Friday, June 20, 2008

Should you work where you want to live? (or vice versa)

So my oldest son is pretty nervous about our move from Skokie to Frederick and our old cat that won't die and I are the only one's that can't sleep in a LaQuinta somewhere in Ohio. This time, my son and I (and the three pets) are make the final drive from Illinois to Maryland.

As we were driving across Indiana, he asked, "Dad, how do we know we are making the right decision?"

Kids are funny that way. I have been asking myself the same question. Of course the brutally honest answer is your really never know. You have a set of data at a given point in time and you go for it. You make your best effort and you could be wrong and you recalibrate as your dataset changes. But you don't tell that to a 9 year old that is anxious enough already.

* * *

When it came time to leave College Station in 1994 we picked San Antonio because it was a large city in Texas that I sort of familiar with (I had drilled at Camp Bullis) and because it wasn't Houston or Dallas. I had lived in Houston when the Oilers had a good team and never much cared for most folks that said they were from Dallas (or Plano or Richardson) while at A&M.

We really liked Austin, but we weren't sure if we could get teaching jobs there. And we just barely managed to find jobs before September, but San Antonio was definitely not our kind of town. Eventually we started driving up to Austin almost every weekend. And finally I managed to get a job working out of the Huntland office for Southwestern Bell. Then Cisco 9 months later. And we loved it. Too bad I got sick of Cisco and working at home at Digital Bond. I tried hard for Seattle getting shot down at both Amazon and Microsoft after the on-site interviews. Then Chicago came up -- with Hewitt. We felt we needed a change. Our last Summer in Austin sucked the life out of us, old houses with weak AC's and minimal insulation -- my wife said move somewhere cooler or put in a pool. The job was good. A more security ops related role that involved Open Source and development and the money was good, so we went for it.

That was 18 months ago. I really don't know how long we would have stayed in Chicagoland even if there hadn't been the an "act of God".

Skokie was definitely a unique plassI've been meaning to blog on it and I'm sure I will in the coming months, but it really wasn't us. And I'm not sure anyplace in Chicago was, either.

* * *

So I asked my son, "What is different about moving to Maryland than when we moved from Austin to Chicago?" And I managed to get him to admit that we know people there, we have family there and "I have two friends there," he said, referring to the two girls of my Dad's executive assistant that live on a farm.

And I told him that (like Austin) we picked Maryland -- then I found a job there. I'm not sure it put his mind at ease that is good enough for me.


Richard Bejtlich said...

Good post Matt. Once you're really settled there, any interest in speaking at a NoVA Sec meeting?

Matt Franz said...

Definitely. I'm also thinking about about trying to start a FredSec group. I'm sure there are at least a dozen or so security folks out here in Frederick county.