I was going to participate in Aloha Friday but since I have other stuff on my mind I better blog about that stuff.
Max graduated in December. Before that he was looking for jobs but since then the job hunt has intensified greatly. He has a job as an intern, doing contract work (ie. no benefits for half the pay), but he is greatly underpaid, we are in need of benefits, and some level of job security.
His job hunt has taken him around the country even though he would prefer to stay in Colorado. I am all for moving with some conditions, ie. the place we move can't suck, but other than that I have lived in Colorado for almost 20 years now and I am ready to experience life somewhere else and have an "adventure."
So as you all know the economy has tanked, leaving many people unemployed, and getting laid off. Max is very smart, has an engineering degree, 6 years Naval nuclear experience, and 2 years shipyard experience as an engineering technician, so he should be able to find something. The job hunt is not going as well as he expected. I suppose it never does for recent graduates.
He was offered a job in Colorado in August that would've started in January but he turned it down. It was in Eagle County, outside of Vail, which is crazy expensive to live. The salary was less than average, the relocation was barely anything, and the health insurance sucked. We were better off with his "half-salary" here in Denver paying low rent then moving up there and never being able to afford anything.
He has had two interviews with a company in Honolulu and was under the impression they were going to be making him an offer at the end of last week but we are still waiting to hear so who knows if that will pan out.
My thoughts about living in Hawaii are mixed. First off, Hawaii is beautiful, the lifestyle is more laid back, and did I say it is paradise. It would be completely different, an adventure, and probably fun. I can picture taking the kids to the beach several times a week. Negatively the cost of living is also quite expensive, the schools are not outstanding, you would be somewhat isolated (it isn't that easy for people to come visit you), moving is expensive and complicated. We would have to sell a lot of our stuff, which is fine because a lot of our stuff isn't that nice, but when you put an ocean between you and where you want to be it gets complicated, cars, stuff, everything.
This week my husband reconnected with one of his Navy friends who does recruiting at a company in Columbia, Maryland (outside Baltimore). His friend said he could make him an offer or fly him out to check things out. Max is flying out a week from Sunday for two days. I am almost certain they will make him an offer and from what he friend said the salary is $5,000-$15,000 more than the average he was expecting at an entry level job. Howard county looks beautiful and has some of the best schools in the country. Negatively I am almost certain we cannot afford to live in Howard county and would have to live in Baltimore county, either in a Southwest suburb or within the city limits of Baltimore. Finding a neighborhood that is family friendly, with good schools is really important to me. If he takes this job the prospects of finding the best place to live in the area is already overwhelming to me. Neither one of us has been there before and Max's friend recommended some areas to look but he doesn't have kids. Other negatives is it is a few thousand dollars to move across the country and almost all our family is in Colorado or further west (CA). It does look like a nice place to live, the offer would come quick, and Max would have a job and benefits right away. In this economy it does not seem like a good idea to wait around for another opportunity because it could be many months away.
The other leads are not as promising. Max considered going back into the Navy as an officer teaching Power School in Charleston, SC. The pay is moderate but the health coverage can't be beat. SC has beaches and I think it would be OK to live there. Max has lived there before and he didn't like it much. He said it is really humid and hot. There are bugs the size of birds and alligators block the roads (on the naval base at least). It would be a lot different. We know a couple people there. The girls biological mom is there and we are not so keen on sharing them since she has done none of their raising to this point. The cost of living is affordable and we could probably buy a pretty nice house we could afford. Max would have teaching experience but no "real" engineering experience. Once he got out he would have 10 years towards his military retirement and it would be tempting to stay in but that would mean he would be on a boat and out to sea a lot and I don't want him to be gone all the time. I don't think this will even pan out before the other two offers come through.
He also got a call from a recruiter offering a great salary if we want to live in the middle of nowhere an hour Southwest of Fayetteville, NC. I looked up the town of 2,000 people and I think I will pass. I lived in the LA, California area (big), a town of about 100,000 in Colorado where I grew up, and now we live in a city of 300,000, the third largest city in Colorado. I am not a small town girl, sorry. I don't want to live downtown in a big metropolis with kids either but I am a suburbs girl.
So ladies, any thoughts, opinions, suggestions, tips. I would especially like to hear from you if you have either moved cross country with kids or you have lived or know someone who has lived in the Balitmore/Columbia, MD area or the Honolulu area. Tell me what you like, love, dislike, hate, about the places, where are the best schools, where are the best places to live with kids. My husband's commute is a consideration too. I don't want him to be miserable! The Honolulu job is in the area of Honolulu Bay. The Baltimore/Columbia job is in Columbia.
THANKS! THANKS! THANKS! Thanks for listening and thanks for your feedback!