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Job (and life) Advice

Dear all:

I'm an American that's been living outside the United States ever since I graduated from university 6 years ago. In that time I've gotten married and became a father 8 months ago.

My wife and I want to return to the United States by the end of this year. I work in web-development, my wife with children.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to find a job from where I am but close associates of mine tell me -- rightly -- that it'll be almost impossible to find a decent job without currently being in the U.S.

So, my wife and I are thinking that we should pack up all our stuff and head back to the U.S. without having any employment secured. Then, after arrival start looking for a job immediately. (We'd initially stay with my folks in Florida.)

This wouldn't be such a concern if I was single or even just married but we now have a baby daughter.  In the country that we currently live there's national health insurance for all, regardless if you're currently employed or not. The U.S. on the other hand....

So, can you provide me with any advice as to what to do about job hunting from abroad, health insurance, and anything else I've missed.

Thanks.

Chi Lambda
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

If you've got the right kind of experience, you could find a job in the US. However, I'd strongly recommend targeting the Northern Virginia/DC area - we've had job listings throughout the recession, and I get at least a call a month without even looking.

Pretty good place to raise a kid, too.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The DC area is a good place to raise a kid??? You mean in general?

Anonymous
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I'll second Philo's advice; I also live in that area, and have seen a similar trend (though I don't get headhunter calls as often as Philo reports them).

It'll take a little while before you get to the interviewing stage.  As such, I recommend that you start sending in resumes now, so that you can begin interviewing as soon as you arrive in the States.

The Pedant, Brent P. Newhall
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

apart from the occasional sniper

19th floor
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

You could always ask your current employer if they would be interested in telecommuting.

I made such an arrangement two years ago when I moved to the USA, although it turned out that I didn't need it - found a job pretty quickly.

Big B
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

>>> However, I'd strongly recommend targeting the Northern Virginia/DC area - we've had job listings throughout the recession, <<<

Which DC area to you live in?  Oh, OK, you did say "job listings", not "jobs".

The Sunday Washington Post has less than two pages of "Tech Jobs", compared to three pages of "Healthcare Jobs".  There are some problems with those Tech Jobs: many of them say something like "Active TS/SCI with Full Scope Clearance desired".  That is, these are jobs for people who already have jobs.

Those that don't require a clearance may not represent actual jobs.  Many of them are companies collecting resumes for contracts they are bidding on but don't have yet.  Several companies may be bidding on the same contract, so it can look like there are several times more jobs than actually exist, or potentially exist if the contract is awarded.  What's more, some of these contracts will be for follow on work for existing contracts.  Thus, there are people already doing the work, so these ads don't represent new work.

mackinac
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Anonymous:

The DC *area*, not DC proper. The suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia (where I live) are nothing like the city itself.

Philo:

Maybe I looked in the wrong places, but it seems like all the jobs are entry-level or need security clearances.

Joe
http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

mods, please delete the troll by "19th floor"

I live in Virginia and that remark isn't the least bit funny or on-topic.

Joe Grossberg
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Professional organizations, (e.g., IEEE, ACM ) provide group health insurance as a member benefit.  Coverage can vary quite a bit, so you need to compare offerings.  I think the best deal is to get something with a high deductible and very high or unlimited claim limits.

mackinac
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Joe, I apologize if I offended anybody. I know this is not amusing, still the criminality in DC area might be worrying for families with kids. Am I wrong here?

19th floor
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

you said your folks live in Florida-- Florida is a nice place to settle; home prices are reasonable.  Stay away from massachusetts and California.

SteveL
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

19th floor:

Yes, crime is a big problem (far moreso in DC itself).

But that was in poor taste. Believe me, after 9/11 (you know, the Pentagon), anthrax in the mail, the sniper, etc., people around here aren't in a laughing mood about such things.

Apology accepted.

Joe Grossberg
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I would figure out where you want to live and then try to find work there, not the other way around. If you follow where tech work is, you'll continually be bouncing between really expensive metro areas. also, YMMV...but I find the "beltway bandit" lifestyle in the DC suburbs completely repellent.

One idea is: there are colleges in every state, and if it is a rich private school, you can always make at least $50K as a programmer or systems admin. If it is a really rich private school, you can make a lot more. thus I would figure out a nice place to live and target universities. I just got back from Maine, and I think that seems like one of the best places on earth to raise a child...maybe see if Bowdoin is hiring...

.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

> I would figure out where you want to live and then try to find work there, not the other way around.

I agree. 

Also, you seem the worrying type, so I agree that staying @ parent's is a good idea.  It will also alllow your wife to get to know your parents.  And since she is a stay-at-home  wife, maybe mom can teach her to cook your fav meals!

Where do you want to live in the states?  It may be near your parents anyway, now that you have kids. 

Bella
Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Why don't you stay where you are?

Alternatively, target universities and colleges in your area of choice. They have few hangups about hiring from abroad, and because their salaries are low, are cooler about giving you send notice and relocate.

Stephen Jonesa
Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Thanks, everyone, for your intelligent input.  (And thanks to Bella for making me smile.)

Chi Lambda
Thursday, August 21, 2003

What mackinac said.  Find a catastrophic health policy, one that starts paying only after your expenses exceed something like $5000 or $10000.  Those are much more affordable than the ones that enable you to get routine care with a $10 co-pay per visit.

T. Norman
Thursday, August 21, 2003

Chi Lambda,

What's your Plan B?

Prakash S
Friday, August 22, 2003

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