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Old 05-15-2017, 05:51 PM
Location: Nashville
3,535 posts, read 4,636,532 times
Reputation: 4593


I've recently been thrown back onto the job market after losing the business I help build and run for the last 15 years. I am a software developer with over 16+ years of experience in the industry, but my weakness is lack of web and algorithm knowledge. I'm spending the next year studying very hard to prepare myself for the rigorous software interviews. I moved back to Seattle with the hope I could quickly land an IT job but after flunking my Microsoft and a few other interviews I see I have a lot of preparation before I can land one of these desirable senior software jobs. Non-senior jobs in Seattle seem almost non-existent and most don't even consider me as they feel I am overqualified or my lack of open source web technologies do not seem appealing.

Basically, I am struggling. The cost of living in Seattle is astronomical and my savings are being depleted fast. I am thinking while I still have some savings and tax forms (from last year showing income) that I would like to find a place to live where I can study and prepare for job interviews and even find some part-time work. In Seattle, it seems you either get top paying triple digit software jobs or you are offered minimum wage jobs like Uber or Meat packing plants. There is no in between. In a city where studio apartments average $1,400 a month, minimum wage jobs , even at $15/hr just a complete waste of time and do not help supplement your income at all. I'm eventually planning on starting my own business, but until I am more stable and have improved my web development skills I am going to need to study and find some non-software work (as software jobs are extremely rigorous in hiring process) to supplement my income.

I am hearing Dallas has one of the most booming economies and is very tech friendly city. It appears there are also quite a few jobs for .Net developers according to my search from Indeed. I'd rather not be stuck out in some boring suburb, but I would happy as long as I am within commutable distance to Fort Worth or Dallas, where there is some type of city atmosphere and has activities for non-married/single person. For the first year I move to the Dallas area I will be having a fight to survive and will be looking to rent as cheap of a place as I can which would be safe, quiet and livable. So, I am open to living in some far away suburb, but the closer to either of the Metroplex major cities (Dallas or Fort Worth) I can live in the better. I will also be potentially looking for part-time work while I do my studying, so living near Dallas or anywhere would also be helpful in that regard. After a year I would probably need to move right into the city and rigorously would be looking for software jobs once I am more prepared.

I'm finding that many of the software jobs in Seattle, despite all its glamour and reputation, pay considerably low, especially in respect to the insane and ever-increasing costs of living. It seems many of the startups in Seattle pay very low and many corporations are paying under $100,000/yr. Considering decent one bedroom apartments are now going over $2000/mo in areas you actually want to live, the salaries are becoming less and less desirable. The lack of state income tax is very nice, but the housing costs alone are making it impossible to survive and live a comfortable lifestyle.

I am a native to the Pacific Northwest and sad to have to say goodbye, but I also need to think about my future and may have to accept I will spend the rest of my days in a meat packing plant or if I do get that nice software job I will be working 60+ hours a week just to enjoy a 600 sq ft apartment and have no means to have a savings. I am not a young guy anymore, almost 39 and seriously thinking I need a change.

Anyway , I seriously like to know what the minimum I could spend to have a decent 1 bedroom (preferably 700 sq ft) place in Dallas/Forth Worth area. I'm also open to living within 30-40 minutes from Dallas. I see some apartments on craigslist going for around $700/mo. It appears most of the apartments within the city limits of Dallas that don't look to grimey are in the $1000+ range. That is a bit above what I want to spend. Although, I still do not know how much utility costs are in Dallas area. In Seattle they are very high and I pay about $60-100/mo on W/S/G and a 1 bed apartment usually is about $50/mo to heat. Although, I am sure A/C bills in Dallas may be worse than heating bills we have here.

For $700-900/mo would there be decent places I can rent near Fort Worth, Dallas or Arlington or would I be renting in gang and crime-ridden slums? The Metroplex seems to have many large suburbs about 30-45 minutes out of the two city centers. Not sure which ones would be the best to live in and which ones I should avoid. As I said, I will not be working a full-time job for the first year, but may need to commute a little for part-time work if I get it. If I pay a small enough amount for rent, I may be able to get by without any job for the next year.

Also, can anyone tell me their opinion about Dallas area job market? I also like that Austin, Houston and San Antonio are within a day's drive and also seem to have reputable IT and tech job markets. In Seattle, you only have Seattle to chose from and Portland to chose from, which also is overpriced, overtaxed and lower salaries.

One thing I cannot seem to find in SEattle is technical work that is not software related. If I wanted to find a part-time job, for example, something tech related that can pay decent enough wages, would that be possible?

If I stay in Seattle I will have probably about 6 months were I will be flat broke and I am paying $1460/mo for my rent. Outside of Uber, fast food/restaurants, slave labor jobs and other minimum wage jobs there doesn't seem to be much in the way of part-time work or supplemental income jobs; especially a guy from an extensive software background.
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Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 05-15-2017 at 07:19 PM..
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