What would you do? Potential opportunities across the country, possible increase in TC, but...
TL;DR: Would you switch from 50k/year subcontractor gig in a low cost of living area on the east coast to an 80-100k/year full time position in the bay area?
Hey folks. I'm a v- over at msft, so paycheck and benefits from elsewhere and the scorn of FTEs from everywhere. I've unintentionally fallen into the role of a support incident manager after several years of TSE/service desk/tech support and actually love it quite a bit. It fits me well, is a great balance of chaos and process adherence, and gives me the opportunity to get real nerdy in the complex interrelationships of technical account managers, support, and product groups.
Frankly, I fuckin love my job. I love my team, who I collaborate with, working together to turn dumpster fires into controlled burns, and getting to be the guy who gets to make moves to make folks real happy without anyone needing to know my name. And at the risk of sounding like a shill, I love the values Microsoft espouses and how much we work on and what we're all building together. I'd stay here forever if I could. But, unfortunately, I'm a vendor. My paycheck is solidly in the range of "can pay rent and groceries and have emergency savings, but probably ain't ever gonna buy a house or retire." There aren't really any avenues to move forward and with it being a rolling contract, the job security is nonexistent. As much as I love this and want this as my career, there's no future here.
So I've quietly applied for similar roles at Microsoft with the hopes of being able to just transition to FTE, but haven't had any luck or return calls. I started looking externally and found a role at a startup doing what I do now, but double the pay, actually has real health insurance and benefits, and seems like a decently-not-evil company. They hit me back up about my application and are interested in me. Downside: it's in the bay area. There are no opportunities to work remotely. If they were to hire me, my spouse wouldn't be able to move with me without sacrificing their own career and that seems like a good way to have an unfair power dynamic in our marriage. I'd have to make that move solo and wait until there's another opportunity that's back home or remote like I do now. But, we'd be able to pay off debt, save for a down payment, even possibly get on track for a retirement plan depending on how cheap I live. I may be underestimating the cost of living over yonder, but I'm assuming it's still a hefty increase in overall compensation.
So would you spend a few years away from your family for a full time, possibly 100k/year position across the country? At least to use it as a springboard to wherever that might lead next?