So, my plan has been to return to Boston with my newly acquired Masters in Electrical Engineering, and become a High School Physics Teacher. Today, I learned that the summer job I had expected to take won’t be happening (silly assumption on my part).
On the other hand, I will very likely be receiving an engineering job offer in Portland, OR sometime this week.
So, I’ve spent the last year or so trying to figure out “Who I want to be” and I think that’s the weird high school teacher with a 10,000 Watt Sound system in his lab room (what, your school didn’t have that guy?), and possibly spend summers as a NOLS instructor or guide. But, then again, living in Portland doing an engineering job that’s reasonably interesting, and being so close to a permanent snow pack, big mountains, and dedicated mountaineering community has it’s benefits.
So, if you’ve read this far, what do you think? Anybody got an opinion? And, perhaps most importantly, anyone in New England able to hook me up with a summer gig that will allow me to pay rent? I’ve got insurance covered, but I still need a little bit o’cash. Oh, and the ability to take a week off at the end of July to climb Gannett Peak would be a big bonus. 🙂
I moved to Portland last week for a design engineering job. My new job is a in a sea of cubes staring at a computer all day, but hey, if Snoslut can do it, I figure it can’t be that bad.
For me Portland was a slight downgrade in backcountry snowboarding relative to the variety of the greater Seattle area (where I also had a few job offers). With that said, I am stoked on year round riding and pretty damn good lift access riding too. Ski Bowl has a huge night ski area so if you are rockin’ the 9-5, you can still get your kicks in during the week. Relative to the east coast though, it has to be way better.
I was actually in Boston earlier this month. It was my first time there, and I have to say it was much cooler than I expected, Boston is an awesome place. I guess the snow scene leaves something to be desired though.
I would guess that the Portland job you are looking at pays about three times what a teacher makes. Hell, my dad has spent a career teaching and I make more at this job I have now after a few years of experience than he will ever make. personally I would rock Portland, you can allways go back to teaching, but if you get stuck teaching now it might be really hard to move west later on.
pm me if you want any specifics on what I do or where I work….
Part of my family and all of my wife’s family are from New England. I love it here in the PNW so much that I have to keep my current job, which I love, otherwise we will likely relocate to NE when she retires from the Navy in a year. With both of us getting a small retirment check from the Navy each month it makes the prospect of higher costs back east tolerable, but I hate to think of leaving the PNW for NE. I want my girls to see their family, but I want this to be their home.
Follow your instinct and heart, only you can make the determination of what to balance, weigh and decide. Good luck, no matter which coast you call home. (Do you know it snowed from 1 to 3 feet in the WA and OR Cascades and Olympics last week?)
Not sure about the benefits of the East Coast, as I solely think about outdoor possibilities (currently) and have only ventured there to climb during the winter.
If you like a fairly stable snowpack, plenty of in- and out-of-bounds descent options, and won’t get depressed with the lack of sunshine (read: overcast with likely rain) then I would flip coasts to Portland. If I ever leave Norcal, Portland is where I am heading, partly due to family in the area, but more importantly the opportunities both recreational and employment, considered as a single entity.
You have expierience the hell that I grew up in( TEXAS…actually its not too bad. Im just joking) but many years ago after spending a little time in L.A. surfing I decided my commitment to surfing was larger than anything in my life at the time other than my family. I was young and knew I could always move back . So lucky for me the job market got really shitty in Houston in the early 80’s and I was forced to move to New York City. East Coast surf was great, I was learning a new culture and I could still come home and visit. 20 years later Im married . own a home in San Diego and can surf or do some big lines in a major mountain range. My Mom and Dad are still in good health but getting older, and that weighs on me….but looking back Im glad I didnt stick around in the same area I grew up in. 20 years later my friends from home still do the same ol boring stuff.
For a young guy out of collage this is a tought decision …but I would say Portland.
If you think it really blows you can move back to Boston or you can go somewhere else…..but at least you will have tried. I would say go for it. No doubt.
However..give yourself at least 2 years and dont think about moving back any sooner. Seems the 6 months to 10 month period is where you will want to go home the worst.
Although teaching can be rewarding the way the economy is looking I would go with the engineering gig. You can always teach later and would be a better teacher once you have become more worldly ( i.e. older)
And besides..I need a place to crash on the way to Saint Helens
I am finishing up my fifth year teaching at-risk kids in a middle school. My wife and I are both teachers and we were blessed to score an affordable home 5 minutes from some amazing mountains. We are frugal people, materials (unless they relate to outdoors) mean little to us, so we get by with the little money we make. I love my job, it is fascinating and rewarding. It gives you a true perspective on life. Pair teaching with mountains and you have true balance. Personally I could not work in a cubicle or deal with other adults, at least kids have an excuse for the stupid things they do. My wife and I get summers off, a good December break, and a good spring break. I have the opportunity to spend more time with my kids than I think most dad’s get. When the kids get older we will spend our spring and fall in the desert and summers surfing and climbing volcanoes or maybe shredding S. America. These are the things important to me, service to others, family, mountains. If you are a crazy science teacher, who shows passion, kids will love you and respect you. You will have the opportunity to make an incredible difference in there lives and inspire positive changes. In terms of where you live, don’t come to Utah the riding suck here.
I lived in Portland for six years…Seasonal Affective Disorder notwithstanding, it’s a great city. Great music, great culture (witness the “Keep Portland Weird” movement)…I teach in Colorado now, but every summer, P-Town is my home base.
Even with all the Rocky Mountain Pow out here, my heart’s still in the great PNW…
Portland was super tempting, but I pulled the trigger today, and let them know I wouldn’t be taking the job (and why). I don’t know what I’ll be doing for money over the summer, but in the fall, hopefully I will have found a teaching job (everyone tells me it’s not too hard for someone who wants to teach physics).
Man, this is some scary sh**. I feel a bit queasy right now. But, next year, I’m sure it will feel 100% worth it.
Dangit, can’t I just get a plan and stick to it? No less than an hour after I posted last, a colleague from my old company in Boston called and told me they want to interview me for a job in a group waaaayyy cooler than my old one (no panicked business travel or obnoxious bosses, but I would get to design things that might become products in 3-5 years.) I guess I’ll go to the interview and see how that goes. But I’m still trying to fight the corporate dark side!