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Edmonton Canada... is it a trap?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ok,

just to to give you guys a quick run down of my current situation, I have a pretty good job (for my standards anyways) here in Atlanta GA. Right now I'm in a customer support group where I get to learn alot from my team (tons of years of experience in the field of television broadcast/compression).

There is about to be a job opening in Edmonton Alberta with a VERY important account. The position would be that of a Service Account Manager who would directly deal with the customer. This would mean that there is more of a focus on the technology that they use, but that means that I would have to become much more familiarized with it. Either way, theoretically acquiring a job like this one would be a TREMENDOUS career move. A couple of years in a position like this would give me a great experience. Not to mention I would probably double my salary maybe close to $90k/yr > paid in U.S. dollars while living in Canada = descent quality of life?

I figure if I'm getting paid enough while living somewhere else, it's no different than living here in Atlanta as long as I can take a trip to somewhere sunny/warm/with a beach every 2 or 3 months.

Some pointers
  • I am a surfer
  • I am not fond of the cold
  • I'm 25
  • I just got married this year
  • All my family lives in either Florida or Puerto Rico
  • I've never lived outside the U.S.

My real question is... Is Edmonton entertaining enough for me not to want to kill myself?

It really sucks that there's no good jobs for me where I'd like to live ( by the beach ), but maybe if I sacrifice a couple of years for a good career I may be able to achieve this.
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by danilo View Post
[*]I am not fond of the cold
Don't go, UNLESS you AND your wife can agree on paper that you'll only stay for 18 months tops, just to get the experience. You must make sure she'll be okay with it, otherwise you risk shaking up your marriage. BTW, Edmonton cold isn't just cold. Prepare for the physical and emotional grief as you open the door to the outside world to go to work in the morning.
post #3 of 27
The question of whether you will be able to last depends a lot on your constitution relating to cold weather, which won't get tested until you get there. You will experience days in the -10 to -20 fahrenheit range at the cold end. If you can survive that (my opinion is that everyone can. You spend your time in your home, in a car, at work, all of which are air conditioned/heated.) then you will do just fine. You may find that the cold doesn't really bother you at all.

On the plus side the mountains are only a couple hours away, and with places like Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine, Fernie, etc., there are many opporutnities to get away which have a cold weather bent. Getting to warmer climates is easy enough. 4/5 hours by plane takes you to Mexico, Florida, California, etc.

Edmonton isn't really a small city, it's over a million so you will have access to everything most other cities of that size provide, sports, entertainment, shopping, dining.

Growing up in Canada, I wouldn't hesitate about an opportunity like that, but I understand that someone used to warmer climes may have some qualms. Either way, good luck with your decision and career.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
thanks for the words... I agree, it seems as if Edmonton will have all the basic things that most big cities will. It's really up to myself to see if I could handle making this kind of 'life change'. I mean, I'd pretty much have to start new. It's not worth bringing my car or anything over. It would definitely be an adventure. But one that would come at the cost of having both of us being separated from our families, friends, and all that we know. It may be a little selfish, to do this just for my career experience. If I hadn't gotten married this may be a much easier decision.
post #5 of 27
4 hours to Jasper and Banff is good enough for me. Siiiick shredding.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by danilo View Post
Ok,

just to to give you guys a quick run down of my current situation, I have a pretty good job (for my standards anyways) here in Atlanta GA. Right now I'm in a customer support group where I get to learn alot from my team (tons of years of experience in the field of television broadcast/compression).
<Considering that the major cable distributor is in Calgary, and most broadcast stations are now controled from Toronto, there is only one more BDU I can think of and I probably worked for that company for 8 1/2 years before moving to TO. I also participated in the desing of their distribution network>

There is about to be a job opening in Edmonton Alberta with a VERY important account. The position would be that of a Service Account Manager who would directly deal with the customer. This would mean that there is more of a focus on the technology that they use, but that means that I would have to become much more familiarized with it. Either way, theoretically acquiring a job like this one would be a TREMENDOUS career move. A couple of years in a position like this would give me a great experience. Not to mention I would probably double my salary maybe close to $90k/yr > paid in U.S. dollars while living in Canada = descent quality of life?
<Quality of life is what you make of it. Edmonton and area has about 1.1 Million people of all ethnic origins. Mostly WASP, but also Ukrainians, Aboriginals and various Asian cultures. Lots of variety. It is surrended by lots farms, industrial support for the oil fields in the north and government from being the provincial capital. Most large head offices of oil firms are about 200 miles south in Calgary. Real estate is decent, but at current exchange rate, USD90K is just decent living comparable with most mid west US cities.>

I figure if I'm getting paid enough while living somewhere else, it's no different than living here in Atlanta as long as I can take a trip to somewhere sunny/warm/with a beach every 2 or 3 months.
<Lots of packages to Vegas (4hrs flight) and Vancouver (1 hr). Canadian airfares are a lot higher than US as transborder flights are regulated, hence less competition.>

Some pointers
  • I am a surfer <Land Locked, but lakes are a plenty just a short drive away>
  • I am not fond of the cold <Out of luck, winter start around mid Nov. Common for night time to be around 0 F in Dec, Jan and Feb. it last until mid March, but also common to have snow in April. The cold is very dry, so once you are used to it, it is bearable, just brutal. Block heaters are a necessity for the car overnight.>
  • I'm 25 <Lots to do for young people but also mostly focused on bars and lounges. There is on strip by the university where most of the young crowd hangs. Downtown is dead after work hours or on week ends. Similar to most midwest US cities.>
  • I just got married this year
  • All my family lives in either Florida or Puerto Rico <This is going to be a culture shock for them. You being in Atlanta, you may feel right at home.>
  • I've never lived outside the U.S. <See above>

My real question is... Is Edmonton entertaining enough for me not to want to kill myself?

It really sucks that there's no good jobs for me where I'd like to live ( by the beach ), but maybe if I sacrifice a couple of years for a good career I may be able to achieve this.

I lived in Edmonton for 20 years. I included some comments for you above.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
thanks for the comments, are you still in the broadcast industry?
post #8 of 27
I'm a bit surprised you'd have that much hesitation to do this. Edmonton is a good sized city, close to a lot of really nice places. I won't repeat what the other have said, but if it's a great career move, and you get the opportunity to live in another country for a while, why not go? You're young, with no kids tying you down. The cold isn't great, but you can get a chance to do a lot of snowboarding on some pretty amazing mountains. If I were you I'd jump at the opportunity.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kever View Post
... Edmonton is a good sized city, close to a lot of really nice places. ...

Agree with kever on everything except the above, Edmonton is actually in the middle of nowhere fast. 4hours drive west to Jasper, 3 hours drive south to Calgary, 4.5 hours south west to Banff. Everything else is a flight away from an airport in the middle of nowhere at a hefty price.

I never saw myself as being the broadcast industry, but as the broadcast industry merges into the IT industry (at least for distribution, media control and billing), this distinction is going to be less relevant.
post #10 of 27
I like Edmonton as a place to visit, but not to live. I always hear from people that it's a depressing place with nothing other than the Oilers in town. I guess if you like the outdoors, it's great, but I see stuff like that as places you can fly/drive to for vacation from anywhere. I grew up in Vancouver.
post #11 of 27
First of all, it's not a trap! I've lived in Edmonton pretty much my whole life and can sum it up as a good place to live, crappy place to go on vacation. We've pretty much got all the essentials covered plus a few extras...Edmonton has a fairly vibrant arts community, tonnes of concerts, a decent food culture, nice private clubs, and lots of outdoor activities. Your salary would afford you a pretty good lifestyle. That being said, things are somewhat more expensive in Canada than the US. If you've got any specific questions, feel free to shoot me a pm! Edit: I've also been hearing that we are in for a mild winter this year. Yay global warming!
post #12 of 27
Frozen hellscape. Terrible hockey team. Accept at your peril. And Stazy is bad at math and other essential life skills. (waits)
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JD_May View Post
Winter wonderland. 5 time stanley cup champions. Accept immediately. And Stazy is bad at picking up chicks and other essential life skills. (waits)
fixed. lol
post #14 of 27
I've been back in Edmonton for the last 6 weeks or so and I've loved it... a nice refreshing change from Hong Kong. But Edmonton is definitely what you make of it, the food hasn't been all that great in my opinion, not sure what other culture is available for you but I think the people have always been quite interesting and friendly albeit narrow-minded. Downtown as somebody mentioned isn't as dead mid-week and on weekends as he mentioned as there's been a decent revival along the main street (Jasper Ave.).
post #15 of 27
I lived in Edmonton my entire life up until about 6 months ago, and I hated it. It's good that you're married, though. Also, if you appreciate simple pleasures (shopping, eating, beer, watching movies and sports) you'll probably love it. If there's anything else of substance you're looking for there in terms of culture, I'd avoid it all costs.
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