Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

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Starfish
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Starfish » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:16 am

pizza8822 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:10 pm
I'm just a random person on the internet, but I would not recommend to a close friend/family member to go work for Tesla. I find the entire business model of Telsa extremely shaky. If there is a recession anytime soon, Telsa will likely have trouble selling vehicles, driving cash flow declines. This could lead to many layoffs. The company doesn't have enough money to handle a recession in my estimation. At the very least, think hard about if you are comfortable working for a company with a questionable financial position.
Why would Tesla have trouble selling vehicles? Among the most profitable companies in the auto industry are BMW and Porsche, not GM and Chrysler. They've been around for >100 years. I "beginner's" BMW cost as much as a Model 3, Porsche is as much as model S.
Tesla offers a major value proposition to the buyer. Real or not, it helps selling vehicles.

As for OP's question: you have to see an offer first. Only because a recruiter called it doesn't mean anything.

Drovor wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:00 pm
Clever_Username wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:33 pm
MikeZ wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:54 pm
I've always been a LCOL lover for my entire life. Make a decent salary. Have a house way bigger than I ever need with a PITI that is 30% of my take home pay. No state income tax. 5 mile commute to work. Usually home by 5:40 each night.
I am in California, but not the bay area. It is 5:30 as I type this. I consider it a better use of my time to hang out online than to drive home in this traffic. If I leave right now, I will be home by 6:30. I don't live all that far from work.

If the "home by 5:40" part is important to you, the Bay Area is probably not for you.

Full disclosure: I view it as likely I won't be living in California in three years' time.
Given the information, I think OP is in a better situation where he is at now.

I work in Fremont and commute about 15 miles. Takes me over an hour to get home and that is leaving at 4pm. Been here my entire life but I don't see us living here in 3 years time either. Cost of living and traffic being the top reasons.



That is because you come home at 4 PM. PM! It won't be the case for the OP :D

Valuethinker
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:46 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:12 pm
pizza8822 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:10 pm
I'm just a random person on the internet, but I would not recommend to a close friend/family member to go work for Tesla. I find the entire business model of Telsa extremely shaky. If there is a recession anytime soon, Telsa will likely have trouble selling vehicles, driving cash flow declines. This could lead to many layoffs. The company doesn't have enough money to handle a recession in my estimation. At the very least, think hard about if you are comfortable working for a company with a questionable financial position.
This was my first thought as well. I would not make a major life move for Tesla.
This I think is key.

Many of the internet super stocks look like they are bomb proof. Facebook, Google, Apple are highly cash generative. (that doesn't guarantee they won't make brutal cuts when sales momentum declines). Amazon could be much more profitable if it slowed its rate of investment. Microsoft is the closest thing to a utility business the internet has. You sell your soul to work for these companies but they have robust business models.

Probably the real opportunities are in the right Unicorn, where there is still a chance of getting pre IPO equity. There's lots of things wrong with Uber and I still have doubts about the business model, but the current CEO is doing all the right things to stabilize the situation. Granted the private round equity is overvalued.

Tesla falls into that "little known third category" (to quote Al Gore). Its financials are not appealing, its public equity looks overvalued, working there must be chaos where you sell your soul -- the turnover in senior positions has been just stunning.

Valuethinker
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:58 am

badger42 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:48 pm
Move the the Bay Area? Sure, just be prepared for the tradeoffs (housing), make sure you're making enough $$ to cover housing + risk premium + actually make it worth the trouble, and take advantage of what the area offers.

But don't do it for Tesla. Tesla isn't just a dumpster fire, it's a train of flaming dumpsters alternating with propane tanks. I have friends who have done projects there, they would rather work literally anywhere else.
The person I knew at Tesla, very talented production line engineer with lots of tech sector experience, left within 2 years. I have not heard any story as to why.

I think people stay long enough for stock-related comp to vest (perhaps)? Then bail.

If we have a downturn in capital markets - tighter corporate credit & weaker equity markets, then Tesla is very exposed. The company has significant debt, which is an outrageous manoeuvre for a company which is not cash flow positive and is in a high investment cycle. What happens when they have to refinance and the conventional credit markets are much more risk averse?

inbox788
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by inbox788 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:15 am

MikeZ wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:54 pm
I've always been a LCOL lover for my entire life. Make a decent salary. Have a house way bigger than I ever need with a PITI that is 30% of my take home pay. No state income tax. 5 mile commute to work. Usually home by 5:40 each night.

Always thought I would stay this way.

But I just got contacted by a recruiter for Tesla for what sounds like a very interesting position.

Everything I've ever thought about financial sense tells me to not even bother. That said, I promised the recruiter I would do my homework and think about it. The logical side of me sees living in the bay area as a financial disaster with a stock option lottery ticket you might win. The emotional side of me see even failure as a win to have that sort experence on my resume and the simple fact that plenty of smart people have figured out how to make it make sense.

Anyone here have thoughts on reconciling these two things?
If you leave your current job, could you come back? In a year or 3 years? Come back to the same city to work at another job? Retire there? Do you have to sell your house, or can you just keep it? It all depends on the offer, but what kind up increase are you looking at? 30%? 50%? 100%? Now subtract out your added living costs. 30% or even 50% might not be enough. Then add enough to pay off your current house so you don't have to sell it and can come back any time if you'd like. And what type of lottery ticket are you getting? If TSLA goes to 420, will you make a million bonus? What if it doubles?
MikeZ wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:49 pm
I have a mix of IT governence and security investigation that lines up nicely with the role plus I come from an Aerospace and Defense background so I guess that gives me a aura of dealing with sensitive matters even though I'm not cleared.. I wish Tesla all the best but I'm not a fan per se, I would like to buy their stuff someday but to me a car or solar panel is a purely utilitarian spreadsheet affair.

I'm more....um....selfish about the role in terms of career growth whether internal or external if I burn out.
I would assume the internal growth is limited, but it should help your external growth down the road, but that could take you further away from "home".

BTW, the bay area is home to some of the worlds best medical care. Do you currently have world class medical care near you?
barnaclebob wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:35 pm
There were other shenanigans such as calling lyfts instead of ambulances.
Depending on the extent of the injury, that might be the BH thing to do, but the article raises suspicious activity.
Report: Tesla’s onsite clinic uses Lyft, not ambulances, to undercount injuries

The doctor who runs the clinic defended the practice, reportedly saying he wanted to “right-size the care” by only calling for an ambulance in life-threatening situations.

“...Every ambulance that is thoughtlessly called for a non-life-threatening injury is one less ambulance that is available to actually save a life rather than be used as a convenience,” Dr. Basil Besh said in a statement to reporters.
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/new ... -tsla.html

Around here, and ambulance ride is easily $1000 or more. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html
Last edited by inbox788 on Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:17 am

I also get weekly emails from Bay Area companies but have no interest in going. Tesla is probably the last company I would work for!
(Musk knows how to run a good Ponzi scheme...he's a visionary but I wouldn't want to work for him or Nikola Tesla)
- Bay Area is crazy expensive.
- You'll pay a premium for a house in a good school district, else plan on paying for private $chool
- You'll likely get worked to death
- You won't have much of a life
- The pay will be great but will be spent on housing and school and you won't have much time to spend it

Nikola Tesla, compare this character to Musk
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

barnaclebob
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:15 am

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:15 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:35 pm
There were other shenanigans such as calling lyfts instead of ambulances.
Depending on the extent of the injury, that might be the BH thing to do, but the article raises suspicious activity.
Report: Tesla’s onsite clinic uses Lyft, not ambulances, to undercount injuries

The doctor who runs the clinic defended the practice, reportedly saying he wanted to “right-size the care” by only calling for an ambulance in life-threatening situations.

“...Every ambulance that is thoughtlessly called for a non-life-threatening injury is one less ambulance that is available to actually save a life rather than be used as a convenience,” Dr. Basil Besh said in a statement to reporters.
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/new ... -tsla.html

Around here, and ambulance ride is easily $1000 or more. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html
A lyft would definitely be appropriate for many workplace injuries but when there is a drive from top corporate brass to reduce recordable injuries vs improving actual safety, bad things happen.

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goingup
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by goingup » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:32 am

My niece got a serious offer from Tesla about 2 years ago. She's in Bay Area tech in a niche job with good bonafides. She passed. Word is that hours are brutal. Much of bonus compensation was in stock options, which also seemed "iffy".

If you were single, a renter, and otherwise unencumbered, it might be worth it to take a flyer for the experience. Otherwise, probably not.

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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:35 am

I wouldn't think you'd be playing the stock option lottery with Tesla since pretty much everybody does RSUs these days. From what I hear, Tesla lets you choose. Plus, it is already public so that stock will almost certainly be worth something at vest absent bankruptcy. As somebody who moved from a LCOL city to a HCOL area it has been VERY worth it, financially. Have not heard great things about TSLA, anecdotally.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:24 pm

Sam1 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:50 pm
But the job isn’t just about the pay NOW. It also will affect FUTURE earning potential most likely.
Is it guaranteed?
Does everyone who goes to Silicon valley make mega bucks?
I am sorry but for someone who owns a house and has a very nice commute, unless they are offering upfront money now (or promise of periodic bonuses/RSUs), it does not make sense to take up the offer. And for Tesla, no way.

Sam1
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Sam1 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:40 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:24 pm
Sam1 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:50 pm
But the job isn’t just about the pay NOW. It also will affect FUTURE earning potential most likely.
Is it guaranteed?
Does everyone who goes to Silicon valley make mega bucks?
I am sorry but for someone who owns a house and has a very nice commute, unless they are offering upfront money now (or promise of periodic bonuses/RSUs), it does not make sense to take up the offer. And for Tesla, no way.

Of course it isn’t guaranteed. Sounds like you’re pretty risk adverse. You would have also told me to stay put when I accepted a job offer in a HCOL area. It paid off BIG time.

Really it depends on what this will do for his resume and if he wants to advance. He may be perfectly content where he is. Or maybe not.

piperkub
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by piperkub » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:16 pm

An outstanding opportunity! I just finished a book you should read before you reply to that offer. A book regarding the bio of Elon Musk, his companies and management style with the start-up chaos surrounding SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City. A great read giving a view into the life and companies of a brilliant engineer with a 24-hour work ethic, Elon Musk, by Ashlee Vance is very positive and complimentary of Musk but the collateral casualties along the way are massive. You'll be glad you did!

pasadena
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by pasadena » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:38 pm

I would go ahead with the interview process. Once you get an actual offer, you can weight your options will all the necessary information.

Captain kangaroo
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Captain kangaroo » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:00 pm

Couldn't pay me enough to move to the Bay area. Would never even consider it.

pizza8822
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by pizza8822 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:50 pm

Starfish wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:16 am
pizza8822 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:10 pm
I'm just a random person on the internet, but I would not recommend to a close friend/family member to go work for Tesla. I find the entire business model of Telsa extremely shaky. If there is a recession anytime soon, Telsa will likely have trouble selling vehicles, driving cash flow declines. This could lead to many layoffs. The company doesn't have enough money to handle a recession in my estimation. At the very least, think hard about if you are comfortable working for a company with a questionable financial position.
Why would Tesla have trouble selling vehicles? Among the most profitable companies in the auto industry are BMW and Porsche, not GM and Chrysler. They've been around for >100 years. I "beginner's" BMW cost as much as a Model 3, Porsche is as much as model S.
Tesla offers a major value proposition to the buyer. Real or not, it helps selling vehicles.
You think Tesla will sell more cars during a recession? Tesla has a weak balance sheet and interesting accounting, while doing business during one of the best economies in memory. General economic weakness would not be kind to Tesla's financials - what happens if they can't roll over their debt? I wouldn't recommend someone I was close to accept a job there if they had other options.

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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:35 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:24 pm
Sam1 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:50 pm
But the job isn’t just about the pay NOW. It also will affect FUTURE earning potential most likely.
Is it guaranteed?
Does everyone who goes to Silicon valley make mega bucks?
I am sorry but for someone who owns a house and has a very nice commute, unless they are offering upfront money now (or promise of periodic bonuses/RSUs), it does not make sense to take up the offer. And for Tesla, no way.
Having TSLA on your resume? It's not guaranteed but the resume boost is something fairly close. One must take reasonable risks in life to earn above-average returns. Nothing is guarantee in life, but this is far from a moonshot. It is a well-worn path and the pitfalls fairly well defined.

Balefire
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Balefire » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:48 pm

Just visited my brother and best friend in the Bay area.
Both are transplants from a similar HCOL area, Chicago.

Both are happy and have no plans to leave despite enormous family pressure to do so.

California is beautiful. If you get paid enough to afford it, I think it is certainly worth a look

Starfish
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:34 am

pizza8822 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:50 pm
Starfish wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:16 am
pizza8822 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:10 pm
I'm just a random person on the internet, but I would not recommend to a close friend/family member to go work for Tesla. I find the entire business model of Telsa extremely shaky. If there is a recession anytime soon, Telsa will likely have trouble selling vehicles, driving cash flow declines. This could lead to many layoffs. The company doesn't have enough money to handle a recession in my estimation. At the very least, think hard about if you are comfortable working for a company with a questionable financial position.
Why would Tesla have trouble selling vehicles? Among the most profitable companies in the auto industry are BMW and Porsche, not GM and Chrysler. They've been around for >100 years. I "beginner's" BMW cost as much as a Model 3, Porsche is as much as model S.
Tesla offers a major value proposition to the buyer. Real or not, it helps selling vehicles.
You think Tesla will sell more cars during a recession? Tesla has a weak balance sheet and interesting accounting, while doing business during one of the best economies in memory. General economic weakness would not be kind to Tesla's financials - what happens if they can't roll over their debt? I wouldn't recommend someone I was close to accept a job there if they had other options.

I think a 35k car that that does burn gas is a good economical proposition (not as much in US, more in UE) and might be strong one even during recession.

Valuethinker
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:25 am

pizza8822 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:50 pm
Starfish wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:16 am
pizza8822 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:10 pm
I'm just a random person on the internet, but I would not recommend to a close friend/family member to go work for Tesla. I find the entire business model of Telsa extremely shaky. If there is a recession anytime soon, Telsa will likely have trouble selling vehicles, driving cash flow declines. This could lead to many layoffs. The company doesn't have enough money to handle a recession in my estimation. At the very least, think hard about if you are comfortable working for a company with a questionable financial position.
Why would Tesla have trouble selling vehicles? Among the most profitable companies in the auto industry are BMW and Porsche, not GM and Chrysler. They've been around for >100 years. I "beginner's" BMW cost as much as a Model 3, Porsche is as much as model S.
Tesla offers a major value proposition to the buyer. Real or not, it helps selling vehicles.
You think Tesla will sell more cars during a recession? Tesla has a weak balance sheet and interesting accounting, while doing business during one of the best economies in memory. General economic weakness would not be kind to Tesla's financials - what happens if they can't roll over their debt? I wouldn't recommend someone I was close to accept a job there if they had other options.
The valuation of Tesla is the closest thing to a dot com era valuation I know of. The business does not have to fail, the market just has to put a more reasonable valuation on it. And, almost inexplicably, they have used debt finance - highly inappropriate for a cash flow negative company. That could well come back to haunt them.

Credit analysts are much more conservative by nature than equity analysts. And they rate Tesla as sub investment grade aka junk, I believe. That's a warning to equity investors.

Other than Netflix of course, and Netflix is buying subscriber revenues (but they are stuck in a high cost business model - the purchase of all that content). Netflix could also get killed by its debt load - it is borrowing like a cable tv company, but without the large captive customer base.

Valuethinker
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:02 am

Starfish wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:34 am

I think a 35k car that that does burn gas is a good economical proposition (not as much in US, more in UE) and might be strong one even during recession.
If you look at the other luxury car manufacturers their cars are all sold on finance. I think something like 80%+ BMWs & Mercedes in the USA are leased not bought. Not sure what the percentage is for Tesla. It's all about the monthly cost, not the price.

When a downturn hits, the available credit gets cut back. That tends to squeeze that market segment (as it does for high end trucks and SUVs).

Tesla is getting big enough that it loses the immunity to the economic cycle it had. More specifically, I think that a downturn in the tech industry would hit their core customer base quite hard.

The car is path breaking. Interestingly the inventor of "Disruptive Innovation" (Clay Christensen) has a piece out there why Tesla is not an industry disruptor. I can see why he might be saying that in a classic definitional sense (the car is not a cheaper product that fails to do what the industry standard does -- e.g. the PC v. the mainframe). But, in reality, it is disrupting the car industry -- disrupting from the high end, but disrupting.

In an industry that had grown fat and happy building ever larger chunks of metal (think Range Rover - my canonical example of London's Chelsea Tractor, and as useful as a tractor would be in a city of 9 millions with paved roads, small parking spaces and almost no snow) Tesla did the end run and made a sports car -- think the "Tesla nod" ad - surely one of the great ads of the last few years.

The financial and operational state of Tesla as a company is of far greater concern. The product may be good, but everything else is troubling. Add to that an equity valuation which seems insane against ordinary metrics (or even extraordinary ones) AND that it has a real debt load which will have to be refinanced, and this thing gets scary.

It's not DeLorean or Bricklin. It's gone too far for that. But it's not BMW yet, either.

Sometime in the 2030s, I think, there will be a panic. The undoable, the politically impossible, will suddenly become essential, necessary, doable - the alternative will be too awful to face. The generation that blocks the way, now, will be irrelevant.

If you want to understand the Tesla, go find a museum and a Mark I Spitfire. The best fighter plane that began the Second World War in operational service, and left the war, still in operational service (the P51 Mustang was a better fighter but cannot claim that length of service). The thing is crude by comparison with later models -- the gunsight is just an iron ring with a crosshairs and to a large extent it is hand built. It is recognizably a child of the Sopwith Camel and its other WW1 brethren. But painfully young men would strap themselves into it, and fly in sticks of 3, 6, 9 planes against German bomber and fighter streams-- against the conquerors who had crushed Poland and France. It was enough, and there were just enough of them, to make the difference between victory and defeat.

That's what a Tesla is. It's your Mark 1, Spitfire.

Celtic
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Celtic » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:44 am

You might wish to consider where this job takes you in terms of opening other doors, future progression. IE what would be the next (better) career path or promotion that opens because of taking this role? Compared to the current job and other choices before you.

It's short sighted to only consider the near term income from this job if you plan to work for more than 3 years into the future. Better to focus on how to maximum over the long haul, until you can stop working. This line of thinking takes you down a thought process of ensuring you are positioned for employability on your terms.

mmmodem
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by mmmodem » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 am

I'm biased. I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life. I reluctantly moved out the area this year due to a job change. I still own my home a couple of miles away from Tesla HQ. Not only would I take a job from Tesla, if any company in the Bay Area would hire me, I would take it. I only got so far as submitting my resume to Tesla.

I know the Bay Area is expensive but we've been able to get by just fine without a 6 figure salary. Traffic can be mitigated with an EV for solo HOV access.

I also agree that having Tesla on your resume will give you an advantage in the future. I have been to a few interviews where they'll say, "oh wow, you used to work at BigNameCompany." I was miserable and didn't even last a year at BigNameCompany but it was the best thing I could've done for my career.

Sam1
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Sam1 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:17 pm

Bryan99 wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:44 am
You might wish to consider where this job takes you in terms of opening other doors, future progression. IE what would be the next (better) career path or promotion that opens because of taking this role? Compared to the current job and other choices before you.

It's short sighted to only consider the near term income from this job if you plan to work for more than 3 years into the future. Better to focus on how to maximum over the long haul, until you can stop working. This line of thinking takes you down a thought process of ensuring you are positioned for employability on your terms.
I agree with this. Also if you were to move to a LCOL are aafter 2-3 years at Tesla I’d assume you could take some of the HCOL salary bump with you. At least that happened to me.

Sam1
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Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Post by Sam1 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:20 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 am
I'm biased. I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life. I reluctantly moved out the area this year due to a job change. I still own my home a couple of miles away from Tesla HQ. Not only would I take a job from Tesla, if any company in the Bay Area would hire me, I would take it. I only got so far as submitting my resume to Tesla.

I know the Bay Area is expensive but we've been able to get by just fine without a 6 figure salary. Traffic can be mitigated with an EV for solo HOV access.

I also agree that having Tesla on your resume will give you an advantage in the future. I have been to a few interviews where they'll say, "oh wow, you used to work at BigNameCompany." I was miserable and didn't even last a year at BigNameCompany but it was the best thing I could've done for my career.
Agreed. The advantage given to having worked at bignamecompany is strange but true. I’d almost view 2-3 years at Tesla as free grad school. I worked at a big name firm and hated my life for 2 years but it certainly paid off. It helped me land my next job and subsequent ones as well.

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