How to make the final call?
I'm currently employed at a large company. The job is somewhat secure for now, but things have been drying up considerably since the beginning of the year (several folks leaving without being replaced -- I call this "shedding" people). Management won't seem to admit it out loud at meetings, but work just seems to be drying up a bit too much. They are having to scramble around finding other things for people to do like temporarily work for other groups for a while. Aside from that, I'm eager for a change if it's possible. Been here for a few years now and while I've learned a lot, I'm not so sure how much more I can learn from very old processes and working with very old legacy systems software.
I'm hoping to relocate to another department (which would pretty much require moving out of the state and joining their office in another state). Even when I search for any job in any state within my company's website (both internal and external sites), there is just pretty much nothing to choose from. So I started looking into the possibility of leaving the company. I started applying for jobs for companies that are similar to mine (defense contractors) but so far still nothing. Am I just simply wasting my time with the possibility of finding another job let alone in another state? I have a relative who has worked in another company similar to mine for a very long time. He was surprised that I have not received any emails or phone calls yet at these other places based on my credentials and what I can offer to them immediately.
In the last few weeks I've been deciding on whether I should just give up on the job search, figure out a new way to deal with the department I am in, and start grad school here. This would mean being tied down to my company and location for a good while longer.
I'm well aware that people are dealing with much worse these days, but I don't want to settle for less if I feel like there are other options for me out there. I'm too damn stubborn and ambitious of a person to let myself just settle so easily. On the other hand, I want to know realistically what the odds are too. If I start grad school, then I'm going to be here for a while. I don't want to start grad school and then a few months later find an awesome opportunity for a new job but can't do it because of being tied down here. What's also been lingering in my head is that while my employer will cover tuition costs, I feel like this won't last much longer, so I better take it while I can, right?
While I think the city I live in is OK, I'm too far away from family and I have no friends here. Although over time I could probably develop a better social network. I would be doing grad school at Washington University in St. Louis, which seems to have a pretty nice program for Computer Science. I completed my undergrad at another state. So all of that sounds nice, but again, career-wise I will just feel stuck for a long while. Basically, if I do this, then I have to commit to being with the employer for X amount of years after finishing grad school or I have to pay the tuition (which is reasonable to me if they are investing a ton of $ in me). It's hard to believe that this economy will be anywhere near pre-2007 levels any time soon, if ever. So in the last few weeks, I have been leaning on the grad school route. A little voice in my head is still saying to wait it out a bit and maybe the big opportunity will come up soon, so don't commit to anything too big yet.
Anyone in here ever been in a situation similar to this? What are your thoughts? I know I will ultimately have to make the call, but I just want to know how others have experienced this and how they ended up making that final call to go one route or the other.