HELP: 30 Something Professional Seeks Clarification Regarding Viable Neighborhoods for Relocation -- Tmely Responses (Boston: school, college)
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HELP: 30 Something Professional Seeks Clarification Regarding Viable Neighborhoods for Relocation -- Tmely Responses
I am a 37 year old professional who has been offered two jobs -- one outside of Chicago and the other in Northampton.
Both jobs are considered good although the Chicago job doesn't have a quite a clear track as the one in Northampton does. If I would have to rank based solely on job description...I would rank the Northampton job higher.
My biggest concern is I will be coming from Pittsburgh and while this city isn't as large as some of the bigger metropolitan areas in the country -- it is a fairly big city with lots of amentities -- both inside and just outside the city perimeter.
I know Chicago as an area would be a dream!!!! On my visit to Western Massachusetts, I noted that while the areas I saw were pretty -- they were also pretty sleepy. I am concerned that I would feel isolated and bored.
Are there any areas near Northampton that offer elements of that city life? Areas where there are newer residential and lifestyle driven commercial / shopping developments that offer a variety of things to do, a variety in dining and nightlife, coffee shops, retail shopping? I didn't see see any indications of even the most basic lifestyle shopping centers with a Barnes and Noble or a PF Changs or even a Target for that matter.
I would be looking for something more contemporary (I know...it's Western Mass and contemporary may be an oxymoron) with a taste of excitement.
Northampton was nice but felt a little extreme to me...and young. There were lots of very interesting people out the night I was there including its fair share of homeless and people who seemed to be mentally ill (screaming / talking to themselves on the street, etc...) and that just turned me off a little. I don't know if I could find a network of friends, associates in that type of environment.
I am trying to find a glimmer of hope so that I can pursue the Western Mass job but it just seems as if the area is a little different than anything I had seen. It is truly a shame that Springfield is in the condition it is in because that would be a fantastic urban / cultural hub for all of Western Mass. That should be a thriving area...
Last edited by armk6666; 12-13-2011 at 02:14 PM..
Reason: added new information
I love western Massachusetts personally, but it doesn't sound like the best fit for you. Chicago is like Pittsburgh with an upgrade. You would also have more opportunities down the line there if you wanted/needed to switch jobs.
Thank you for those responses!!! I noticed that several others have viewed this thread and if anyone else would be willing to contribute information it would be greatly appreciated!!! I need to make a decision soon and any information / insight that is shared would be extremely helpful to me!!!!
I agree that Chicago sounds like a better fit. Springfield isn't going to provide what you're looking for. You'd probably like Boston, but unfortunately, Northampton is a little too far for a daily commute. I've only ever been to Northampton on day trips, so I can't speak with authority about living there. I do know it's a funky, quaint area and progressive and happening for its size, but go with your gut instinct; it's not going to give you a big(ish) city experience.
If you're 37 and career focused, I would think you would go with the better job opportunity in Northampton. If you're looking for a place with more nightlife and bumping night clubs you go to Chicago. It's not comparable to city living in Chicago but it's not completely dead. I don't know how far the nearest Target is but I doubt you'll have trouble finding stores. On the plus side there's plenty of nature stuff to do nearby: skiing, swimming, birding, fishing, leaf peeping, etc. You're close to Amherst so there is plenty of cultural things that may interest you. You're about 1.5 hour from Boston and 3 hours to Manhattan so you can take nice city weekend trips. Or you can head north and have great skiing in VT in the winter or go to great beaches on Cape Cod, Cape Ann, and Maine in the summer.
My personal opinion: Northampton is a quaint town for a day visit. I'd move to/near Chicago instead.
PS. I'm originally from Montreal (big city) but lived in the suburbs of CT for the past 7 years. I'd choose Chicago.
I'll flesh this out a bit more for you.
I spent the first 40 years of my life in Montreal.
Then I moved to the CT suburbs.
My husband I would sometimes take day trips. Two or three times, we went to Northampton. I loved it!
Then he applied for a job there. I thought I'd die. But I didn't -- I just cried a lot.
You know the saying, "It's a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there?" That's what Northampton was for me.
I'm not trying to sway you -- that's just *my* opinion -- but I was terrified at the prospect of moving from a happening big city to a hip CT suburb to a hippie town. Please, I don't mean ANYTHING negative by "hippie" -- many of my family members are hippy-ish -- but if you're single and looking for stuff going on and, and, and, and... I have to guess that Chicago is a better place for you.
ETA: My husband went to grad school in Chicago. In recent years, every time there had been an interesting job located there, he'd apply. He misses it greatly, I suspect. It's a great city.
Unless the Northampton job is clearly superior (which sounds like it's not), I would pick the region that suits your lifestyle better. Chicago will have all the amenities of a world class city, but also all the vices (high taxes going to places you will never benefit from, traffic, crooked politicians, grittiness, etc). It's a stereotype, but it generally is more of a deep-dish/Bears town than an active, outdoorsy place (but you've already experienced this in Pittsburgh). Chicago is inexpensive for a city of its stature, but not cheap. There's not much outdoorsy stuff to do unless you drive to WI or MI. The area around Northhampton has more of a college town vibe -think Columbus or Ann Arbor in the Midwest. Going with stereotypes again, it has more of a crunchy, outdoorsy feel (I guess hippy works to some degree). If Pittsburgh works for you, I think Chicago will as well.
When you say you like Northampton job better, what exactly do you mean? Are there any substantial salary differences? Quite subjectively, I would vote for Chicago, but if Northampton pays more and gives you more steps up the ladder, it might be not a bad choice for time being. Also, how easy would it be for you to get a job at a different location later on, should you realize you want to move?
Thank you all for taking the time to contribute your thoughts. In response to the last post -- the money is about the same.
The Northampton job grades out a little better because from a career development standpoint it provides a clearer track. It capitalizes on my experience in compliance and will allow me to continue doing that while also allowing me to expand out into a financial officer type role. It would also provide opportunities to expand in areas of research. Lastly, I would be able to maintain my securities registrations.
The Chicago job is strictly Due Diligence on Alernative Investments. This isn't bad -- DD is an interesting field but it is less clear as to how this will impact my long term career track and it of course gets me away from compliance -- although there is always a little compliance in Due Diligence. As it stands, all of my securities registrations will go inactive and if they remain in that status for two years -- I lose them...
Both companies are attractive and the professionals there are quite accomplished. Both would be extremely positive experiences.
My biggest concern is the unknown that comes with Due Diligence. I am newer to this area and it puts me in a position to once again take on new challenges and I had hoped to be able to continue building experience in a particular segment. I like challenge!!! ...just a lot of unknowns with it and that is on top of the unknowns associated with a new city...
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