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Old 07-01-2012, 05:28 PM
 
2,720 posts, read 4,898,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
Very interesting post. I am also a transplant to LA from the Chicago suburbs. Chicago is a world class city in many ways, and an amazing city to visit, with a skyline and downtown to blow anyone away, but it too has more in common with Boston and Houston in terms of the cosmopolitan mindset. Meaning it is globally important, attracts people from all over the world to its opportunities, etc. but still has a certain limited mindset amongst enough of its native to make one feel that there has to be more than this.

If Houston is still run by good ole' boys, and Boston is still run by WASPS, then Chicago is run by "Reagan Democrats." Which is exactly what the Daleys and his ilk are/were. Essentially 3rd generation white Catholic working class grandchildren of factory workers. Being of working class roots, still identify Democrats as looking out for them, yet torn because they are somewhat socially conservative, feel deep down a little contemptuous at minorities receiving too many handouts (usually blown out of proportion), etc. Essentially while Chicago stands out in the industrial midwest as being world class in terms of urban living, cultural amenities, transit, the city is run by the same cultural fabric of the people that fled the inner cities of Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh and moved to respective suburbs.
Every city has their establishments I guess. In Boston it's the WASP and their yuppie spawn. In Texas it's a hierarchy of Southern preppy douches, cammo hat wearing kickers that run/work the small biz enterprises, and good ol boys.

In LA it's the yippies (yuppy hippies), the eclectic, tech nerds and Hollywood types.

They're all cutthroat types in their own ways but it's MUCH easier to deal with the social order of LA than than the social order of Houston, Boston, Chicago or NYC. I feel as an ethnic person I'm taken a lot more serious out here than in the other towns I listed.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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'nother Bostonian who moved out to LA and loves it.

It took one of my friends with a great resume and relevant work history about 2 months to find a job.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:30 PM
 
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I am assuming it takes that long to find a good paying job, as in above 30-40k?
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by brian_k View Post
I think I can give you some valuable insight. I just turned 28 and I moved to LA almost three months ago after spending several years in Boston. Like you, I came here without a job and eager to find work. So far it's been a good and bad experience. But the important thing is, I don't regret it one bit. No matter what happens, it's better then spending a lifetime wondering what it would have been like. Sometimes you have to see what's out there despite what everyone says.


OVERALL

LA is amazing. I am a person that tends to hype things and inflate expectations to the point where they can't be met, often resulting in disappointment. But LA lived up to everything.

There is so much substance, so much diversity, so much texture in this city — it blows my mind. I felt like Boston’s primary demographics are college students, “bros” (recent grads still living the college lifestyle) and yuppies. Sure you have your free-spirited areas like Davis Square in Somerville, but overall, Boston feels like a very homogeneous city.

Out here, the people, the food, the geography, the neighborhoods, the things to do — it’s ridiculous how diverse and exciting they all are. I really can’t imagine living anywhere else. This is truly a city I can spend the rest of my life loving and singing about. If you’re into trying new things, meeting new people, constantly being amazed and excited, exploring new areas and enjoying a more exciting lifestyle, then this is it — you’ll find no place comparable. If you want to get in line and march toward mediocrity with the rest of the world, hiding in your cubicle and watching TV at home, then LA isn’t for you. And it’s those type of people that tend to complain the most about things like traffic, etc. Most everyone else just lives life and enjoys the **** out of this place. There is something electric in the air here and I don’t think it’s the smog (which is another overblown stereotype).

With great weather, record-low crime, amazing diversity, super-high tolerance and neighborhoods like Downtown making comebacks, it’s a great time to move to LA.

The economy is the only real bummer.

JOBS

It is brutal here. ****ing brutal. And in my estimation, worsening each day.

I've been out here for three months working hard and applying for jobs every day. I have a BA from a great East Coast school, I have a great (though scattershot) work history and I have excelled in every job I've had. I’m intelligent, creative, sociable and my aptitude is through-the-roof. Yet I am totally despondent at this point. Just hopeless. As my savings dwindle, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I moved out here with like $11K savings. I've probably got another two to three months before it's all gone. I’ve had I think three interviews that went well, but didn’t lead to anything. It’s really tough, as I imagine it is elsewhere. Despite what you hear in the news and what President Obama says, the economy isn’t recovering worth ****.

These days you need two things to get a job:

1) A work history and skills that match the position you are applying for almost exactly.
2) Networking/connections.

What about the days when companies hired bright, capable people with unlimited potential and trained them? Even though that's the better approach in the long run (for the company), businesses today want to hire people that have already done the job they’re trying to fill. They don't care that that's all those people will do for the rest of their lives. They just want to plug robots into cubicles.

So hopefully there are some jobs out here you have worked before. You might also have some connections. Otherwise it's going to be tough. I feel like every job I apply for, there are probably a hundred or more people who have more applicable experience than I do applying for the same position. And I guarantee that even though I went to a good school, out here it means ****. All the USCs, UCLAs, etc (which are great schools too) are going to get stacked above a small, liberal arts college in Maine nobody out here as probably even heard of. And these days a college degree is more a requirement to check off the list than something that actually gets you a job, save networking through your alumni association.

Also, having food-service experience could be a big help. Those jobs are tough too, without experience you won’t even be considered as a bartender, barback, waiter, host, etc. So you’re getting squeezed out on both ends. But if you have experience in that area, it could help to tide you over during tougher times.


COST

I don't keep track of groceries and all that stuff, but I think it's more expensive to rent in LA than in Boston. Sure, BarcelonaFan paid $950 to rent a room in Harvard Square, but along with Beacon Hill, the North End and a couple other hoods, Harvard Square is one of the most desirable places to live in the Boston area. Even so, I knew many people who lived in that area for much less than $950. I never paid more than $650/month when I lived in Boston (I always had roommates). On the other hand, I have a friend who has a nice single on Beacon Hill and he pays $1250 — which he considers a steal.

The important thing to understand is that you can live in the nicer parts of Boston for much cheaper than you can live in the nicer parts of LA. Sure, there is cheaper rent in places like Burbank and Sherman Oaks. But you're 24. You're not moving across the country to live in Sherman Oaks. You can find tons of places to live for $500/month in Quincy, Lynn, Revere, (anywhere on the north shore for that matter), but it's not worth the extra $2 K/year you save on rent versus living in Boston.

And out here, where you live is a much bigger deal because everything is so spread out. You can't hop on a train in Sherman Oaks and be in Santa Monica or Long Beach in 30 minutes. If you are going to go through the hassle of moving out here, you should live in one of the more enjoyable areas. And that costs. I'm kicking around from place to place and paying upwards of $1K/month. But that's for furnished, short-term rentals. You can probably do better with a more traditional lease.

And of course another huge factor is if you're willing to live with roommates. The prices of singles and studios in LA/Boston are probably not too far apart, though I think there are fewer economical options out here. You can always find a cheaper place in Boston that isn’t quite so nice, but not dumpy or in a bad area. Here there seems to be a greater extreme. Places tend to be nice and expensive or cheap and complete ****. But my experience with renting here is really limited.

It’s important to understand just how massive LA is. Drive from North Station in Boston to the Brookline/Newton border. The same distance in LA won’t even get you a third of the way across the basin — nevermind the Valley or down toward Orange County. Boston is such a dense, little city with decent public transportation. LA is a bunch of smaller cities and centralized neighborhoods sprawled over a wide area with public transportation that is getting better, but lacking. In my mind, it’s important to live somewhere safe, fun and with a centralized district nearby, and also a place that is convenient to the rest of LA.

Since you'll be living with your buddies, you'll have plenty of time to figure all that out.


TRAFFIC

Honestly, all the negative things you hear about traffic in LA make me shake my head. I think they're coming from people that tend to be settled down and in unfavorable situations. For example, if you have a house and family in El Segundo, and your kids are in good schools there, taking a better job in Hollywood and suffering the commute is going to suck. But if you're 24 and single? ****, you just move to Hollywood or WeHo and live close to work. And since you have a temp housing situation set up, you can settle down within LA after you find permanent work.

Boston traffic is much worse than LA traffic. Since Boston lacks a real grid system, and since many of the streets are one-way, getting around is a nightmare. There's also a shortage of highways in Boston. Traffic during rush hour is just as bad on the Mass Pike and I-93 as it is on the 10 and the 405. But in LA, things seem to keep moving. It may take you way longer to get where you're going, but things keep moving. I can't tell you how many times in Boston traffic just stopped and you had to sit still forever or get off the highway and find another route. And in the city, you go down the wrong one-way street and you're toast.


PEOPLE

I find Boston people to have that traditional, New England iciness that everyone talks about. They’re just harder to converse with, especially the younger crowd. People don’t seem to want to interact with anyone they don’t know and anyone who isn’t like them. Like I said, a real homogeneous place.

People out here are much warmer and friendlier. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked somebody for directions or a question about parking or some other bull**** and it’s turned into a conversation. And between the free spirits living by the beach and the aspiring whatevers living in Hollywood, there is such a range of people. It’s wonderful.

But most importantly, there is a very tolerant vibe in LA. People tend to think everybody here is pretentious. I have run into those types, especially around Hollywood. But guess what? They’re so into themselves that they don’t have enough energy to worry about what clothes you’re wearing or what car you drive. This is a very accepting place. Other transplants I’ve talked to here have felt the same way.

And don’t get me started about the girls. I believe the stretch of Comm. Ave. that runs by Boston University was voted by playboy as the best place in the U.S. to gaze upon beautiful women. But it has nothing on LA. The girls here are less snooty, warmer and are very put together, with a real sense of style. There is also every race/combination of races you could hope for. Lots of gorgeous, exotic looking women.

YOUR RESUME CONUNDRUM

Use your brother's address. You have no shot applying with a non-LA address.

Wow, thank you everyone, all responses were incredibly informative - Especially Brian K.

The diversity and the openness was one of my initial draws to LA. At almost every bar we went to, conversation flowed effortlessly. We were even looking for a good spot to grab a cab at one point near Manhattan beach, popped into a sketchers store and asked a guy working, he said we're in a good spot now so we went back outside. This guy then came outside, cell phone in hand, and gave us a number if we couldn't find one. I almost didn't know what to do - I mean imagine that going down in NYC or Boston?

As far as the job market goes, I'm sorry to hear you're search isn't going as well as planned but I do wish you the best. You come off as a competent person with the right mindset and I know you will find something soon. I do know how you feel though I moved to Boston with only an interview lined up and when that didn't pan out there was no shortage of self-doubt. I don't want to make a move before I have a job mainly because I simply wouldn't be able to afford it but I also don't want to have to resort to pt. time jobs again. I would definitely plan on living as close as I can to where I would be working.

If you don't mind me asking - how are you going about applying for jobs at the moment? Strictly online or have you been going thru temp agencies as well? I feel like we have very similar situations so I'd be interested in hearing more about that.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarcelonaFan View Post
Brian K pretty much hit it on the nail. LA is probably the best abd most dynamic major city in the US. I love Boston but it was an icy, super traditional, yuppified town. If you are not rocking a pair of Sperry Topsiders with an Oxford long sleeve shirt, you aren't going to be taken seriously. Which is ironic because here in LA you probably won't be taken too seriously if you're not sporting a couple of sleeve tattoos, a white or black V-neck from H&M, a pair of skinny jeans, aviators, Vans or Chucks, and a spiky haircut.
Could. Not. Agree. More. I had no idea how many douchey bros were going to be here when I moved. And it's so cliquey. You don't find too many people breaking out from the norm unless you really scratch under the surface.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:28 PM
 
9 posts, read 13,857 times
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Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
'nother Bostonian who moved out to LA and loves it.

It took one of my friends with a great resume and relevant work history about 2 months to find a job.
Can I ask what you would qualify as a great resume? I know I didn't go to an top-tier school and I often think about what a difference a better name could make, but I still feel I have a strong resume with relevant work experience. Did your friend move out there before landing an interview?
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
10,003 posts, read 13,853,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekidfrankie View Post
Can I ask what you would qualify as a great resume? I know I didn't go to an top-tier school and I often think about what a difference a better name could make, but I still feel I have a strong resume with relevant work experience. Did your friend move out there before landing an interview?
In her case, she went to a local, well-regarded private art school (Otis), and graduated in '06, so it was a fair while before the credit bust. She worked as a part-time designer for a pet supply company in LA (she's a die-hard animal fanatic), and upon graduation, got picked up by a major Socal pet supply retailer based in LA as a member of their art design department. She was in charge of all graphics for print, website, and store displays; basically, #2 in her department. She worked with them from 07 until earlier this year, and quit because a year prior her boss had quit and they hired a replacement who was ill-suited to the digital world and ruined everything...

So, more or less: high GPA at a highly-regarded art school, great portfolio, good tenure in a good position at a well-known company, provable track record for work completion.

She's lived here since 2002. I've always tried to set up interviews at businesses and then travel out there to get them all done in a week or so whenever I've looked to relocate to another city.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekidfrankie View Post
Could. Not. Agree. More. I had no idea how many douchey bros were going to be here when I moved. And it's so cliquey. You don't find too many people breaking out from the norm unless you really scratch under the surface.
That's the one word I would use to describe Boston; cliquish. No one breaks out if their group. If you so much as talk to someone at the club who's not in your group, you'll be seen as a weirdo.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:14 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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One other thing that might bear mentioning. Gas prices in LA are quite a bit higher in LA than Boston. I was in Boston last week, and they were about $3.29/gallon. Here, they're about $3.90. Personally, I think cost of living is higher here, too... like groceries.

HOWEVER, you don't have to pay for heat here like you do in Boston (I mean you do a bit... but NOTHING like Boston). Plus, it's all gas heat here. NOT oil. So you don't have to worry about getting your tank re-filled. I think that rents are higher here, too. I mean, you can get a pretty cheap place in Malden, for example (about 10 minutes outside of Boston). I hate Malden (having grown up there) but most people don't think it's that bad. I lived in a giant (1800+ sq ft) Victorian, in Arlington, for $1500/month. 3 bedrooms, giant attic, basement (that flooded), giant living room, dining room, & kitchen. It also, however, cost about $800/mo to heat. Now, I live in a 2 bedroom 700 sq ft apartment w/ one parking space & no storage, for $1700/mo. In Burbank. I'm sure you can find cheaper, though, as we only had a few days to find a place. I much prefer my tiny apartment to that Victorian in Arlington.

OMG, people are so SO much friendlier here than Boston. I can't get over it! And, my relatives don't understand this at all! They're all "We're PERFECTLY friendly here. I don't know what you're talking about!" When I try to explain, they get kind of insulted. People, in general, are so much happier out here. There are also weird things... like, I would see an ambulance pretty much every day in Boston. Sometimes more than one. Lots and lots of ambulances. Why? I rarely see them here. People are healthier out here. Everyone I know, in Boston, complains about their weight. Is basically obsessed with it. Even my really thin friends! My friends, in LA... both thin and not... are so much more into getting out and being fit and enjoying life. I have fat friends, here, who have never mentioned their fat to me, and seem pretty happy. All of my thin friends in Boston go on and on about how fat they are. It's kind of maddening (and sad).

I was just visiting in Boston, last week, and I just can't get over the differences. I love it here.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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Yes, the job situation is tough but there are an abundance of menial office jobs and retail work for 10-15 bucks an hour if that helps you out at all. With a college degree from a good school and proficient knowledge with MS Excel, Word, Powepoint, etc., you will be put on top of the list. My first week here My fiance applied for ten jobs and got call backs from six. She interviewed for four and three had the best offers. She was working her second week at a call center making quick money until she heard back from the office positions.

So if you're willing to downgrade and work menial jobs in your area close to work, there are plenty. But you're also proly going to have room with someone.
I have to disagree with this assessment. These days, a college degree and experience with Microsoft Office are criteria met by just about anyone seeking a fulltime job. They don't help you get hired, they're just something to check off the list of requirements. The most important thing is relevant experience. And with so many people out of work, employers are upping the required years and the ultra-specific nature of the experience they want from potential employees. My sister is a sophomore in college and I tell her as often as I can to make sure she works some internships before she graduates because they will do more to help her get hired than her degree.

The same thing goes for retail. You're not going to get a job at a clothing store unless you have previously worked not just in retail, but in a clothing store. The same applies for every type of retail environment as well as the food-service industry.

If there really are $10-$15/hour office jobs floating around out there I'd love to get some more information about where I can find them, because I'm not seeing them.

Quote:
Brian,

I truly wish you the best! Don't give up and stay focused, network/talk to people. You WILL find something! I agree that LA is pretty awesome.

I struggled a bit too. Actually I DID have a job lined up when I moved out here. But it was an awful, awful sales job (shady), and after a month I couldn't take it anymore, I looked at my investments savings, etc. and realized, I'll just quit, and look for something else.

I originally wanted to teach here (community college) but the state (where funding comes from is broke, and slashing budgets to the bone) so I knew I couldn't count on that.

Two months after I quit that awful sales job, I got a part time job working as a field technician collecting data on traffic patterns (which is actually somewhat related to what I went to school for), but at fist I barely got any hours. However my hours have slowly been increasing as I have proven myself dependable Guys that have been there for over a year doing what I do, actually complain more about being overworked, and wonder if it is worth the money. I guess I have that to look forward to. In my down time, I am working on a small online business selling some original teaching material I am creating. Its pretty new for me. But people do make some decent money doing that too. I'm not really making a lot right now, but I know between the two, things are definitely progressing in the right direction for me.

Anyways thought I would share my story. I know you'll make it. Be optimistic but realistic. Its tough out there. Just have a strategy and you'll do fine.
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm doing my best to stay optimistic.

Quote:
If you don't mind me asking - how are you going about applying for jobs at the moment? Strictly online or have you been going thru temp agencies as well? I feel like we have very similar situations so I'd be interested in hearing more about that.
The first thing I did when I got out here was register with/send my resumes to temp/staffing agencies. I didn't hear back from any of them. I'm guessing it's the scattershot nature of my resume (three years in finance, one and a half in journalism). Those agencies want people with very specific experience who they can label and plug into openings. They're not looking for talent, good workers or any of that BS from the days of old.

Do you know what an ad for Subway looks like these days?

"Seeking sandwich ARTIST. Six months to one year assembling sandwiches required."

I kid you not. I actually saw an ad that said that.
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