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Old 07-01-2016, 09:32 AM
3,063 posts, read 2,637,013 times
Reputation: 3612


Originally Posted by roma258 View Post
My recommendation is that your friend needs to get her **** together. Who moves to a new city at 30 without doing any research or any job prospects lined up? I honestly don't even know where to start. Get a job would probably be step one. Figure out your commute situation would be step two. When I lived in Fishtown, I knew people who commuted all over the place, as far as Princeton. They hated the commute, but loved living in the neighborhood. The Philly job market is what it is. Either suck it up and do what you gotta do....or don't.
She looked at jobboards etc before moving out here(Around March and April) and claims that there were way more job opportunities back then. I know she applied to a few jobs back then, but she believed that no one responded to her resume, because she as out of state. To be fair, I told her if she wanted to get to know the city and see if it's right for her, she could stay on my couch(she's giving me a few hundred for rent, which is helping me, because I'm moving in August). We also are both spiritual people, she prayed about the move, before she made it.

I do know plenty of people that commute. I think it's just something she isn't used to. And to be fair, in Chicago, you don't run into a lot of people that endure two hour commutes to get to work. It happens, but it isn't the norm. Since living out here, I've met people commuting as far as from Baltimore, Delaware, Jersey, and CC, and many don't bat and eye about the long drive. It's almost accepted that many people commute quite a distance for jobs. In Chicago, it happens, but not as frequently as it does out here(I've noticed).
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:34 AM
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,743 posts, read 7,845,060 times
Reputation: 4700
Originally Posted by Faith2187 View Post
At this point, my opinion on Philadelphia is sorta moot for this situation. I told her how I felt about Philly, long before she moved out here--and she made the decision, independent of my feelings on it(obviously). Yes, it is true that I don't like this city, and I've been honest about that. I tried to have an open mind. As I've mentioned in other posts, I've lived other places. All that have been drastically different from one another. In each case, while it was always an adjustment period(up to 1.5 years before I truly felt at home), I grew to like the other cities I lived in. With Philly, that has not been the case. I believe it's for many reasons(some which actually have nothing to do with Philly, but more to do with the circumstances of my life and what brought me here) but nonetheless, mentally, "leaving" this city is akin to a fresh start. I'm sure in the new city I move in, I will have an open mind.
I think that's very fair--no one place is for everyone. I do hope you find a new place that ends up feeling more like home.

Originally Posted by Faith2187 View Post
Yesterday, she looked on craiglist to see about sublets in the MT. Airy area. I think she's really leaning toward that area, since it isn't too far from the suburbs, or the city. Unfortunately for the job situation, I've already told her that she may have to waitress or do some other ish like that, until she can find something "real" lol, because I myself looked on indeed with her last night, and also noticed that there aren't many jobs---at least not many that she qualifies for out here, so far. I've also told her to expand her job search to Delaware, Jersey, and MD.
That's great advice. You have to start somewhere, and although the answer may be taking an undesirable job for the short-term (believe me, I've been there), a record of employment looks much better to a future employer than not being employed at all.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:44 AM
3,063 posts, read 2,637,013 times
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Originally Posted by Burger Fan View Post
Ah, another edition of "life is harder than I thought it would be!"

well yes, because Philadelphia and Chicago are not the same city. They're not in the same timezone or geographic region and both cities were constructed and developed DRASTICALLY differently. Philly and Chicago are about as far apart in terms of distance as London and Prague. Your friend's expectation that traveling nearly 800 miles and finding no difference was mistake #1.

See the above. But not to turn this into a "Chicago vs. Philly!" thread (because that misses the point) there is a VAST difference between suburbs. Ardmore and Devon are WORLDS apart from say...Chester city, even though you could travel between the two in 15 minutes. And speaking of which...


Blue Bell is barely what one would consider a Philadelphia suburb. It's nearly an hour out from center city not including traffic. Technically yeah, sure- its a suburb in the greater Philadelphia area, but no one sane is going to live there and travel to CC on a regular basis. it's simply not practical and most locals are aware of this. If you're living all the way out there, you're going to be working in KOP, West Chester, etc.

Then she's going to have to make some serious compromises.

It would help to know what her field actually is, and how she's been looking. Indeed is a pretty great online resource. LinkedIn can be good if you have strong connections. Craigslist and Monster are a waste of time. Philadelphia itself is heavy on education and healthcare. no shortage of those. If your field is something more specialized you may have to look elsewhere- there's a lot of finance in Wilmington for instance, for reasons that are obvious.

Tough. She needs to come to terms with the fact that if she has no job and no place to live, compromises will have to be made. The regional rail specifically isn't much of a compromise at all- it allows those who want/need to live in the burbs to actually work in the city when transportation costs and time would otherwise prohibit it. Getting used to things she isn't a fan of doing is probably going to be a theme until she's better established and in a position to pick and choose.

It is cheap. Go north to NY or South to DC to compare similar metro areas on the east coast. It's not significantly cheaper than Chicago though, because Chicago is in the Midwest.

Regional supply and demand dictate salaries. Philadelphia has a LOT of educational institutions in the immediate area- more than most of the country (though I can't speak for Chicago) and the NY and DC metros are very close by. Theres no shortage of new grads for companies looking- with the exception of a few newer and up and coming fields that are in high demand. If the market says your friend will have to take a pay cut, then she takes a pay cut. It's an employer's market, not an employee's market. Be thankful she wasn't looking for employment in 2010.

again, since your friend is unemployed you find the job first, then use that to decide where you want to live- not the other way around. When she's more established then she can be pickier.

casual comparison of cost of living can be found on sites like this one:

MOD CUT: Removed link to competing site.

Philadelphia is barely cheaper than Chicago across the board- and finding this out took seconds.

She probably IS better off going back to Chicago, since her research on Philadelphia seems to be lacking, and what she expects out of the job market and living situation isn't realistic. Its likely she'll be successful eventually, but that will likely mean a year or two of living in a less desirable location in a suburb that might not be "hot", for less money than she thought she'd be making at 30.

That's life.
Her expectation wasn't to find another Chicago. If that's the case she would have stayed in Chicago. She just believed that the job market wouldn't be as tight as it was, because Philly is a larger city(obviously not as large as Chicago). she also believed that there would be many authentic to Philly amentities, and attractions--but was disappointed that while there are, they are mostly located in the city, not the greater Philadelphia burbs where there are a plethora of jobs in her field.

Obviously Bluebell is very far from the city--that is precisely the point, lol. Living out here, she has great access to other suburbs where there tend to be a lot of jobs(KOP, Horsham, Malvern, Conshy, etc), but it takes her away from the "life" of Philly, which is in the city. In Chicago, suburbs that are the same distance away(as bluebell is from CC) are still fairly commutable, even in rush hours. In Philly, with two lane expressways LOL, that's not the case.

My friend does have experience working in the education field, but she no longer teaches, and her most recent experience is marketing/related. Chicago has more opportunities for that field, Philly has opportunities, but not as much, and many would require her to take a paycut.

Obviously she understood that moving out here without a job in place would mean that she would have to make sacrifices and compromises. She just assumed many things about the city, based on outside research--that proved to not be completely accurate once she arrived. It is what it is--and I think she's now trying to make the best of it.

And yes Philly is cheap compared to DC, NY, etc. But, her outside research, actually made it appear as if Philly was cheaper than Chicago, and even some southern places(with housing at least) and that is obviously not true lol!!!! In any case, like I said, she's already looking into Mt. Airy sublets, and is on indeed everyday looking and applying to whatever she can find--even places that pay less, than her most recent position.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:02 PM
Location: North Jackson
2,076 posts, read 3,334,428 times
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West Philly gets no love on this board. Take your friend for a drive around Wynnefield, Overbrook, and Overbrook Park neighborhoods as well. All solid middle class people, anchored by st Joseph's university.
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Old 07-01-2016, 04:30 PM
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,880,905 times
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Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
In fact, if neighborhoods like Germantown and most of North Philly simply had more amenities/commercial presence, Philly's walk score would very easily be boosted pretty significantly, since the infrastructure/built-form is already in place to facilitate this.

Absolutely, 100% the case, and pretty succinctly sums up a lot of what I've said here over the years, in a much better manner.
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Old 07-01-2016, 05:31 PM
Location: Philadelphia
11,942 posts, read 10,817,344 times
Reputation: 8139
"Marketing" seems to be a fickle field tbh-many jobs can be more commissioned based. Is there a specific aspect she has experience in?

If she doesn't have much experience or specified skills in the field I think she may have difficulty finding employment in any city.
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:24 PM
3,063 posts, read 2,637,013 times
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Originally Posted by JacksonPanther View Post
West Philly gets no love on this board. Take your friend for a drive around Wynnefield, Overbrook, and Overbrook Park neighborhoods as well. All solid middle class people, anchored by st Joseph's university.
I'm familiar with the area. I took some classes at st Joseph. It's too much of a commute though--and once again it's about the job issue. She can move anywhere. She has a lot in savings which would allow her to do a sublet in any part of the city. But she has to make sure that wherever she lives she can find a job that's a reasonable distance away.
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Old 07-02-2016, 02:29 PM
3,063 posts, read 2,637,013 times
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Originally Posted by 2e1m5a View Post
"Marketing" seems to be a fickle field tbh-many jobs can be more commissioned based. Is there a specific aspect she has experience in?

If she doesn't have much experience or specified skills in the field I think she may have difficulty finding employment in any city.
She carried out marketing campaigns, event planning, market research, outreach, sales, and some light social media---but not as much as she would need to be able to say it's something she has a lot of experience in. She did a little bit of content development as well.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:45 AM
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For the fourth of July weekend, since my son was with his dad, me, her, and one of our other friends from Chicago came out and got a hotel on Penns Landing(the Hilton). We had a great time. The food was sooo good, and we got to really explore Philly. We stayed from Saturday and left yesterday. She loved the different parts of Philly that we went to. Once again, we both lamented that if there were more job opportunities in the city and better public schools, we would be happy(and I most likely would be open to staying). It's so unfortunate that the suburbs have more job opportunities and better schools. But the disconnect is REAL. I felt like I was in a completely different state when I was in Philly compared to Bluebell/Plymouth. I know there's often that disconnect in most cities(where the city feels different from the suburbs), but for some reason in Philly, the difference feels greater. I've said it before--but living in the city or close to the city is key IMO to having a good experience in Philly as a transplant. I would never recommend a transplant that has no friends or family in the area, to relocate to a suburb that is far from the city. It just isn't the same. The funny thing is that every transplant I've met that moved to the location I live, has complained about how unhappy they are--they whine about some of the same things I have: it's hard to make friends, the food sucks, there isn't much to do, the suburbs aren't all particularly pretty. Meanwhile every transplant I meet that lives in the city, has great things to say about Philly... I'm once again, on the fence between telling her to either try to find a job in the city, or close enough to the city, or to just move somewhere else, lol.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:13 PM
Location: Montco PA
2,065 posts, read 4,290,092 times
Reputation: 1478
Faith, does the food really "suck" in the Norristown area? Really? And I still can't believe there isn't much to do. What would you like to do that you can't?

As for your comments about the "disconnect" between the city and the suburbs here, I think you are perceptive and on to something. For a very long time, let's say since the 60's, while Philadelphia collapsed (for lack of a better word) until probably the 90's (Ed Rendell's terms as mayor), there was a very real dislike and disdain toward Philadelphia by many of the suburban residents. Only recently has there been a shift in people's attitudes, which I think started to occur as a result of Rendell's promotion of the city. So I think you might be sensing the distrust/disdain of the city that still is somewhat prevelant in the area.

There are other things in East Norriton and Blue Bell that make those areas appear different from the city: the almost complete lack of street lighting. People, especially those in parts of Blue Bell, feel that street lighting is too "urban" and will make the area look like a city. They think that dark streets at night add to the character. I think the anti-street light mentality is a direct result of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I don't know, though, I have always thought this but it's really just my opinion.
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