Posting Date: July 11, 2002
UI Designer Position -- "Google is looking for a candidate with a strong background in interface design. As UI Designer, you will work with engineers and product managers to design highly usable interfaces that adhere to Google's commitment to the best possible user experience."
Sounds great and all, but who wants to live in Mountain View, California?
Don't settle. Find an employer situated in a nice, liveable community, or insist on telecommuting, or, hey, work for yourself.
I'm one of those silly people who believes that where you live is more important than where you work... but in today's world, with our tech skills, we can have both!
I live in a beautiful, rural community. My 10 minute commute subjects me to barn studded pastures, ocean views and forested hillsides.
I work for one of the few major employers in the area. The local government economic development folk would love to lure a tech company, but they can't comprehend the concept of corporate handouts.
The rest of my compadres do contract work across the country, or telecommute to the silicon valley. The latter group only has to travel a few times a year to that place "where the air stinks and the people are mean." (That's a quote from a friend's son who prefers to stay home when daddy travels.)
I agree. Unfortunately there aren't as many "understanding" employers as there could be.
I don't understand why more employers aren't taking advantage of telecommuting? Sounds like an opportunity for some entrepreneur to start a web board of telecommuting-friendly companies?
To be fair, most of my telecommuting compadres first worked at the companies for 6 months to 2 years before requesting a telecommuting arrangement. I just couldn't stomach putting up with a big city that long. Two years of my life just isn't worth it.
I thought you were in print media, Jack? What DO you do anyway? And where do you work?
As post-dot-com transplant to bay area, I feel an urge to defend it. I do enjoy living here.
I did live in the mid-west for 2 years and the people were extrememly friendly, but I was really bored there as a young person.
There are always a trade offs.
Oliver, I actively work in both media. I am classically trained for print media. I am worldly trained for web.
PB, it's a matter of personal taste. I enjoy being surrounded by natural beauty - from my house window, my car window, my work window. I enjoy a cool coastal climate. I enjoy owning a home that my compadres tell me would cost me upwards of $500K to $900K in the Bay Area. I enjoy living 10 minutes from my workplace. I enjoy working in a town with no traffic and no stop lights. I enjoy my wife asking me before we leave the house, "Want to walk or drive?" (and not being concerned for our safety when walking anywhere).
I cannot stand life in a Big City. I see an artificial environment made of cement. That's me.
Sure, I am giving up: #1 the sun, on most days. #2 diverse entertainment venues (music, plays, etc.) and #3 diverse brick 'n' mortar shopping options. These are my neighbors' top three complaints. Oh, and a lack of good coffee shops, although I disagree on that point. And, it's darn tough finding a good paying job here, unless you telecommute.
Some transplants grow tired after a couple years and return to the city. For a lot of people, maybe you too, the conveniences of metropolitan life take precedence. That's OK.