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Old 05-31-2011, 05:29 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,424,538 times
Reputation: 1669

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Hello all,

The title says it all. I'll try to keep this short and sweet, but if you need more details to provide advice, let me know. Three years ago, upon graduating from U of M, I moved out to Denver, CO. For the past three years, I've enjoyed Colorado's great weather and vast outdoor activities. I was also fortunate enough to land a job working in supply chain management for a F500 client. As much as I've enjoyed it here, I long for my friends and family back in Metro Detroit. I want to be part of their lives before I wind up being that guy who forgot about his family until he was drawn back due to a close relative's funeral and realized that his life was always there. I also long for career/life advancement opportunity, that of which I do not believe exists here because of my current financial constraints. I've tried asking for a transfer with my current company, but they do not have anything for me in the Midwest. So, to expedite my need to make a decision on what I'm going to do next, the property manager of our apartment gave us notice to vacate the building in 30 days. Apparently they want to make them into luxury condos. Either way, as of June 30th, I am homeless.

As if this were some sort of edge-of-your-seat plot of an epic Hitchcock thriller flick, I now have 30 days to decide what I am going to do. There are a few options I am considering and I realize, depending on your ages, I will probably receive a variety of opinions. I am trying to keep an open mind and hopefully some of your feedback will stick with me. Here are the options I am currently considering:

1) Pack it up and move back to Michigan. Yeah, sounds crazy, right? But as crazy as me packing it up and moving to Colorado (where I had no friends/family/job mind you) in the summer of 2008? Hmmm... I would have no job lined up, but I could also live with my parents until I worked something out. My only commitment as of now is a $300/month student loan payment. Sad, but true. My Verizon contract is also over in mid-June. I have a $200/month car payment, but since I owe much less than the car is worth, I could probably sell it to reduce overhead. IMO, this is the riskiest of options, but it is also what I want most.

2) Join the Air Force. I'm sure someone is going to tell me it's not that easy or quick to join the military these days and before they do, let me say that I fully understand this. But I see the Air Force as an opportunity to restart my life. With the lack of major bills (rent, car payment, insurance, etc.) it will give me the opportunity to pay down my student loans quicker. It may also provide free training/education for a better paying career. Also, I think the military life would be more up my alley, so to speak, than the typical cubical farm environment I find myself in now. I consider this option moderately risky, but only because it demands such a commitment (six years for enlisted). Otherwise, it's one of the better opportunities for me to get caught up and get ahead.

3) Stay in Colorado. I could just sign another lease and be stuck here for another 6-12 months. Here are some issues I have with this. First, I'm stuck in Colorado for another year, away from my entire network of friends and family. Second, the economy is not that good here anymore, since (whadya know) a lot of people seeking jobs moved here (I blame it on California). I have several years of experience, I'm currently employed, but I'm not getting any responses from the companies I have applied to recently. My job is also dead end and I'm no longer learning/doing anything new. I need to get out for the sake of salvaging my career. This is probably the safest option, but it's not exactly what I want since the whole point I'm trying to make is that I want to move back to Michigan to be near my close friends and family.

I'm 25, single, and ready for the next phase of my life. What do you guys think would be the best move for me?
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,486 posts, read 7,753,487 times
Reputation: 7065
The recurring theme throughout your post is that your heart is telling you to come home, and you sound like you really, really want to follow your heart. If you are going to be kicked out of your apartment in CO at the end of the month, there's no chance of advancement where you work, and your parents would be willing to let you stay with them until something materializes on the job front here, then what are you waiting for, come on home! Worst case scenario is that you don't end up finding a job here and have to relocate again, but chances are you will find something, there really are jobs here, in spite of what negative people will tell you.

We have a 19 year old son who still lives at home until he finishes college, but if he were to move 1,500 miles away in a couple of years and then he called and asked if he could stay with us until he could find a job back home, I would be ecstatic, and I can only assume that your parents would feel the same, because you sound like you come from a very close family and they probably miss you like crazy.

Life is short. You want to be with the people that you love, and being with people that you love and who love you back and who you can just be yourself around is one of life's greatest blessings. Obviously, you have to do some deep soul searching, and I don't expect you to make a decision based on what I or anyone else on this forum tells you to do, but if I was you and in your situation, I would come home.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:31 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,858,498 times
Reputation: 10268
Background: I am more than twice your age, have lived in several states and countries, and moved from Colorado to Michigan about ten years ago after having lived in Colorado (metro Denver) for over 15 years. When I had the opportunity to move to Michigan, I was already looking to get away from metro Denver...it doubled in size, lost its nice cowtown character and got all suburban and commerical. I'm not a native of anywhere, I've moved too much and family is spread out so that's not a concern.

So...while there are definitely things I miss about living further west, I am not unhappy I moved here!

What I get from your post is that you really want to move back to Michigan, and now that your hand is being forced, you have a perfect opportunity and someplace to live here while you regroup.

I say, move back here. You are young and relatively unencumbered...if it doesn't work out you can always move again.

On the other hand....the air force could be a great opportunity. I was in the Navy reserves for six years and don't regret a minute of it. However, you may chafe under the restrictions...that's really for you to decide. And if the ONLY reason you're considering the air force is economic convenience, you might want to rethink that.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,863,710 times
Reputation: 3264
I'm almost in the exact same position as you. I'm 24, single and moved away after I finished college. I had a decent job that's drying up, and I really want to come back home to Michigan. Obviously, I don't have any "sage advice," but I'd say follow your heart and go home. The economy in MI is starting to come back, and the cost of living is much lower.

As for the Air Force . . . it is a huge commitment. You will be forced to move all over the world at a moment's notice. Plus, you will be risking your life for your country. It's an amazing calling, but also a huge risk.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:01 PM
 
1,490 posts, read 3,258,717 times
Reputation: 697
Move to Chicago (or another nearby city). You'll be close enough to visit weekends and it's a change of scenery.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:35 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,963,242 times
Reputation: 16907
Sounds like you really want to move back home. Move back and if you don't find a job in a reasonable amount of time... then join the Air Force. If I were to consider the Military (not that they would take me... too old) it would be Coast Guard 1st, Air Force 2nd, Living in a box in an alley eating rats 3rd, all other branches of the services 4th.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Michigan
736 posts, read 1,996,896 times
Reputation: 739
(3) is out. You've made that clear.

I have not served in the armed forces, but everything I've heard or read suggests that those who join just to pay for college or get the enlistment bonus have a miserable experience. If the Air Force holds no intrinsic appeal apart from the financial incentives, don't do it. If you really want to be in the Air Force, and would want to join even if you had no student loan debt, then go for it while you are young enough to do so. But you may still find yourself in a cubicle, especially if you go in as an officer.

Have you considered the Coast Guard, as Bydand suggested? They have aircraft too. If you join the USCG, you could live in Michigan *and* deal with your student loans. Just sayin'.

Come home, at least for a while. Live with your folks, and if nothing turns up, you can join the USAF or USCG. If you do go off to the service for 6 years, you'll be glad you took some time to reconnect before you left.

(Hey, here's another possibility: what about the Michigan Air National Guard?)
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:21 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,424,538 times
Reputation: 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuebor View Post
(3) is out. You've made that clear.

I have not served in the armed forces, but everything I've heard or read suggests that those who join just to pay for college or get the enlistment bonus have a miserable experience. If the Air Force holds no intrinsic appeal apart from the financial incentives, don't do it. If you really want to be in the Air Force, and would want to join even if you had no student loan debt, then go for it while you are young enough to do so. But you may still find yourself in a cubicle, especially if you go in as an officer.

Have you considered the Coast Guard, as Bydand suggested? They have aircraft too. If you join the USCG, you could live in Michigan *and* deal with your student loans. Just sayin'.

Come home, at least for a while. Live with your folks, and if nothing turns up, you can join the USAF or USCG. If you do go off to the service for 6 years, you'll be glad you took some time to reconnect before you left.

(Hey, here's another possibility: what about the Michigan Air National Guard?)
Yeah, I'm also checking out MiANG and the AF-Reserve. They are part time gigs, though, and do not provide any sort of health insurance. So they are an option, but certainly not my first. And to answer your other question, I have always had an interest in the military. I love the history, the lifestyle, and have the utmost respect for the uniform. So this is not a decision I would make solely on financial grounds. I probably wouldn't join as an officer either, since most of their incentive programs (signing bonuses) are for enlisted positions.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,954,543 times
Reputation: 3895
Come on home. If you want to make it work bad enough...you'll find a way. I am 100% positive I could make it just fine anywhere in the country if I wanted to move...its all about wanting it bad enough and not letting anything stop you.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:47 AM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,745,034 times
Reputation: 1438
Do you hate your current job (or just the fact that it's away from family/friends)? If you like supply chain management/logistics - you probably couldn't ask for a better area to work than Metro Detroit.

You have Ford, GM and Chrysler who are all back in full hiring mode. You have the large logistic companies in Metro Detroit (Con-Way Freight, Universal Truckload, England Logistics, Centra etc). You graduated from a great school and you have 2-3 years of experience - you'd be in a perfect position for any headhunter to get you in to those shops.

Move back to Michigan - get in touch with some headhunters - they're free. Once you're in Michigan for a couple months - you can decide if it's the career you hate - or you may have found a promising job/position with upward mobility. I think it will be easier (and better judgement) to make the decision relative to the Air Force once you're back in Michigan (i.e. you can more accurately see if a new career is what you want or if you just want the solid friendships/relationships that come from grilling/BBQ'sing with friends, Tiger games etc).
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