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Monday, June 16, 2014

Why You Should Think About Moving To Silicon Valley

After leaving Silicon Valley to go to business school in Utah, a lot of friends and classmates have asked me my thoughts about living and working there. I've accepted a job back in the bay, so of course this is my opinion and completely biased, but here are the top reasons for heading back.

Picture of the golden gate bridge from underneath

The companies. Check any list of top places to work in the US (CNN, Forbes) and you'll see many companies from the bay area. Not only that, but many of these companies are experiencing fast growth. My experience has been where there is growth, the opportunities are all around. There are few places in the world where so many great companies are in such close proximity. This makes it extremely competitive for talent, so companies have to treat you well to keep you.

Logos from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Apple


The people. The bay area is top in the nation for overall education level. I have found that people in the bay area are driven, educated, passionate and generally open minded. I remember shortly after moving there, when for first time I met someone at work that went to an Ivy league school, I was really intimated. After a few months, I stopped being intimated and tried to learn as much as I could from the smart people around me. Surrounding myself with such talented and ambitious people really motivated me to step it up. Just living there broadened my vision of what I could accomplish in my career and life.

The weather- It's amazing. Check out the average temperatures. I rode my bike to work year round. You won't have to deal with scorching summers or frozen winters, it's a very moderate climate.

average monthly temperatures for mountain view, CA
Mountain View, CA


The fun- There is a whole lot to do, almost no matter what you're into. Geographically, there is surf, mountains, cities, snow and lakes all within a short drive. It's a great scene for food, music, art, philanthropy, nature, tech and just about whatever else you like.

4 guys on the beach about to surf in pacifica


Oh and of course, to be fair, here are the two biggest cons so you know what you're getting into. 

It's really expensive- Check out this cost of living calculator. It's one of the most expensive places to live in the country. This makes it really difficult to buy a house. Though, companies in the bay generally pay more and your salary is likely to increase much faster because of how competitive it is for talent. I've found that besides housing, a lot of the cost comes down to your lifestyle choices. If you only spend on what is most important to you, it's possible to save.

It's a bubble- You know, when the general population forgets that anyone else lives or thinks any differently? It's not always like that and not everyone is trapped, but check out this funny article about some serious bay area first world problems.

If you can handle not buying a house for a while, I believe the pro's seriously out weigh the con's. It is a fantastic place to live and have a career. Your quality of life will likely be improved. If you need more convincing, shoot me an email, or marry someone from the bay area like I did.

3 comments:

  1. Nice Post Derek! You've definitely sold me on moving to Silicon Valley - it sounds fantastic! What would you say to people who are job hunting and open to moving there eventually? Would you recommend moving there while looking for a job, or do you think that living someplace with a lower cost of living while you are looking would be a better option?

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  2. I'd recommend just coming out here and see if you can find a really cheap or free place to crash until you get a job. Thanks for the comment Dan!

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  3. I really appreciate the critical thinking that went into this blog. Gets better and better.
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