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Potential Move to Seattle - Tell Me About the Job Market

witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
edited January 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm considering potentially relocating to the Seattle area in the next few months for personal reasons. Before making any decisions, I wanted to get a good idea of the employment opportunities in the area, including what my commute might look like to various parts of the greater Seattle area. While currently I'm a program manager (non-IT) for a large non-profit health plan in the bay area, I'm interested in hearing about both the health care and the general job market. I would most likely be living somewhere between Seattle and Shoreline.

My initial internet search has suggest that Seattle, Bothell, and Mountlake Terrace might be some of the locations that I could find employment.

Any thoughts from those in the area or who have made a similar move are appreciated. Normally, I know the best way about this would be to obtain a job in the area first and then move - unfortunately, it may need to be the other way around for me.

witch_ie on

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    DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2011
    I have to wonder why you would have to move here without having a job, because that's definitely what you should avoid if at all possible. Unless you have a significant amount of saving to bankroll you through a potentially extended period of unemployment.

    Druhim on
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    Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Druhim wrote: »
    I have to wonder why you would have to move here without having a job, because that's definitely what you should avoid if at all possible. Unless you have a significant amount of saving to bankroll you through a potentially extended period of unemployment.

    It's kind of ridiculous these days to assume that you could get a job offer before living in a place. Jobs are tight. What the OP is doing is the right thing, find out about the job market as best you can, move there, look for work.

    Regina Fong on
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    DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2011
    Druhim wrote: »
    I have to wonder why you would have to move here without having a job, because that's definitely what you should avoid if at all possible. Unless you have a significant amount of saving to bankroll you through a potentially extended period of unemployment.

    It's kind of ridiculous these days to assume that you could get a job offer before living in a place. Jobs are tight. What the OP is doing is the right thing, find out about the job market as best you can, move there, look for work.

    Um, it's precisely because the job market is so tight that it's very risky moving without having one lined up. Yes, it is usually easier to find a job if you live here, but that's absolutely not a guarantee. He has to be realistic about how long he can afford to live here without a job, because it's entirely possible in this market that he'll be unemployed for an extended period.

    For example, Usagi moved here from the east coast but it took about a year of us dating long distance and her looking for a job before she had one lined up. But that means she didn't get out here and risk being unemployed for six months.

    Druhim on
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Seattle is one of the worst places in the county to look for a job. Not counting Detroit.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
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    zenpotatozenpotato Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Seattle is one of the worst places in the county to look for a job. Not counting Detroit.

    Detroit's not that awful. The problem in Detroit isn't the lack of jobs-- it's the lack of skilled workers and jobs for non-skilled workers.

    zenpotato on
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    DanMachDanMach Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    While I admire the guts of moving to another city and just hoping you find a job.. let me share with you my experience of doing the same(sort of):

    21 & leaving home. Birdy has to fly! A good friend of mine lives in a city about a 3 hour drive away. We were talking at a party once and she asked me to move in. Her boyfriend(my friend) didn't want her to live alone, so in august I moved down there. Here is what I had:

    1400$
    A truck
    My brother(who also lives there)

    So I got to looking for jobs.. took me a month before I had even 1 job offer, its pay was crap and the work sucked... but I was real low on $$ so I agreed to do it. 3 months later I was laid off and back where I started. Instead though, I now had some debt because I had spent a bit on the CC. I ended up moving again a few months later to a new city where I had a job lined up. I kept that job for 31 months and friday is my last day at it. I am moving to another job(in the same city).

    Moral of this story? Moving to another city without a job lined up is scary, but it is your life. See if you have any old friends who live in Seattle now, or even near by. Save up enough cash to pay the 6 months rent upfront in cash. That alone will give you a huge boost in feeling safe and secure.

    Good luck, god speed, and enjoy the adventure you silly goose.

    DanMach on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    witch_ie wrote: »
    I'm considering potentially relocating to the Seattle area in the next few months for personal reasons. Before making any decisions, I wanted to get a good idea of the employment opportunities in the area, including what my commute might look like to various parts of the greater Seattle area. While currently I'm a program manager (non-IT) for a large non-profit health plan in the bay area, I'm interested in hearing about both the health care and the general job market. I would most likely be living somewhere between Seattle and Shoreline.

    My initial internet search has suggest that Seattle, Bothell, and Mountlake Terrace might be some of the locations that I could find employment.

    Any thoughts from those in the area or who have made a similar move are appreciated. Normally, I know the best way about this would be to obtain a job in the area first and then move - unfortunately, it may need to be the other way around for me.
    Well, PA is looking for a project manager for Child's Play, which seems to be at least in the vicinity of up your alley. The application deadline was a couple days ago, but you might be able to to slip it in, if you ask Khoo about it. Other than that, I know nothing about the Seattle job market, other than that it's a bad idea to move before having something solid lined up.

    Tofystedeth on
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I appreciate the responses. The reason I might be moving without a job lined up is that my significant other is looking into job opportunities in the area, with a good chance of receiving an offer; with one of us employed, living expenses won't be an issue. It's also not entirely decided that we will make the move, but want to understand what we're getting ourselves into before making any decisions.

    I did see the listing for Child's Play the night before the applications were due, and while I think it would be awesome to work in the PA environment or even to just go through the interview process, the job isn't quite right for me based on its description and my skill set. I also don't want to waste anyone's time as it's not a certainty that I'll be moving to the Seattle area as of yet.

    Based on what's out there and my admittedly ridiculous standards for how I would like to spend my working hours, I'm estimating it may take me as long as a year to find another position that I will enjoy at least as much as my current one.

    Thanks again for all the responses and keep them coming.

    witch_ie on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Well that changes a lot of things. I'm doing that myself. My wife got a job right outside New York City and is currently living up there, and I'm looking for a job while wrapping things up down here. I'm staying at my current job to save money (since making some money and spending more than usual on living expenses is still better than making nothing) and applying for things around the new apartment.

    Most any city will have job opportunities, so it's better than moving to Branson MO or Butte MT. Yes, you will have to likely change careers slightly, and you might have to "settle" for the short term as far as job satisfaction goes. You're also not tied to a particular employer forever, though -- you might have better luck if you apply for a wider variety of positions and then, once you're working, continuing the job hunt.

    But yeah, this is less "I want to randomly move somewhere, are there jobs" and more "I will be following a signficant other and want to continue working in some fashion." Yes, of course there are jobs in Seattle.

    EggyToast on
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    witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Huh, interesting. The idea of doubling living expenses for a period of time hadn't occured to me. If we do decide to move, that will give us another option for the transition. Thanks!

    witch_ie on
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    finralfinral Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'm currently unemployed living in Seattle, know several other unemployed folks here. The job market here is really tough right now. This isn't to say there aren't jobs available, there is just a huge amount of competition for ever position. I know talked to people involved in the hiring process, and they say they regularly receive more than 100 applications for an open position. This isn't to say it is impossible to get a job, its just that you need to have stellar qualifications or be willing to be very patient. Good luck out there!

    finral on
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    UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Do you have a BA/MA? How many years of experience in program management do you have? Do you have a PMI cert?

    Those are things that many large/medium manufacturing companies are looking for, I can't speak for the health care industry. There are definitely jobs here, they're just very specific about what qualifications they're looking for. And lots of competition: for a recent proposal writer position at my company, we had 20-30 applicants of which we interviewed five - all of whom had almost 20 years of experience.

    I'd start searching now for what you might be interested in, even if you don't decide to move right away you'll be getting your resume in front of people who will remember you for the future.

    Usagi on
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    JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    zenpotato wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Seattle is one of the worst places in the county to look for a job. Not counting Detroit.

    Detroit's not that awful. The problem in Detroit isn't the lack of jobs-- it's the lack of skilled workers and jobs for non-skilled workers.
    It's just about the exact opposite of that situation in Seattle, if it's anything like it was when I left a couple years ago - there are probably decent jobs, but there are going to be two dozen specifically skilled and qualified people applying for each and every one of them. I'd definitely encourage the OP to job search and then relocate; it's almost impossible to tell how long a search will go on these days, even if you are well qualified.

    JihadJesus on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    So, for another perspective:

    I decided to move here in April, booked a flight in mid-May, and actually drove my Honda Civic with all my stuff in it up on July 1. I had six months of living expenses saved up, plus enough to furnish my apartment and get those initial high-cost things done.

    Most of the first few jobs I picked up were temp jobs, and most of the interviews I had wanted me to start, like, the next day. The job I have now I interviewed for, and they called me back an hour later to ask if I could start at noon (this was at about 10:00).

    Being able to start right away is a huge plus, and it sounds like you can cover living expenses for awhile, so I would suggest moving now rather than later. The market was a bit better back when I got this job, but I was unemployed at one point for a good six months.

    Thanatos on
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    MercedCGMercedCG Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    What I learned about moving to a city without a job lined up is that looking for a job becomes your job. If you don't honestly spend your time looking for connections, contacting people, applying everywhere that looks promising, and following up you won't get a good job offer. There is a ton of competition for jobs right now, but there are still openings out there. Just be determined.

    Worst case scenario, Seattle is a good city to find work in food-service (restaurants). Servers there make minimum wage, $8.55 per hour (highest in the country), PLUS tips. Plus, restaurants are always looking for help, as food-service is a high turnover industry. If you don't mind working at night, and at a fast pace for a couple of hours at a time, serving can pay very well.

    MercedCG on
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