For years, the Bay Area has been known as a tech hotbed. But not everyone wants to live and work in such a competitive environment. Some tech workers have sworn off the Bay Area, finding success elsewhere. Here’s what they have to say about their decision.
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In recent years, an exodus of tech workers has left the Bay Area in droves for greener pastures. The reasons for this are plentiful, but the most often cited reasons are the high cost of living, the long commute, and the stressful culture. Whatever the reasons, these tech workers have found success elsewhere.
The high cost of living
For many years, the San Francisco Bay Area was considered the epicenter of the tech industry But as the cost of living in the area has skyrocketed, some tech workers have chosen to leave in search of greener pastures.
One such worker is Max Rohrbaugh, a software engineer who moved from San Francisco to Austin, Texas in 2016. Rohrbaugh says that he was able to save up enough money for a down payment on a house in just two years after making the move.
Rohrbaugh isn’t the only one who has found success outside of the Bay Area. In fact, many tech workers have chosen to relocate to cities like Portland, Seattle, and even Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The high cost of living in the Bay Area is often cited as a major reason for leaving. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $3,690 – more than double the national average.
So if you’re thinking about making a move out of the Bay Area, you’re definitely not alone. And with so many great options available outside of California, you’re sure to find a place that suits your needs – both professionally and personally.
The long commute
The long commute is often cited as a reason to leave the Bay Area. It can add hours to your day and wear you down mentally and physically.
There are a number of reasons for the long commute in the Bay Area. The first is that the Bay Area is a large region with a lot of people. This means that there are a lot of people trying to get into the same limited amount of space, which can lead to traffic congestion.
Another reason for the long commute is that housing in the Bay Area is expensive. This means that many people who work in the Bay Area live in suburbs or even farther away from their jobs. This can also lead to traffic congestion as people try to get into the city for work.
The last reason for the long commute is that public transportation in the Bay Area is not as developed as it is in other parts of the country. This means that many people who live in the Bay Area have to drive their own cars to get around, which can lead to traffic congestion.
All of these factors combine to create a lengthy commute for many people who live and work in the Bay Area.
The competitive environment
The Bay Area has long been considered the mecca for tech startups but a growing number of entrepreneurs are finding success outside of the region.
For some, the high cost of living and fierce competition for talent has made it difficult to build a sustainable business in the Bay Area. These entrepreneurs have chosen to relocate to cheaper markets where they can find the talent and resources they need to grow their businesses.
While the Bay Area will likely remain the top destination for tech startups, the rise of competing regions is changing the landscape of the startup ecosystem.
After years in the Bay Area tech scene, Nisha Dua moved to New York to start her own venture-funded company. She’s not alone. A number of entrepreneurs are finding that they can have just as much success building their businesses elsewhere.
A more affordable cost of living
For years, the promise of Silicon Valley has been how much wealth you can amass by working in tech. But as the cost of living in the Bay Area has ballooned, many people in tech are increasingly finding that their quality of life is better elsewhere.
Take San Francisco-based software engineer Patrick McKenzie, who decamped to Tokyo in 2006. In a recent blog post, McKenzie detailed how his cost of living is just a third of what it is in San Francisco, despite Tokyo being one of the most expensive cities in the world.
“I can live far better here than I could back in San Francisco,” he wrote. “I have a beautiful apartment overlooking a park in a central neighborhood. My building has an attended lobby and an elevator. I have a washer and dryer in my unit.”
In San Francisco, McKenzie said he was paying nearly eight times as much for rent for an “okay” studio apartment near Golden Gate Park that didn’t have any of those amenities.
McKenzie isn’t alone in his assessment. A recent survey from Apartment List found that 57 percent of respondents would consider moving to another city if they could find a job that paid just 5 percent more than their current salary. And among millennial respondents, a whopping 78 percent said they would make the same move.
A shorter commute
The average commute in the Bay Area is over an hour, and that number is only going up as the region continues to grow. But in other parts of the country, commutes are much shorter. In fact, the average commute in the U.S. is just under 27 minutes.
So if you’re looking for a shorter commute, you’ll likely find it elsewhere. And with a shorter commute, you’ll have more time to enjoy your life outside of work.
A less competitive environment
In the Bay Area, it can feel like everyone is racing to the top. There’s a sense that everyone is constantly trying to one-up each other, and it can be exhausting. For some people, the pressure of always having to be the best is too much. They’re looking for a more laid-back environment where they can actually enjoy their work.
So, they’re leaving the Bay Area in search of greener pastures. And, in many cases, they’re finding them. In cities like Austin, Denver, and Portland, there’s a growing community of tech workers who are fleeing the Bay Area in search of a less competitive environment.
For these workers, the move has been liberating. They no longer feel the need to constantly prove themselves, and they’re able to focus on their work without all the distractions of the Bay Area rat race. As one worker put it, “It’s nice to be able to do my job without having to worry about whether or not I’m good enough.”
If you’re feeling burned out by the competitiveness of the Bay Area, know that you’re not alone. And know that there are other places where you can find success without all the stress.
The Bay Area’s Loss
The Bay Area’s high cost of living
The median home price in the Bay Area is now more than $1 million, and the median rental price is more than $3,500. That’s pricing out a lot of people, including many in the tech industry
So, what happens when Silicon Valley workers get priced out of the market? They often move to cheaper places — places where they can afford to buy a home, or at least rent an apartment.
And, in many cases, they’re finding that they can still do their jobs just as well from elsewhere. In fact, some are even finding that they prefer working from outside the Bay Area.
There are a number of reasons for this. First, the high cost of living in the Bay Area can be stressful. Second, traffic is terrible. Third, there’s a growing feeling that the Bay Area tech scene is become too insular — that it’s all about making money, and not about making things that are actually useful or interesting.
So, if you’re thinking about leaving the Bay Area for cheaper pastures, you’re not alone. And you might just find that you’re better off elsewhere.
The Bay Area’s long commute
The Bay Area’s long commute is a big reason why many tech workers are choosing to move elsewhere.
For years, the Bay Area has been a hub for tech workers, but that is changing. Many workers are now choosing to move to other parts of the country, where they can find better weather, cheaper housing, and shorter commute times.
The Bay Area’s long commute is a major factor in this trend. According to a recent study, the average commute time in the Bay Area is nearly 32 minutes, which is much longer than the national average of 26 minutes. This means that workers in the Bay Area are spending more time in traffic and less time with their families or relaxing outside of work.
There are many other factors contributing to the exodus of tech workers from the Bay Area, but the long commute is certainly one of the most significant. If you’re considering a move out of the Bay Area, be sure to consider all of your options before making a decision.
The Bay Area’s competitive environment
The Bay Area’s competitive environment is no secret. The high cost of living, the long hours and the pressure to succeed can be a recipe for burnout. “There’s this sense that you have to be working all the time,” said Sarah Nashelsky, a partner at the law firm Orrick, which has an office in San Francisco. “You have to be hustling all the time.”
Ms. Nashelsky, who represents start-ups and venture capitalists, said she had seen firsthand how the grind can take a toll on young lawyers and entrepreneurs. “I’ve seen people who are just completely exhausted,” she said. “They’re not taking care of themselves, they’re not sleeping, they’re not eating well.”
In recent years, a number of Silicon Valley veterans have given up on the Bay Area and moved elsewhere — to cities like Denver, Seattle and Portland, Ore., where the cost of living is lower and the pace of life is (slightly) slower.
“The Bay Area has become increasingly difficult for middle-class families,” said Jesse Draper, a founder of Halogen Ventures, a venture capital firm with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. “It’s just really hard to live here.”
Ms. Draper, who is also a television host and producer, said she had decided to move her family out of San Francisco last year after struggling to find affordable housing and child care. “I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.
For years, many in Silicon Valley have been saying that the region needs to address its housing crisis and ease its traffic problems if it wants to remain attractive to workers — and stem the flow of talented people to places like Seattle, Austin and Boston. But those issues have proved difficult to resolve.
“The cost of living is only going up,” Ms. Nashelsky said. “There’s no relief in sight.”