I want to get on my own two feet. I need a plan of attack.
December 13, 2012 3:40 PM   Subscribe

The Short: I'm a single young adult with a college degree and student loan debt. I live in a sterile small city with limited job prospects. I want to move out and get an entry-level or temporary job in a coastal U.S. city (NYC, LA, SF, Seattle). Please walk me through the logistics and help me devise a plan, as well as offer any advice you have on making it on your own in a new city (essentially, how to be an independent, self-sufficient adult).

The Long: ("Special snowflake" details below)

I'm 24 years old. I graduated from a prestigious university in California (USC) two years ago with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Musical Studies (Piano Performance). I've had a string of temporary jobs in NYC since I finished school. I'm a few months unemployed (not collecting benefits; STILL required to pay a minimum of $400/month in private student loans). Due to financial duress, I moved in with my parents in a sterile planned suburb in Nevada where they just moved a year ago (a move that fortunately worked out for them and is the principal reason I'm not struggling to stay afloat).

However, job opportunities are exceptionally scarce here. The best way to visualize where I live now is to imagine a neighborhood in The Sims, a planned residential community where anything you could possibly need is within a few minutes' reach (big box stores, shopping malls, supermarkets, and outlets are all only a few miles away). It's incredibly peaceful here, but stultifying and devoid of culture. The few friends who have visited me here agree that this is not at all a place conducive to my personal or professional growth. I want to move on with my life, and I hate to sound defeatist, but being here longer than I have to be only makes me feel more and more stuck.

Registering with temp agencies here, going in person to apply for minimum wage positions at the local rec centers, libraries, supermarkets, going to malls and filling out paper applications for retail positions, applying online to positions at Costco, filling out questionnaires in job kiosks at Target and JC Penney, replying to posts and advertising my services on craigslist have all yielded jack squat. And the city government jobs that I have applied for are all hiring for the summer.

*Before anyone asks, I should add that I've gone to alumni networking events in my area, and investigated online income streams like TextBroker (I'm a level 4 writer) and Mechanical Turk, but as someone trying to develop a grounded career, I don't regard these as primary options for making a living.

I don't intend on staying here for another 6 months. At all. Hell, if I could move TOMORROW, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Seeing as how imprudent and impractical that is, I'm convinced that the best thing to do for my career and overall well-being is to apply for work in other cities (which I am still in the process of doing) where I have connections.

The four cities I'm targeting, in order of preference:

1. NYC -- most of my professional network is here. I have friends and family here. I grew up and lived here for most of my life and last had a temporary teaching gig this past summer. It was not too difficult for me to get acclimated again to the atmosphere. I was not able to afford an apartment of my own, and had a very complicated, stressful living situation (please do not inquire for further details). I admit if I had been more proactive while in the city, I might have secured a job that would have allowed me to stay. Soon after my teaching gig ended, I decided to move in with my parents in NV to save what little $ I had left, and to see if I could get some temporary work in my neighborhood while I pondered my next move. This has been going on for almost 3 months now. I've expended my savings on my monthly student loan payments (which I CANNOT defer because I have private student loans, gah).

2. Seattle -- one of my closest friends lives here and loves it. Some other old college friends live here. Pretty much everyone I know who has lived in or visited Seattle has positive things to say about it. My only concerns are the "Seattle Freeze" and the persistently drizzly, gloomy weather for 3/4 of the year. I would love to work in Seattle and give living there a shot.

3. San Francisco -- I have family here, and I made a handful of connections with people when I visited this past year. I loved the city when I visited; it reminded me of a smaller, more relaxed, less crowded version of New York City... only just as expensive.

4. Los Angeles -- most of my close friends live here (we frequently stay in touch), my alma mater is in the heart of LA, and I had many of the best moments of my life while living in Los Angeles. I've explored most of the city and had the privilege of doing some pretty awesome things that I know I'd only ever be able to experience in LA. I have memories and friendships that will last me a lifetime. I love the diversity of culture and activity in LA, and I wouldn't mind living there, but over the past couple of years, I've grown to appreciate being in a city where I can get around without depending so much on a car (I got around much of DTLA, Culver City, Venice Beach, Silver Lake, and even South Pasadena by bike when I was living in LA a year ago, but I also learned how difficult it is to get around without a car). I've taken public transportation in LA -- the buses, the Red Line, the Gold Line -- a number of times, and as a New Yorker, I was actually impressed by the speed (and enamored with the price) of the service, but I sense it'll still be some time before public transit in LA will be a reasonable way for me to commute to work. Since I don't own a car and can't afford one, moving to Los Angeles is at the bottom of my list, though it is the closest city to where I live (I can get there by Megabus, which was recently resurrected).

I have connections and friends in all four cities (obviously, I live closer to the last 3). I've informed the people I know in those cities that I'm looking for work and that I'm VERY WILLING to relocate. Relocating is just as big a priority for me as is locating a job. At this point, it doesn't matter what job I get, as long as it pays enough to allow me to live in the city and then expand my network, hence the reason some friends think I'm "lowballing" when I tell them I'm applying for administrative positions (which I think will at least help me get my foot in the door, and work my way up) and not analyst/managerial positions that I'm not sure I'm qualified for. I'm willing to temp for an indefinite length of time and hopefully transition into a more permanent job in a growth industry from there. And I'm serious about not minding the kind of work I do. I was a middle school/high school math/reading/writing instructor this past summer in NYC, which was a stressful but enjoyable experience, and the kind of experience I'd like to have more of in my 20s. I'm healthy, I'm ambitious, I work hard, I learn fast, I love to work with people, I've got credentials, I'm willing to work whatever hours are required of me... I just want an opportunity to prove myself and get a job!

When I was still soul-searching, I had a lot of different ideas for "dream jobs" (I still do, of course), but over time, I've realized that I needed to narrow down my career options so I can tell people at networking events or through email definitively what I'm looking to do. For what it's worth, I'd like to be a project manager or a business analyst in the tech industry (at least I think I do... seriously, how many people know exactly what the hell they want to do with their lives at my age?). I have a handful of project management and programming texts and eBooks, and I recently started reading Java and programming in Eclipse just to get a basic familiarity with the language. I chat pretty regularly with friends online who keep me in the loop on things I need to learn and what they do at work, etc. I've compiled a list of skills that I'll eventually need to learn to be competent in the field, filled up entire notebooks with thoughts, lists, and plans of extracurricular and community activities, hobbies (I'm fortunate and appreciative to have and carry out so many different interests), personal projects, etc. But these are all long-term plans... and while I'm sure they will all advance my career and life in immeasurable ways, they're still not as much a priority for me as actually GETTING a job. These are all things I feel I'll squeeze into my schedule when I have the backbone of a stable job to work around. Nonetheless, with all the time I have in the world now, I am devoting a good chunk of my day towards developing and honing those skills, which I hope will (but realize might not) help me down the line.

I get frustrated from time to time, but for the most part I stay optimistic and keep my head in a good place. I eat and sleep healthily, I exercise almost daily, and I try to keep my mind sharp. Escapism isn't for me. I keep track of my time pretty well, and I do the things I love (play piano, basketball, etc.) daily. I don't need meds, I don't get depressed, and I'm generally a pretty happy guy. I worry much less than I used to, and even when I get bored, I find ways to keep myself busy and use my time resourcefully. I deal with the occasional drama at home decently well. I have to say I'm very lucky, and very thankful. But I don't like to be complacent; it makes me restless, and it makes me feel like I'm wasting the energy building up inside of me. I'm excited and anxious every day about the prospects of moving, and I would be lying if I didn't say that was my main source of motivation. I just can't wait to get out. My only "network" here is the group of passing acquaintances I play basketball with each week, many of whom are still in school. My friends all live in the cities I listed above, and I keep in touch with them via phone, Skype, Facebook, GChat, AIM, etc. I feel like an extrovert under house arrest! I don't know how I've been able to keep my spirits up, but I sure as hell hope I can build on the emotional fortitude I've developed over the past few years, even when I get a job that takes a substantial chunk out of my day.

Anyway, while I'm sending out applications and emails and cover letters and resumes and reference requests, how do I put myself in the best position for getting a job in a different city? I'm talking entry-level jobs here, too, as someone who graduated from college two years ago and has a little work experience, with no real hard skills to put down, other than basic Microsoft Office skills and the ability to type at 120 WPM with 99% accuracy? What should I be looking for to start out? I'm happy to email my resume for review. My background was mostly in arts administration at nonprofits, where I did a lot of correspondence work, marketing, a fair amount of writing/editing, administrative tasks, etc. It's an industry I wouldn't mind working in again, but not the only industry I'm looking at.

Then... how do I find a place to stay when I get an offer, especially when I have to make a decision quickly? Besides asking a friend for a place to crash for a while, which seems to me the only real solution... do I have many other options? Subleasing, hostels, craigslist, Padmapper... I'm under the impression that I won't be able to sign a lease until I have proof of income or am able to put down a security deposit or rent for the first month; is that pretty standard?

Also, when I relocate, I will be flying with a couple of suitcases and a backpack with my computer, clothes, and other essentials... how exactly do I get settled in a new city? Borrow money to buy cheap furniture off craigslist while staying at a friend's or subleasing a furnished apartment? I don't have a whole lot of stuff, and I don't need much at all. I've lived out of suitcases several times, and in 50 sq foot windowless cellar rooms that were meant to be closets for months at a time. I'm pretty minimalist if I say so myself.

What documentation should I make sure to bring with me? General checklists of things to do before/after moving, and what to bring with me are most welcome.

What else do I need to account for? My budget indicates I can live reasonably comfortably making $15/hour at 40 hours a week. I could afford to live off of less. I live below my means. I'm prepared to and would prefer to live with roommates. I've lived on my own for long stretches of time every year for the past half decade. I don't have health insurance. I don't have dental insurance. I don't have ANY insurance. I haven't had a physical in 5 years. Bad, I know, and something I intend on rectifying immediately when I get my shit together.

Also, just throwing this out there--given my circumstances, should I direct my search more towards the West Coast, or try again in NYC?

Asking these questions feels silly to me, since these are things I've managed to deal with successfully living in off-campus housing for several years in Los Angeles (then again, my loans helped with the finances and my friends helped with the logistics), and I realize I'm likely overcomplicating things, but damn, someone knock some sense into me as I'm trying to wrap my head around things?

Assume I want to move by the beginning of March, at the latest. How can I make that happen? Please don't convince me to try and make things work where I live. I'm not against short-term, temporary work here (which I don't have luck getting right now), but I'm focused on GETTING OUT, ASAP, and I need advice on logistics. Anything you can advise me on as it pertains to my particular situation would be greatly appreciated. Assume I have enough money for a flight, food, miscellaneous expenses, basic stuff, etc.

Sorry this was so long! Thank you for your help!

TL; DR: I want to get a job and place in another city. Need advice doing this.
posted by matticulate to Work & Money (19 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
If it were me, I would use a friend's local address on the applications and your resume and try to get an AmeriCorps job in the city you most desire.

To supplement the AmeriCorps money, the in-person tutoring market in NYC is mostly limited to long subway rides for $12-$15 an hour. So no. BUT try online tutoring. Brainfuse is one legit option. Not enough hours to make a whole living, but certainly an OK, stress-free supplement.
posted by skbw at 3:51 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Obviously this requires sharing a place and then some. Depending on your exact debt load you may or may not be able to make it work. But if your priority is getting out, followed by a year's stable employment, then it's a superior option to a temp agency (which market is also flat).
posted by skbw at 3:53 PM on December 13, 2012

Good suggestion on AmeriCorps and on using a friend's address, but if you really want to get out, why not just go?

If you've got any friends in any of these cities willing to put you up for a bit, take advantage of it. Figuring out what network you can draw on should probably be the biggest factor in your location decision.

Larger cities have much better temp markets, and hitting the agencies up can be a fast way to get work.

You'll probably have to find roommates once you've got enough for a deposit, since most cities don't have housing cheap enough to support single occupancy on temp wages. You are not likely to have enough money to sublease a furnished place. Cheap stuff from CL or consignment is the way to go.

Good luck! You can do it. And really, what have you got to lose? The way you describe your current position, it's not actually going to cost you much more than travel expenses to make the move. You're not leaving a job. You're not leaving a city you love. You're not going so far you'll never see your family again. GTFO!
posted by asperity at 4:02 PM on December 13, 2012

Sounds like what you need is:
1. a couch to crash on for a month with a mailbox to use
2. a restaurant gig
3. a daytime temp job

Which will lead to:
1. money
2. enough money to quit one job
3. time to find singular "legit" job
4. end goal - freedom!

Depending on your time frame for end goal the cards may be stacked against you. If you want this all to happen in the next 5 years, I'd consider cheaper cities. (Philadelphia can be cheap)
posted by WeekendJen at 4:05 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

All of these places are very expensive places to live. In New York and San Francisco, you wouldn't need a car. But in Seattle, you can rent a room fairly easily for $500 (maybe less, depending on what you're willing to put up with). I've seen people rent out smaller spaces for $350 with all utilities included, but it's literally a closet under the stairs. Still, if you CAN get a $15/hour full time job, you're solid. (My boyfriend made that when we first started dating and had a pretty good standard of living.)

Budget - Budget for increased cost of living. Housing is expensive. Food is expensive (groceries and eating out). Parking is expensive. A night out is expensive. In Seattle, at least electricity is cheap, but that's about it. In an ideal world, you have at least 3 months' budget saved up, including moving costs.

Most people who are looking for roommates would be appeased with just a signed work contract. They'll be willing to split the deposit over several months (or waive it altogether). But yes, you still need first month's rent. Maybe you can couch surf or pet sit for a while? (MeMail me if you decide to move to Seattle, and I'll see if we have space for you to couch surf.)

Are your parents doing well? Maybe you can ask them to cover your student loan payments until you find a real job (and then pay them back).

I live in Seattle, and I know there's this idea of "Seattle Freeze", but a lot of it is that (a) there is an unusually large number of introverts in Seattle and (b) a lot of people here already have a full social plate. For example, I have had 4 (!!) social things to do--not counting going out to a play with my partner--in the last week. In my ideal world, I probably go out about twice a week, including the play. So depending on what your social needs are, it might take you a while to make enough friends for you to be happy.

As for how to get furniture. If you don't really care about looks, thrift stores have cheap furniture. You can also get a lot on Freecycle, but you have to be quick and also have a vehicle to pick it up. Seattle, at least, has a bustling Freecycle community. Otherwise, go to yard sales and the like for very cheap furniture (remember to haggle!).

So for things to do by March: Apply for jobs in all these cities. Save up money. And if you have anything you're not bringing, sell it. Sign up for couch surfing and join various groups on it for the cities you're interested in.

(I have a friend who just up and moved from Arkansas. She moved to Seattle for the kink community, and immediately made a lot of friends by attending a whole bunch of events. It hasn't been easy, but she went from couch surfing to house sitting to now being an apartment manager. The stress also get her very sick, though, and she's had to pay for that out of pocket, which was not nice.)
posted by ethidda at 4:05 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Either get 4 Google Voice numbers (you need 4 gmail accounts for this) or get four prepaid burner phones and set them up for each of those cities. Use a local number and no address, just "Seattle, WA" etc* on your resume.

*There is no reason to put your street address on a resume. They don't need to know what street you live on!

See if you can get a job that way first. When asked, say you're moving to their city on the upcoming first/15th of the month and you can get a temp job with a friend's dad if you don't find something else, but you were really hoping to be starting a real position instead.

If that doesn't work, you may have to pick a city, secure a floor to flop on, pack a duffel bag, and go pound pavement for a week or two.

You don't need furniture until you live somewhere. If you need something like a shikibuton or futon while you're floor-surfing, that'll also suffice for a bed when you move into your own residence. You don't actually need furniture to survive, and you're not going to be able to live in any of those cities alone on an entry-level wage, so expect you'll end up with a roommate who has a couch and table. Until then, take as little with you as you feasibly can until you are living somewhere secure and private enough that your stuff won't be stolen.

Generally people need photo ID and a social security card to get a job.

Go. Just go. Don't wait for conditions to be absolutely perfect, because they never will be. As long as you are a relatively stable person - which you sound like - and you aren't inclined to take drugs from strangers - which you don't sound like - you will probably land on your feet. You may skid across a whole lot of ramen and a few shithole rental rooms before you do, but you'll get traction soon enough.

If you're really struggling to decide which city to choose, get yourself a random-number-generating device (dartboard, web-based, whatever), give yourself four options, name each one after a city, and pull the trigger. When a selection is made, are you secretly happy or sad? Continue until clarity arrives.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:45 PM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Moving to SF seems crazy. Such a high cost of living! Seattle seems more manageable.

Personally, I would be looking at smaller regional cities with strong economies, like Portland or Austin (not really a smaller city). It's worth pointing out that California's economy has declined over the past 5 years because the economy is so bad.

When I first arrived in Japan in 1994 I found myself staying in the boonies, far far far away from the bigger urban centres with lots of work. When I had interviews, the companies told me to call them when I moved there.

However, I persisted, and found a job nearby. A few months later I researched every single employer in my field in the region (100 km radius), and made phone call after phone call. One of the companies I called hired me, and I have stayed connected to the town where I found my job for nearly 20 years.

So it can be done. But trying hard for 8 hours a day is one way to get results.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:52 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just a few pieces of info for San Francisco. Transit is good but somewhat slow. You can get passes for Muni for $62/month or $72/month if you use BART in the city. Otherwise it's $2 each way. If you're a resident of the city itself you may qualify for Healthy San Francisco which would give you access to health case if you live in the city. My workplace has interns. Generally they've been able to find night / retail jobs. I believe their shared housing rents have been between $800-$1000/month but they may not have had the connections or time to shop around more. I've seen people get great housing deals via alumni lists.
posted by oneear at 4:54 PM on December 13, 2012

Move to Los Angeles. It's the closest to where you are now, which means less complicated relocation, less to potentially go wrong, and an easy return to Nevada if needed/as needed. As a USC grad, you should be able to leverage alumni connections and career center access to get leads on jobs. Additionally, any other city is going to be difficult to the point of impossibility to relocate to before March, simply due to the logistics of moving cross-country. Trust me on this -- I just did it.

Get a low level service job at first (barista, waiting tables, retail, whatever). Ideally somewhere you could bike to from a friend's apartment where you crash at first. Get a car. I just moved from New York to Los Angeles on a shoestring and managed to figure the car thing out. Does driving sometimes kind of suck? Sure. But there were plenty of times relying on public transit in New York sucked. I think you're over-romanticizing the public transit thing and putting too much emphasis on something that should be an outlying factor.

In my opinion you don't need to arrive in your chosen city with job in hand (and you won't get one, anyway, unless they fly you in for an interview) -- especially if you have friends in each city that you can crash with until you figure out something more stable.

A word on living situation, especially since you touch on this in your question -- plan to have roommates at first. If you find an apartment you can afford, great! But if not, having roommates is going to make this all a lot easier. There's pretty much no way you can move to a major US city with no money and no job and expect to have your own apartment. It's just not going to happen, and if you wait for it to happen you'll be living in Nevada till you're 80.

Furniture? Dude, you are not even remotely ready to start thinking about furniture. You don't even know what city you want to buy furniture in. Table stuff like that until you are weeks away from moving.
posted by Sara C. at 5:11 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you're interested in SF do what I did and moved to Oakland instead, you can always move to the city after you get established and have leads through friends on apartments or jobs. It's like a less dense version of Brooklyn, except rent is not astronomical. I live downtown in a huge live/work space for $1100 and I'm a block from a BART station (15-20 minutes to downtown SF - way faster than taking Muni across the city!). Most of my friends have roommates and pay 400-700ish, and it's about 50/50 on car ownership. The weather is amazing and it seems like the tech companies are always hiring, large and small.

I moved out here with 2 boxes of stuff, a dog, a mattress, and no job prospects right after the recession hit in 2008. I got a sublet in Oakland for $650 and pounded pavement, it was hard and lonely for about a year or so but I would do it again any day.
posted by bradbane at 5:39 PM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've lived in all four places, and love different things about each. I don't think you can go too wrong here. Even in NY or SF, there are affordable apartments to be found (outside Manhattan or in the East Bay). Find a friend to stay with while you job-hunt. You could go somewhere in a more exploratory way- just show up with a suitcase, and say you're going to give finding a job a try- rather than saying that you're definitely going to stay. If you have a friend who'd let you crash for a little while, that is. Couchsurfing might also work, though I'd personally find that stressful.

If you considered jobs in LA, you might be able to more easily set up interviews and make the trip while still staying with your parents. Public transit can work there. I lived near the Vermont/Sunset subway stop in Silverlake and commuted downtown, and it was easy. You have to be strategic about your apt-hunting once you've found a job, but it's possible.

If you're interested in tech, SF seems to make the most sense (more than NYC, despite the growth of startups in NYC).
posted by three_red_balloons at 5:54 PM on December 13, 2012

If you want to be in the tech industry as a project manager, you should work on getting in the tech industry first! If you have admin experience in arts organizations, that will help you get a job as an administrative assistant or office manager in any of the million tech startups popping up around LA or SF. You can also consider customer support, and other similar entry level positions.

When you get an offer, you move immediately, and crash with a friend, and use your first paycheck(which will arrive in 2 weeks) as your proof of income to sign a lease on an apartment. It is not difficult to get an apartment in LA or SF, obviously you know it's harder in NY.

Do not worry about furniture yet. You can survive in LA without a car until you have enough paychecks to get one.
posted by sawdustbear at 5:57 PM on December 13, 2012

I don't know if this is legitimate, but here's an ad on Craigslist for a free room in exchange for building management.
posted by three_red_balloons at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2012

Have you thoroughly investigated the offerings of your college network? It looks like USC has offerings such as "Trojans hiring Trojans" and an alum directory. Take advantage of "the network" (this is not exactly the same thing as networking).

Would you consider nannying? Would you consider other cities?
posted by oceano at 8:55 PM on December 13, 2012

I read your question to my husband over breakfast this morning and he asked me to post the following on his behalf:

I am a recruiter and specialize specifically in IT Assurance work, which it sounds like you're looking to get into. The Big 4 Public Accounting firms are starving for people right now. With your background and what you're looking to get into, look out for an IT Audit Staff position. The title is either "Associate" or "Consultant" depending on the firm. Check Deloitte and Touche, Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG. You can really work in any major city and will get to travel all over the world if you request those projects. The starting salary is between 50-60k depending on how well you interview and how much they feel they can utilize your talent. If you spend 3-5 years there, you can write your own ticket to any industry position you want, doing exactly what you're looking for. It is an incredibly stable field and in around 7 years, you should be earning around 6 figures. Not many fields will get you there that quickly. Good luck!

Feel free to memail me to discuss in more detail.
posted by House of Leaves of Grass at 4:23 AM on December 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Just as an aside, what I thought I would see mentioned already but don't--$15/hr. for 40 hrs./wk is a hell of a tall order for NYC right now. I am not saying impossible, just that it's not as straightforward-after-rigorous-thorough-search as you might think. I believe, for example, that I could get such a job in my hometown (almost as boring as yours) a lot easier than I could in NYC.

Now, a career-track job, which is of course what you want, is another matter. You may or may not be able to get one. But a tide-me-over-get-my-head-together job is a challenge. Which is why I suggest AmeriCorps.

What the guy said above--check out the alumni network ONLINE (the official one via the career services office) specifically. If you have friends in your destination place that would "lend" you their online network for a specific position, try that. For example, I was able to find some nice people to email for a friend who was looking for a job at a place like, let's say, Deloitte. This was a very close friend. I found a few Deloitte people and said "hey, guys, I'm class of xx, I wonder if you could spare a second for my super-old friend who's about to apply."

Good luck!
posted by skbw at 6:35 AM on December 14, 2012

Side note re: comment above...having hired in NYC for several different entry- and mid-level jobs, a resume with no street address SCREAMS "I am relocating from God only knows where."

The resume you post on your placeholder website, on the open internet, doesn't (shouldn't) have an address, but the one you send to an actual human, of course it has. People want to see that, for example, they're not hiring someone with a 2-hour subway commute. I myself have said in cover letters, "well, you see I'm now living in Jackson Hts., but I'm looking to relocate to Far Rockaway soon to be closer to my partner," etc.. Whether or not that is true!
posted by skbw at 6:46 AM on December 14, 2012

Here's a crazy idea.

AT&T has Leadership Development programs in

Human Resources

These are full-time jobs. You get 5 months of intensive training (in Atlanta or Dallas) then you'll be relocated to a regular job (you'll get some input on that.)

Good money, a but uptight corporate structure, but a very good name on the old resume.

I worked for 'the phone company' in one manner or another for 25 years. I was 'bought out' in 2008. It's a great opportunity for a recent grad.

Even if you think you'll hate sales (and I did it for years, it's not what you think) you'll love the training and mentorship you'll get from AT&T.

BellSouth paid for my MBA. So I'm here to tell you. It's a thing.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:30 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I will echo what KokoRyu is saying - the cities you've chosen are the cities that everyone and their cousin are choosing, and therefore they are the hardest ones to make a go of it in. Back in the old days, our parents used to buy what we called "starter houses." Have you considered a "starter city?" Go to the midwest for a few years, build yourself a nice, juicy resume full of awesome experience, and then return to the city of your dreams. It can be done. The jobs are easier to come by, and the pay will be better, and the housing far cheaper. I did this, and I haven't regretted it one bit. I'm in a much better position for retirement and my savings are far larger, and financially I'm far more comfortable because I was able to secure an ideal job in a less than ideal city, rather than the other way around. Those folks are also more likely to pay relocation or hire from out of town, for the very same reasons.
posted by backwards compatible at 3:56 PM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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