000 jobs are outside of Silicon Valley in areas that are quite nice places to live.

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HomerJ
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by HomerJ » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:53 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:Isn't Fargo the same city that gets portrayed in movies and TV serials repeatedly as a desolate frozen tundra full of humorless people with funny accents many of who are serial killers and gangmembers dreaming of new schemes for grim murders like shoving you alive in a wood chipper or gluing your mouth and nose so that you asphyxiate ?
Heh. :)

Isn't San Francisco the place where disaster earthquake movies happen, and Godzilla comes out of the sea, and where super-intelligent apes begin the process of taking over the planet, and where Dirty Harry is a cop that endangers civilians all the time because he doesn't play by the rules?

:) :)

eckythump
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by eckythump » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:56 pm

I would advise "most of the above", as in explore all options. I wouldn't make any assumptions (wife keeps job, optimistic about getting job with long commute, a startup job would mean crazy hours and low pay) about what your choices would be until they become a choice.

Just so I don't sound "preachy", I am 60, lost my job in January, wife lost her job last year and we don't have enough of a cushion to just be retired. I also lost a job of 15 years (but found a "start up" job very quickly that paid pretty well and more enjoyable than the one I lost but sadly company went under). Hence my comment on assumptions.

Effect on family can be real worrisome (and obviously is a big priority for you), but trust me they are less worried than you. If your kids are younger the idea of moving may be exciting (especially if you throw in the promise of a puppy). If they are older (and again trust me) and are getting into their teens, they won't feel the need/desire to spend to spend all that time with you. My kids are grown and we have a great relationship, I remember the guilt of all my travelling/long hours when they were young but they just remember the quality time (cliche but true). I am an immigrant too, but there is no way my wife would be happy moving to my home country, and maybe yours secretly hates her job (mine did and going down to one salary was an adjustment for us but we were both happier for it).

As most others have stated you are fortunate in that financially you are facing choices vs crisis, you can take some time to figure out what your priorities are - If your dream has been to spend all your time with your kids, you just might be able to pull it off (with the wife's buy in of course). You may hate living in the Midwest (no offense to my Midwestern friends - everywhere has its plus/delta). I suspect that you feel the need to work, so again would pursue all options. BTW, my daughter is in tech recruiting and it is a sellers market, even if you don't have "new tech" , connecting with a recruiting firm will likely get you more interviews and at least get you feedback on what additional skills/education you should focus on.

Everyone has given lots of opinions but they all come back to the good news that, with some exploration and time, you will be able to make an informed decision on multiple choices. I for one would love to hear what you end up choosing - good luck!

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janiebegood
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by janiebegood » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:05 pm

OP, you have bought into coastal snobbery. That big stretch of earth between New York City and San Francisco is not one massive pit of decay. The US is vast with many lovely places to land that don't require $100K in annual expenses and private schools.

The Research Triangle in North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) is one such place. A few more - Boise, Atlanta, Denver. Portland. Minneapolis. Pittsburgh. Houston. Charlotte. Richmond. I could keep going, but I think you can see the pattern.

Are you familiar with the Mr. Money Mustache blog? He would say that 3-hour commute could literally kill you. Even you said it - you'd do it until your heart gave out. Is that really how you want to live?

Kids are resilient. Life is short. I say get the heck out of the Bay area while you still have your $2M nest egg.
Last edited by janiebegood on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

seity
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by seity » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:27 pm

2 mil in the bank. I'd be retired and out of CA so fast they wouldn't see me leaving.
I'm 44 and if I had 2 mil saved for retirement, I'd do it in an instant. I'm not even aiming to have that much when I retire, but I'll also probably not reach my goal until closer to 60.

fishmonger
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by fishmonger » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:38 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:Guys I'm not whining or being negative intentionally. Just stating my concerns. Moving to LCOL sounds awesome except when you think about the practicalities of getting a job and networking. If I can't get a job with my connections in the valley what chance do I have outside the valley. I don't know what it is but I simply cannot seem to be making an impression like I used to. I pride myself in availing of the opportunities available in this great country. Got an education. Never lived off the dole. Invested according to bogleheads principle. I'm hardworking, hands on, zero ego. But none of those things seem to count anymore. I've applied to 175 positions since January. Had one on one meetings with hundreds of contacts. Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere. San Francisco seems such a happening town except when it comes to jobs I simply cannot seem to make the cut. I've been at in person interviews at Uber, Lyft, Splunk, salesforce - all San Francisco based major companies but it's the same response everywhere "you don't have domain experience". At one major internet company I've been turned down three times over the last five years after in person interviews - they must have put me on a black list for some reason. I'm dumb founded as to how I went from a highly sought after candidate to the status of a leper literally overnight. And now that I'm laid off companies will start to lowball on compensation also. As the doors start closing one by one i thought of posting in this forum for ideas. I don't need money (thanks to bogleheads I have enough) but I need a job, an opportunity to prove my self worth. Moving to a lcol location might help stretch savings but I'm not at all confident that it'll help alleviate the job situation. LCOL is LCOL for a reason - namely fewer job opportunities. That's the challenge I set for myself. Not everything is about money. And living off the spouse is extremely shameful in my culture. I don't have a choice now but this is not sustainable. Better hope that Forest was right.
I think this board has given you tons of options and advice. This post tells me you are not listening.

It's a FACT that there are thousands of jobs in LCOL or MCOL areas, even in your field. But you continue to post stating that isn't the case.

Folks have also let you know that you could retire RIGHT NOW, with hard facts to back up their statements, but you don't want to listen to that advice either.

Quite frankly, saying you "don't have a choice" is a slap in the face to folks with real problems - health issues, addiction, physical abuse, etc, and not even 1% of what you have saved

OnTrack2020
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:04 pm

Oh, for goodness sake, do not move to Fargo! The winters are brutal.

With that being said, google "Silicon Prairie Cities" and it will give you an indication of what's available in tech within the Midwest.

Living in a low-cost area will get you:

House - $24k per year, easily if not a little high
Utilities - $3k per year
Tuition - Forget it and move into a good school district
Food - Why is there a $24k allocation?? $12k easily
Auto expenses - $3k easily
Kids activities - $3k

There's Kansas City, Des Moines, Omaha, Lincoln, St. Louis, etc. And, much better quality of life versus the current spending pattern.

https://www.inc.com/drew-hendricks/what ... -ever.html
Last edited by OnTrack2020 on Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sophie1
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by sophie1 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:21 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:Guys I'm not whining or being negative intentionally. Just stating my concerns. Moving to LCOL sounds awesome except when you think about the practicalities of getting a job and networking. If I can't get a job with my connections in the valley what chance do I have outside the valley. I don't know what it is but I simply cannot seem to be making an impression like I used to. I pride myself in availing of the opportunities available in this great country. Got an education. Never lived off the dole. Invested according to bogleheads principle. I'm hardworking, hands on, zero ego. But none of those things seem to count anymore. I've applied to 175 positions since January. Had one on one meetings with hundreds of contacts. Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere. San Francisco seems such a happening town except when it comes to jobs I simply cannot seem to make the cut. I've been at in person interviews at Uber, Lyft, Splunk, salesforce - all San Francisco based major companies but it's the same response everywhere "you don't have domain experience". At one major internet company I've been turned down three times over the last five years after in person interviews - they must have put me on a black list for some reason. I'm dumb founded as to how I went from a highly sought after candidate to the status of a leper literally overnight. And now that I'm laid off companies will start to lowball on compensation also. As the doors start closing one by one i thought of posting in this forum for ideas. I don't need money (thanks to bogleheads I have enough) but I need a job, an opportunity to prove my self worth. Moving to a lcol location might help stretch savings but I'm not at all confident that it'll help alleviate the job situation. LCOL is LCOL for a reason - namely fewer job opportunities. That's the challenge I set for myself. Not everything is about money. And living off the spouse is extremely shameful in my culture. I don't have a choice now but this is not sustainable. Better hope that Forest was right.
I think we see here (bold emphasis) the problem. If I were turned down 175 times I'd be depressed too. It may be that your skill set is not in much demand, or there are too many younger, less expensive people applying for the same jobs.

It's hard for random internet people to offer this kind of advice, but my sense is that the only way you're going to solve your problem is to find unconventional ways to fulfill your personal expectations. You're hanging a lot on a corporate job that you don't need and for whatever reason, can't get. Ironically, most people would consider a corporate job to be the worst way to derive a sense of self-worth and career. There are lots of alternative paths, but only you can decide how to proceed. The big thing you have going for you is that you have nothing to worry about financially while you're starting off. And yes, don't forget to apply for unemployment, and take a good hard look at your budget.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:32 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
I've applied to 175 positions since January. Had one on one meetings with hundreds of contacts. Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere. San Francisco seems such a happening town except when it comes to jobs I simply cannot seem to make the cut. I've been at in person interviews at Uber, Lyft, Splunk, salesforce - all San Francisco based major companies but it's the same response everywhere "you don't have domain experience". At one major internet company I've been turned down three times over the last five years after in person interviews - they must have put me on a black list for some reason. I
davidsorensen32,

I was unemployed for more than 1 year before my current job. And, I am much older than you. I was rejected for all my job applications and interviews.

But,

1) I had 2 unsolicited contract work from people that I do not know via Linkedin

2) I was recruited by current employer to apply for the current position. After 2 phone interviews over 2 weeks, I was given an offer. This is one of the largest company in the world.

So, I did not get any jobs that I applied. But, I had unsolicited offers.

For my current position, I work from home and I can live anywhere in the USA as long as it has a major airport. This applies to everyone in my group.

KlangFool

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BL
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by BL » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:13 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:Isn't Fargo the same city that gets portrayed in movies and TV serials repeatedly as a desolate frozen tundra full of humorless people with funny accents many of who are serial killers and gangmembers dreaming of new schemes for grim murders like shoving you alive in a wood chipper or gluing your mouth and nose so that you asphyxiate ?
:twisted:
Actually, I understand it was filmed in Brainerd, MN.
Guess I'd better locate my house keys!
You wouldn't catch me living in your area even if it were a LCOL area!


BL wrote:
bloom2708 wrote:Tough decisions ahead. 3 hours of commuting per day? Sorry, no way. You have $2 million saved. That gives you options. You can use taxable to pad your wife's income until you make a decision.

You rent and have bad public schools. That would make relocating much easier for me. On your wife's salary you cannot seem to afford the private school (for long).

I'm not sure what "old tech" is really referring to. I would look for and secure a new job in a lower cost of living area with good public schools.

You could rent/buy in Fargo and land a job with one of the many tech companies (Microsoft, Wex, Discovery Benefits, Sanford hospital, Noridian) in this town and live a different life. Long winters, but great public schools, low crime, nice people.

The world is an oyster. Lots of possibilities.
Yes, consider a place like Fargo, ND. Mid-America is not the rust-belt. They are looking for workers; even if you can't find exactly what you had before, I am sure there are many jobs you can do and have a very nice life-style with your own lovely home and good public schools, 3 colleges nearby, brand new hospital with an international flavor of medical personnel. Also consider Grand Forks, ND, Sioux Falls, SD (no state income tax in SD), and the Twin Cities (MSP) and NW Minnesota with both tech and non-tech jobs. http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/43 ... bal-leader

snowman
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by snowman » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:40 pm

No disrespect to OP, but this thread took a funny turn, and reminded me of last year’s election... I think that’s the biggest issue here. If one’s entire universe is centered around SF, and if one is type A personality, there really are no options besides 3-hour daily commute to corporate job one does not even need...

mouses
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by mouses » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:53 pm

Glasgow wrote:I'd take the job with 3-hr drive. Rather grab something available on the table than nothing promised ahead. Once unemployment worrisome and financial matters are taken care of, you can think about looking for job in hometown 12 months from now.
I haven't had time to read all the replies, but the above is my choice.

The voice of doom here: it doesn't matter if you have a new skill set. You're 40. Hiring managers in new tech companies are extremely unlikely to hire you. Been there, had that happen. Like talking to a brick wall. The thing to do is get what work you can, pare your expenses as much as possible.

Update: Yes, the other posters are right, there are many good places to live in the U.S. In fact, San Francisco has gone into the bit bucket in the last decade or so, if what I read is correct.

As to "living off your spouse being shameful," you're a big boy now. Use your brains and realize marriage is a partnership.

bigcmagor
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by bigcmagor » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:23 pm

I'm in the good old Midwest, running a 300+ person company and our AVERAGE employee age is over 40. My daughter just closed on a 2/2 condo in the Indianapolis area (on a golf course), and her principle and interest payment is $453 per month. Throw in taxes, insurance and HOA, it's still well under $1,000 per month. Cut your housing expenses by 2/3, locate your new home in one of the many good school districts, cutting your private school liability to $0 and consider both of yourselves retired. If you get bored, find something fun to do that comes with a paycheck.

TheNightsToCome
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:45 pm

jay22 wrote:David, you do not have to move to the midwest! Have you considered moving to Sacramento and look for opportunities with the State? Your skill-set (tech+business) will be in demand here. Plus, your wife might be able to retain her job if her work allows remote work. A lot of people from Sac commute to the bay area twice a week and work 3 days remotely. 2M in savings gives you a lot of options.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more.
"David, you do not have to move to the midwest!"

Thank goodness! Better to hurl yourself from a cliff, David.

cantos
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by cantos » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:51 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere.
To me, this is the real problem. 12 interviews and no job? You need to improve your interview skills. If you lacked the proper background, you wouldn't get the interviews in the first place. Since you are getting them, your problem isn't how companies perceive your skills (which is in the resume). Your problem is your lack of interviewing skills. If you are failing the hard coding/skills part of the interviewing sessions, then you need to study and bulk up. If you are doing fine in the skills part but failing anyway, then get a career coach asap and hone up on interviewing. There are also tons of great books on interviewing. One great book is Winning the Interview Game: Everything You Need to Know to Land the Job, by Alan Nierenberg. Gotta learn to close the deal.

Target your weakness - either it's failing the hard skills part of the interview or the softer skills part of the interview - and fix it. This has nothing to do with location or what is out there. This has to do with you not identifying the problem, which is interviewing, and fixing it.

Just one man's opinion.

TheNightsToCome
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:03 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Hyperborea wrote:I too am a non-US person living in the Bay Area for over 20 years now and I've traveled around the US. There are only a few places in the US that I would consider living for the long term. So, I understand the OP's reluctance to move elsewhere. It's hard to consider living somewhere with fewer amenities. It's even harder as a foreigner living in some of these places that have been suggested. In some of them it might be even more difficult if you are not caucasian or worse are in a mixed race marriage. We have no idea of the OP's situation and some of these places might not be that welcoming of Californians (ever heard the term Kalifornication used in some of these places) never mind foreigners, maybe non-Christians, maybe non-white.
You know we're not talking about small towns deep in rural America here, right? (and even most of those aren't as bad you think).

We're talking about major metropolitan cities with millions of residents, universities, museums, theatres, symphonies, restaurants, parks, art districts, farmer markets, etc.

Near oceans, lakes, mountains, rivers, and forests.

The U.S. is huge, and 90% of Fortune 1000 jobs are outside of Silicon Valley in areas that are quite nice places to live.
I live in a rural midwestern town of < 20,000 with my foreign-born, asian wife. Our good friends are a caucasian and Indian couple (American born, Indian heritage). I work with several immigrants from Africa, multiple Indian immigrants, and multiple muslim immigrants (including women in traditional-type attire). I have multiple clients in black/white marriages.

Hyperborea, you need to get out more.

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HomerJ
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by HomerJ » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:29 pm

cantos wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere.
To me, this is the real problem. 12 interviews and no job? You need to improve your interview skills. If you lacked the proper background, you wouldn't get the interviews in the first place. Since you are getting them, your problem isn't how companies perceive your skills (which is in the resume). Your problem is your lack of interviewing skills. If you are failing the hard coding/skills part of the interviewing sessions, then you need to study and bulk up. If you are doing fine in the skills part but failing anyway, then get a career coach asap and hone up on interviewing. There are also tons of great books on interviewing. One great book is Winning the Interview Game: Everything You Need to Know to Land the Job, by Alan Nierenberg. Gotta learn to close the deal.

Target your weakness - either it's failing the hard skills part of the interview or the softer skills part of the interview - and fix it. This has nothing to do with location or what is out there. This has to do with you not identifying the problem, which is interviewing, and fixing it.

Just one man's opinion.
This is a good point... Or the problem is "new tech".... Maybe he should interview at companies running "old tech" that he has experience in. You know, outside of Silicon Valley like we keep telling him?

Has the OP ever explained what "new tech" is?

fortunefavored
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by fortunefavored » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:33 pm

For those not in the technology bubble world, I thought I'd add a perspective there: The last few years has seen a dramatic shift from business, outcome oriented work to valuing mechanics above all. Being able to solve coding exercises, even for non-engineering related positions has become a default expectation. For an older worker it will feel as if all that previous experience is null and if anything is considered impractical baggage.

If you're someone who has been business or customer driven many of those huge bay area "new tech" salaries are out of reach. If you're a software engineer or can retrain to that then you're golden. Yes, there are other jobs in "tech" - but they are not the big bucks jobs that let you collect $2M by the time you're 40.

Now when the music stops and these "new tech" places realize 95% of their employees don't actually build or contribute anything to the bottom line that is when I expect the current bubble pops.

Where does that leave people like our original poster? I think defining an "end game" is critical - what's the plan? If sucking up a bad commute for 2 or 3 years means you're FI then that's a lot different than expecting to work in technology until you're 70.

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celia
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by celia » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:56 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:I don't know what it is but I simply cannot seem to be making an impression like I used to... I've applied to 175 positions since January. Had one on one meetings with hundreds of contacts. Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere. San Francisco seems such a happening town except when it comes to jobs I simply cannot seem to make the cut. I've been at in person interviews at Uber, Lyft, Splunk, salesforce - all San Francisco based major companies but it's the same response everywhere "you don't have domain experience". At one major internet company I've been turned down three times over the last five years after in person interviews - they must have put me on a black list for some reason.
Apparently your resume is good enough to get interviews and you've had some. But have you ever called back after not getting the job to ask for a candid answer why you didn't get it? Asked what you could improve to be better considered? If a recruiter set up the interview, she will likely be more impartial and should be able to tell you, too.
I'm dumb founded as to how I went from a highly sought after candidate to the status of a leper literally overnight.
Have you considered there may be another person with the same/similar name and birthdate who has a bad background or criminal past? Have you checked your credit reports lately to see if there is any negative information about you? Have you been able to fly without a problem in the last 3 years?

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randomizer
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by randomizer » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:59 pm

KlangFool wrote:How old is she?

Age discrimination is real in the Bay Area.

KlangFool
Is it? Going back to the OP (who is only 40), I don't imagine that's too much at stake here. At 50, sure.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:06 pm

randomizer wrote:
KlangFool wrote:How old is she?

Age discrimination is real in the Bay Area.

KlangFool
Is it? Going back to the OP (who is only 40), I don't imagine that's too much at stake here. At 50, sure.
http://www.smartinsights.com/manage-dig ... toftheday/

randomizer,

1) Check out the median age of the employees for those companies.

2) As a 40 years old, imagine that you are being interviewed by someone in the 30s as your hiring manager. But, you have more experience and exposure than the person. The person may not hire you for a simple fact that he/she look at you a threat to his/her future advancement at the company. Especially, if you are business/management types.

KlangFool

Ollie123
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Ollie123 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:16 pm

Is there some sort of toxin in the water in the bay area? If you are just attached to an area (for whatever reason) and don't want to move that is one thing, I get it. However, this seems to go well beyond that to some almost surreal detachment from reality. Have you ever traveled for business or spent a significant amount of time in another area outside of a vacation-like setting?

Ageism keeps getting brought up as an issue, but I think we need to be clear here. By your own admission, you don't have experience in the areas that companies are looking to develop. That isn't ageism on behalf of the company, that is a skills deficit on behalf of you. They are under no obligation to tailor their process/products to "yesterday's" technology in the name of being fair to workers who weren't keeping up their skills. Having to do so is the price of being in a rapidly evolving field. Now if you WERE an all-star in "new" tech areas and couldn't find a job because of your age...that would be another matter. Let me be perfectly clear that I'm not questioning that ageism happens - just how relevant it needs to be for the present discussion.

That said, I'd really encourage you to go spend a couple weeks or a month somewhere else or a few other places, even if it eats up some funds. I realize this sounds like I'm telling a teenager to get some life experience - I'm not trying to be demeaning, but I really feel like its necessary since it sounds like you have been living in a bubble. Trust me, there are things to do in Pittsburgh (/Buffalo/Minneapolis/Cleveland/Cincinnati/St. Louis/Raleigh/Tampa/Nashville/whatever) besides going cow tipping. There are jobs that don't involve digging ditches. Tech jobs. High paying jobs.

You don't "need" a friend to get you in. Yes, it helps but its not a requirement. You keep emphasizing not being able to find a job where you have contacts, but think of this as a numbers game. 175 jobs is, frankly, not that many to apply to over 6+ months. My wife applied to more in a 2 month span when she got laid off and we're in a much smaller market. If you broaden your search...you could apply to a lot more. In less competitive marketplaces that 'perhaps' still need someone like you or would be willing to train you up on the latest technology because they don't have 100 people beating down the door to get in that have already mastered it.

Let's also be clear that the options you list are only because you have narrowed/excluded all other options. You seemingly identify as someone who is "in tech." Its fine if you want to stay in the field, but recognize that its a choice. Nothing says you have to do that. I don't think you posted your salary, but with 100k living expenses in that area I'm guessing you weren't making CEO-level money even with those savings. That's a good thing - its a lot easier to find something comparable - even in another field.

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:53 pm

Guys lets not turn this into a coast versus heartland, red versus blue thing. That was never my intent. There are lots of great companies in the middle of the country (many of them are my customers !!) with lots of great people. But guess what ? They all advice me not to move to the middle of the country looking for a job in IT because most IT "support" type roles in middle america have been gutted by offshored outsourcing. Entire data center operations are being run out of abroad. Most of your advice to relocate to middle america is good but perhaps more applicable to more general careers like physicians, real estate brokers etc. Its true my COL might decrease, but so will my chances of remaining employed for another 10 years (yes I love to work). I think there have been a few posters from folks who work in IT so they can sympathize my plight. To them - thank you for your support even though on an anonymous forum.

Regarding new tech/old tech I've completed a bunch of courses in Coursera on the new tech (and list them on my resume) but the bottom line is - "you don't have domain expertise". I simply can't give up working - if anything I'm addicted to technology and love to build/market/manage products. For the first time in my life I'm realizing that willing to work 100 hours a week with all my expertise is not enough to make it in America.

Regarding interviewing - I don't think its my lack of interviewing skills. I think I can get a job in one of the dying dinosaurs (it'll take them another 4-5 years to die), but with layoffs every 6 months & Huger Games style performance reviews. Believe me, I just came out of one. Entire teams were put on performance improvement plans so that the company doesn't need to pay severance while terminating employees after a couple months. It is brutal hell in "old tech". No job is safe.

Regarding recruiters - I've had terrible luck with them. Absolutely zero success in "new tech". I contacted several of them without any success so far.

Regarding end game - I'm with KlangFool. Keep on working and saving until I can't find a job.

Please keep on sharing ideas. Those of you who asked me to PM for help - I will reach out to you. Many thanks for helping a stranger in need.

skjoldur
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by skjoldur » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:03 pm

bigred77 wrote:You have more than enough money to supplement your wife's income and meet your annual expenses. You don't have to rush. You don't really even have to bring in an income as long as your wife keeps working.

I would take a deep breath and then continue the job search. Find something that you really want to do, whether that be searching for a role that utilizes your current expertise or finding something that challenges you to learn new skills.

You have 2 million dollars and 85k in annual household income. It's not like you don't know how you'll put food on the table :D
+1

I'm sure this situation feels very unpleasant. The tone of people on this thread clamoring for you to flee the Bay Area immediately before your last dollar goes up in flames doesn't help.

I agree with bigred77. This is not an emergency. Because you have prepared well and have resources and a solid family income, you have plenty of time to regroup, retrain, network, and find a new job or find a new direction.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:14 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Guys lets not turn this into a coast versus heartland, red versus blue thing. That was never my intent. There are lots of great companies in the middle of the country (many of them are my customers !!) with lots of great people. But guess what ? They all advice me not to move to the middle of the country looking for a job in IT because most IT "support" type roles in middle america have been gutted by offshored outsourcing. Entire data center operations are being run out of abroad. Most of your advice to relocate to middle america is good but perhaps more applicable to more general careers like physicians, real estate brokers etc. Its true my COL might decrease, but so will my chances of remaining employed for another 10 years (yes I love to work). I think there have been a few posters from folks who work in IT so they can sympathize my plight. To them - thank you for your support even though on an anonymous forum.
davidsorensen32,

Here we go again. You need to change your attitude.

1) You are not looking for "IT Support" job. So, how does lack of IT support jobs matter to you?

<< There are lots of great companies in the middle of the country (many of them are my customers !!) with lots of great people. >>

2) What is there to stop you from working with the customer? Or, sell to the customer?

<<Entire data center operations are being run out of abroad.>>

3) Yes, but who architect and design the data center? They are all over the USA. But, are you technical enough for those positions? If not, how does any of this relevant to you?

4) At this moment, you have a defeatist attitude. You are providing the excuse for other not to hire you. You are focusing on what you cannot do and what is not available to you. But, there is wide open space on what you can do.

All those data center, cloud, and so on stuff are a complex solution. There is a need for folks that can match the business requirement to the technical solution of the new technologies. It could be as technical (data center architect, developer) or less technical (sales, solution architect, business domain specific expert).

If you know the medical industry, do you think that those new technologies companies do not need folks to sell, market, tailor their solution to the medical industry. Ditto on every vertical market.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:19 pm

OP,

I had less asset than you do when I was unemployed for more than 1 year. But, I have enough that I know my family will do fine even if I am unemployed for 5 years. I use that knowledge to negotiate and do not settle for any job and/or that come along.

You have 2 million. You do not need a job. So, why should you settle for any job that comes along? In fact, if the pay and compensation are not good enough, why apply in the first place? Why settle for less when you do not have to? Nobody wants to hire anyone that sounds desperate.

You have a serious attitude problem.

KlangFool

jay22
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by jay22 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:28 pm

TheNightsToCome wrote:
jay22 wrote:David, you do not have to move to the midwest! Have you considered moving to Sacramento and look for opportunities with the State? Your skill-set (tech+business) will be in demand here. Plus, your wife might be able to retain her job if her work allows remote work. A lot of people from Sac commute to the bay area twice a week and work 3 days remotely. 2M in savings gives you a lot of options.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk more.
"David, you do not have to move to the midwest!"

Thank goodness! Better to hurl yourself from a cliff, David.
Didn't mean this in a derogatory way. Sorry if my post came across as snarky.

I was just giving him options in case the OP wants to be close to SF.

sambb
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by sambb » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:34 pm

sophie1 wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:Guys I'm not whining or being negative intentionally. Just stating my concerns. Moving to LCOL sounds awesome except when you think about the practicalities of getting a job and networking. If I can't get a job with my connections in the valley what chance do I have outside the valley. I don't know what it is but I simply cannot seem to be making an impression like I used to. I pride myself in availing of the opportunities available in this great country. Got an education. Never lived off the dole. Invested according to bogleheads principle. I'm hardworking, hands on, zero ego. But none of those things seem to count anymore. I've applied to 175 positions since January. Had one on one meetings with hundreds of contacts. Been to a dozen "new tech" interviews and been turned down everywhere. San Francisco seems such a happening town except when it comes to jobs I simply cannot seem to make the cut. I've been at in person interviews at Uber, Lyft, Splunk, salesforce - all San Francisco based major companies but it's the same response everywhere "you don't have domain experience". At one major internet company I've been turned down three times over the last five years after in person interviews - they must have put me on a black list for some reason. I'm dumb founded as to how I went from a highly sought after candidate to the status of a leper literally overnight. And now that I'm laid off companies will start to lowball on compensation also. As the doors start closing one by one i thought of posting in this forum for ideas. I don't need money (thanks to bogleheads I have enough) but I need a job, an opportunity to prove my self worth. Moving to a lcol location might help stretch savings but I'm not at all confident that it'll help alleviate the job situation. LCOL is LCOL for a reason - namely fewer job opportunities. That's the challenge I set for myself. Not everything is about money. And living off the spouse is extremely shameful in my culture. I don't have a choice now but this is not sustainable. Better hope that Forest was right.
I think we see here (bold emphasis) the problem. If I were turned down 175 times I'd be depressed too. It may be that your skill set is not in much demand, or there are too many younger, less expensive people applying for the same jobs.

It's hard for random internet people to offer this kind of advice, but my sense is that the only way you're going to solve your problem is to find unconventional ways to fulfill your personal expectations. You're hanging a lot on a corporate job that you don't need and for whatever reason, can't get. Ironically, most people would consider a corporate job to be the worst way to derive a sense of self-worth and career. There are lots of alternative paths, but only you can decide how to proceed. The big thing you have going for you is that you have nothing to worry about financially while you're starting off. And yes, don't forget to apply for unemployment, and take a good hard look at your budget.

Put your emotions aside. Forget about california exclusively. You need to find a job, and looking in the midwest will help. You need an income stream for 5-10 years at the most. However, if you dont open your mind, then you might end up unemployed and spending your money quickly.

I dont think you shoudl retire, etc. Find a job in the midwest or south. Look aggressively. Dont limit yourself to california or new york.

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Wildebeest
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Wildebeest » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:35 pm

I would move to Ecuador with $ 2 million and live like a king.

I would see if working 10 hours a day doing contract work or starting my own business would get me what I needed for my ego gratification or see if "just living on 3 % withdrawal rate" would suffice.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

Dottie57
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:41 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:Guys lets not turn this into a coast versus heartland, red versus blue thing. That was never my intent. There are lots of great companies in the middle of the country (many of them are my customers !!) with lots of great people. But guess what ? They all advice me not to move to the middle of the country looking for a job in IT because most IT "support" type roles in middle america have been gutted by offshored outsourcing. Entire data center operations are being run out of abroad. Most of your advice to relocate to middle america is good but perhaps more applicable to more general careers like physicians, real estate brokers etc. Its true my COL might decrease, but so will my chances of remaining employed for another 10 years (yes I love to work). I think there have been a few posters from folks who work in IT so they can sympathize my plight. To them - thank you for your support even though on an anonymous forum.

Regarding new tech/old tech I've completed a bunch of courses in Coursera on the new tech (and list them on my resume) but the bottom line is - "you don't have domain expertise". I simply can't give up working - if anything I'm addicted to technology and love to build/market/manage products. For the first time in my life I'm realizing that willing to work 100 hours a week with all my expertise is not enough to make it in America.

Regarding interviewing - I don't think its my lack of interviewing skills. I think I can get a job in one of the dying dinosaurs (it'll take them another 4-5 years to die), but with layoffs every 6 months & Huger Games style performance reviews. Believe me, I just came out of one. Entire teams were put on performance improvement plans so that the company doesn't need to pay severance while terminating employees after a couple months. It is brutal hell in "old tech". No job is safe.

Regarding recruiters - I've had terrible luck with them. Absolutely zero success in "new tech". I contacted several of them without any success so far.

Regarding end game - I'm with KlangFool. Keep on working and saving until I can't find a job.

Please keep on sharing ideas. Those of you who asked me to PM for help - I will reach out to you. Many thanks for helping a stranger in need.

David. You really have blinders on. There is a big tech world outside of "new tech". Re-read posts made in this thread with an open mind and no list of objections in hand.

Jags4186
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:49 pm

You have $2 million dollars and an 85K income, and I assume benefits via your wife's job.

You have $100k in expenses.

Say $85k turns into 60k after taxes. You need $40,000 from $2,000,000. That is 2% of your portfolio which, according to firecalc, has 0% chance of failure. You don't need to retire but your situation is hardly perilous. Maybe its time for a career change? You don't necessarily need more money you just need to cover your expenses. Leaving $2 mil to grow for 10-15 years and you should have more than enough to retire on.

prettybogle
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by prettybogle » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:53 pm

Is this thread some kind of joke ? We are in mid 30's close to 40 and our net worth is 450k. OP says his net worth is 2 MILLION. In most areas of the US, that is considered as rich. Also, OP can easily work and enjoy stress free and very economical life style. Either our net worth is too low or having million dollars at 40 is very common these days.

prettybogle
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by prettybogle » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:59 pm

Also, if this helps OP appreciate his options, our friends here in late 30's make around 120k and are happily buying 500k - 600k houses. I am almost sure their net worth is not even close to 500k.

itworks
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by itworks » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:21 pm

If you are willing to go back to coding, there are lots of job openings everywhere in the valley. Maybe you can try some coding schools to get a quick boost?
davidsorensen32 wrote:I used to program years ago (but have undergrad+masters in computer science). Ever since my MBA I shifted to the business side.

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:30 pm

Absolutely willing to go back to coding ! But whats the market for 40 year old *has been* coders who haven't been coding for 10 years ? Also how will I rationalize going from coding --> marketing --> coding ? I have dozen+ patents from my time as a programmer - I list them on my resume - but they don't seem to impress anyone.
itworks wrote:If you are willing to go back to coding, there are lots of job openings everywhere in the valley. Maybe you can try some coding schools to get a quick boost?
davidsorensen32 wrote:I used to program years ago (but have undergrad+masters in computer science). Ever since my MBA I shifted to the business side.

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BL
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by BL » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:34 am

Perhaps you could learn to program in the FARGO language :twisted:
(Sorry, couldn't resist). I hope a little levity is a good thing as you adjust to your stressful job loss.
FARGO (Fourteen-o-one [IBM 1401] Automatic Report Generation Operation) was the predecessor to the popular RPG programming language (RPG). FARGO was more of a utility program than a programming language, whereas RPG had a program generation process that produced an executable object.
Have to admit I accidentally ran across this in Wikipedia. I have done RPG, however, but that was probably way before your time.

By the way, have you considered working for the federal government? They, including DOD, hire Operations Research Systems Analysts, ORAs, programmers, and probably many in the management areas.

pasadena
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by pasadena » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:08 am

How hard would it be for you to update your skill set ? You say you're a data scientist - that's seriously trending these days, if you can learn the current techs in the domain.

40 y-o is old for a software developer in top tech the big Bay Area companies and start ups. It's not necessarily old outside of that bubble.

Have you applied for unemployment already? If not, do that first thing tomorrow.

Beensabu
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Beensabu » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:36 am

OP, Is this really it?
davidsorensen32 wrote:I don't need money (thanks to bogleheads I have enough) but I need a job, an opportunity to prove my self worth.
If that's the case, then look for a job until you find one that allows you to prove your self-worth to your satisfaction.

Another thought is to work on a personal project using updated technical skills (that you can now take some time to catch up on). That will show potential employers that your skills are currently relevant and explain a period of unemployment. Learn what is needed now, and demonstrate that you can do what is needed now. And maybe enjoy doing it?
davidsorensen32 wrote:Also how will I rationalize going from coding --> marketing --> coding ?
"I missed coding. I want back in. Look at what I've been working on. Isn't it super nifty?"
I think. I do not know.

fishmonger
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by fishmonger » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:14 am

This thread has run its course. The OP has an attitude problem more than a financial/employment one, which I'm sure employers are picking up on.

My advice would be to take a deep breath and take some time to regroup. Your thoughts tend to be all over the place. Consider it a luxury to be able to take a step back and evaluate what you really want. In your original post, you said that you would hate to have a 3 hour commute to miss time with your young kids. In another post, you said you would work 100 hours a week - which one is it?

A short-term sabbatical would not hurt your long-term job prospects, but might give you a needed perspective to go forward

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:39 am

Commute is not equal to work.
fishmonger wrote:This thread has run its course. The OP has an attitude problem more than a financial/employment one, which I'm sure employers are picking up on.

My advice would be to take a deep breath and take some time to regroup. Your thoughts tend to be all over the place. Consider it a luxury to be able to take a step back and evaluate what you really want. In your original post, you said that you would hate to have a 3 hour commute to miss time with your young kids. In another post, you said you would work 100 hours a week - which one is it?

A short-term sabbatical would not hurt your long-term job prospects, but might give you a needed perspective to go forward

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:46 am

OP,

You were a product manager. And, you should know marketing. If you market yourself as a product, why would someone buy a 40 years old fresh software developer? It would not make any sense.

Instead of focusing on what you do not have and your weakness, you should look at your strength.

1) You know people aka customer connection at big companies.

2) People know you. You have a relationship with key people in major companies.

3) Your experience, age, contacts are an asset for anyone that wants to sell those companies.

Who is your market?

http://www.smartinsights.com/manage-dig ... toftheday/

Isn't it obvious from this chart that you had been applying to the wrong employers?

You will have a better chance of getting an offer from IBM, Dell, Oracle, and HP. And, please do not tell us that those are not high tech companies and they have no division working on leading technologies.

Conversely, looking at the chart, You have been applying and interviewing at employer at the other end of the chart: Facebook, Linkedin, Salesforce. This is lousy marketing.

IMHO, you had been fishing in the wrong places. Applying for the wrong job with the wrong employer. It does not work. You need to try something else.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:48 am

davidsorensen32 wrote:Commute is not equal to work.
fishmonger wrote:This thread has run its course. The OP has an attitude problem more than a financial/employment one, which I'm sure employers are picking up on.

My advice would be to take a deep breath and take some time to regroup. Your thoughts tend to be all over the place. Consider it a luxury to be able to take a step back and evaluate what you really want. In your original post, you said that you would hate to have a 3 hour commute to miss time with your young kids. In another post, you said you would work 100 hours a week - which one is it?

A short-term sabbatical would not hurt your long-term job prospects, but might give you a needed perspective to go forward
davidsorensen32,

It is the cost of keeping the job. Hence, it is part of the work. If you do not take that job, you do not have to commute.

KlangFool

sjt
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by sjt » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:57 am

David,

Concerning to me is how much you base your life around your career. If you truly enjoy IT work then you should take a job for less money. Otherwise, I think you have enough money saved up to move to a lower COLA and find some other work or volunteering that has meaning to you - giving back to the community while doing some training on the side. It's important to have purpose in life, but maybe your talents are best used somewhere outside of a high income IT job for now. Can a non-profit use your skills? You as a person are not defined by your job or your salary. You are defined by your choices and how you treat others. I understand this is a stressful time for you but it may be an opportunity to get out - take a solo road trip for a few weeks and see some nature and other parts of this country. It will give you time to think and time outside the rat race - might be exactly what you need.

Don't balk at a lower paying job in another part of the country if you find one. The taxes outside CA and other high COLA areas are much lower and you don't need nearly as much to live the same lifestyle. There are a lot of good natured and diverse people outside CA too. I wish you luck and I hope you update this thread when you find your path.

kithwang
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by kithwang » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:57 am

Let's turn this around. Your kids at the age of 40 told you this happened to them. What is your advice?
-Take the 3 hour commute job
-Move out of state
-Explore new tech with 1/2 pay and spend more time at work
-Start your own company

You have a family. What do you want for them?

pmelon
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by pmelon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:15 am

visualguy wrote:
Kenkat wrote:What exactly is old tech?
In the Bay Area, that means almost anything that people were doing in tech 10+ years ago. :(
I guess I'm mummy dust! :P

The 3 hour commute in the bay area is no exaggeration. With 2 million dollars, I'd find something for less money, that's less stressful and closer to home. Also, you should take a hard look at your expenses and pare down where possible. Medical insurance is a scary variable. Does your wife have medical coverage available? (sorry, of this was asked or mentioned already...).

ved
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by ved » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:20 am

I have been following this thread - a lot of great advice.

OP,

A few points to clarify a things:

I am in tech (on the business side) - I haven't heard of this "old tech" vs. "new tech". Can you define (as specifically or as generally as you wish) what those terms are? Is old-tech - mainframe/ green-screens? Is new tech: hadoop, python, etc? If that is what you meant - then yes, there is a significant difference between them, and not easy (I didn't say difficult) to switch. But, many, many people have transitioned into new-tech from old-tech. It's unfortunate that you didn't keep up with the technologies (especially considering you were in SV). You can still do it - there are many coding-classes that you can take, and work with small businesses, non-profits volunteering your work to build up your skill/ domain-expertise.

But, this bring me to the next point. You said that you migrated from technical to the business side (with your MBA). If that is true, how does it matter what the technology is underlying the solution? Isn't your role generally about finding solutions to business problems? Yes, it will help to be familiar with the underlying technologies - but you don't have to be very proficient in them.

The way I see it - you are struggling with a two factors:
Geography - For some reason (that I am not clear about, other than the excuses that the world beyond SV is a wasteland with no opportunities, quality of life, etc), you do not want to entertain teh possibility of relocation.
Function / Role - You are unwilling to work in old-tech anymore (with the commute excuse). You are unwilling to learn new-tech (with the too-old excuse). You are not focusing on the business side that you said you were into the last few years at least.

Sit-down and figure out what you want to focus on - new tech/ old tech/ business
Then, sit down with your wife and discuss why SV is so important for you both

Then, you can plan on focusing your job search on the role and geography that you have decided.

Do realize (and sorry, if I come across as pontificating) - one can always find excuses for not doing something/ anything. But, the problem with that is that, in the end, nothing gets done.

queso
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by queso » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:44 am

I'm with KF. I'm an old IT guy (40s) with an MBA so similar to your background and wouldn't even dream of applying at those companies. Ever read "Disrupted" by Dan Lyons? Pretty good read of what it can be like in some of those companies for us old guys if you do miraculously end up being hired by one. If that list of companies is what you mean by "new tech" then I agree that it is going to be a tall order getting hired by one of them at your (our) age.

Locked