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Old 09-15-2020, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2 posts, read 1,624 times
Reputation: 17

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Hello everyone,

I graduated from WashU with a Mechanical Engineering Degree in 2018 and got a great job offer as a Flight Test Engineer in Huntsville, AL. I accepted the offer based on purely logical reasons (cheap COL, decent salary, sounded like a fun job experience). However, I think from the very beginning my heart was not all in it. There are so many things I loved about St. Louis, but the biggest is that I had made some great friends in there and it was very painful leaving them behind. Nowadays, each and every time I visit them I have the strong desire to move back. I have yet to find a group of friends as down to earth as those I met in STL. It would be a very easy decision for me, except that I can't imagine finding a more low-stress and fun work environment than the job I currently have in Huntsville. All my coworkers are great and the job itself is fun and unique. The most comparable jobs in STL would be something at Boeing, but I have heard some pretty bad stories of people working at these larger type companies. At the same time, I realize engineers need to move around in order to really get major salary increases.

In an effort to try and help me through this decision, I have made a pros list of each city. I was hoping I could get some advice from anyone who has any input whatsoever.

Pros of moving to St. Louis:
- Be with an established friend group who I love
- Bigger city with more to do
- Blue city politically that align with my views.
- Increased salary
- More relationship prospects

Pros of staying in Huntsville:
- Job I love and could probably be happy there indefinitely.
- Lower cost of living
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:20 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
7,444 posts, read 7,015,567 times
Reputation: 4601
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancealot829 View Post
Hello everyone,

I graduated from WashU with a Mechanical Engineering Degree in 2018 and got a great job offer as a Flight Test Engineer in Huntsville, AL. I accepted the offer based on purely logical reasons (cheap COL, decent salary, sounded like a fun job experience). However, I think from the very beginning my heart was not all in it. There are so many things I loved about St. Louis, but the biggest is that I had made some great friends in there and it was very painful leaving them behind. Nowadays, each and every time I visit them I have the strong desire to move back. I have yet to find a group of friends as down to earth as those I met in STL. It would be a very easy decision for me, except that I can't imagine finding a more low-stress and fun work environment than the job I currently have in Huntsville. All my coworkers are great and the job itself is fun and unique. The most comparable jobs in STL would be something at Boeing, but I have heard some pretty bad stories of people working at these larger type companies. At the same time, I realize engineers need to move around in order to really get major salary increases.

In an effort to try and help me through this decision, I have made a pros list of each city. I was hoping I could get some advice from anyone who has any input whatsoever.

Pros of moving to St. Louis:
- Be with an established friend group who I love
- Bigger city with more to do
- Blue city politically that align with my views.
- Increased salary
- More relationship prospects

Pros of staying in Huntsville:
- Job I love and could probably be happy there indefinitely.
- Lower cost of living
If you've found a job you love that's quite a bit of the life battle won, at least for as long as it remains a good situation.

I'd stay there. Visit your friends in STL, make new ones in AL.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:25 AM
 
7,108 posts, read 8,969,367 times
Reputation: 6415
I love the midwest. It seems I fit in better and St Louis is a good balanced small big city. The people in St. Louis seems to be so much easier to deal with on a daily basis (imo) and inspite of what people say, it is very easy to make friends.

Stick with the job you love unless a better opportunity comes up in St. Louis. Pay isn't everything if you hate your work environment. Huntsville is a pleasant place but it isn't St. Louis.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:41 AM
 
70 posts, read 102,412 times
Reputation: 82
It sounds like you really can't lose, regardless of where you land. While I've never been to Huntsville, it sounds like a good place to live - and the weather is likely better (in winter) than here in STL!

Having said that, a big decision always comes down to trade offs. Your top Huntsville "pro" is related to your current job. Are you willing to give up a job you enjoy for the familiarity of friends and places in STL? What are the chances that you'll have that particular job at that company forever? In other words, do you feel like it's a stable company that's not going to change course or do layoffs in the near term? If you feel secure there, you can always set a deadline (9-12 months from now), and if you're still feeling the itch to move, start a long-distance job search for STL. Who knows...with a little more time in Huntsville, you might decide the grass isn't greener in STL. Or, you might find a great job opportunity with Boeing or other company in STL that you can't pass up. Seems like a lot of companies are in a hiring freeze right now, but that will probably (hopefully) change in the coming months.

I will say -- as someone who graduated from college way back in the 90s -- as I've become more emotionally and intellectually mature with age, the things that were once really important have taken a backseat to things like being near loved ones, having optimal choices with medical care, living among folks who are like-minded and experiencing the change of seasons. There's no place like home...and "home" is where you grow your life.

I've lived in Chicago and Washington D.C. Like many "boomerang" native Missourians, I've returned to the STL area to live out the rest of my life. With the exception of the winters and unfortunate proliferation of crime in STL City, I think it's pretty great here!

Try to enjoy the process of making the decision. Be sure you give Huntsville a fair chance before you cut those ties.
Best wishes for success - no matter where you end up.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2 posts, read 1,624 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfdigregorio View Post
Try to enjoy the process of making the decision. Be sure you give Huntsville a fair chance before you cut those ties.
Best wishes for success - no matter where you end up.
I needed to hear this! Thanks for your words of wisdom! I'm going to set a 1 year timeline and will only make decision after I have really considered everything.
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