I'm so confused (gov't career decision) - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'm so confused (gov't career decision)

Hey guys,

About 8 months ago I applied for a position with Customs and Border Protection as a Border Patrol Agent after I heard the advertisement on the radio. I did some research and found out that the hiring process usually takes from 1-3 years. So as letters came in the mail to take drug tests, physicals, meet with investigators, etc. I took it all with a grain of salt and didn't think twice about any of it. Well fast forward to today when I checked my status online and I've been "referred to the scheduling unit and can expect a a job offer in 30-60 days". I know a lot of you joke around with me as every week I have a new "plan" but this is serious. Here's some of my pro's vs. con's. Anyone that works for the government or has experience with the patrol PLEASE chime in.

Pro's:
-It's an excellent job with the government, decent pay and good benefits.
-Excellent resume padder in case I decide to pursue other options in local LE.
-It would put me somewhere WARM year round (most likely San Diego area)
-It would be a job I enjoy doing.


Cons:
-Very weak I know but my girlfriend is about 8 months away from her 1st year of med school and we are pretty serious, she's the coolest person I've ever met.
-I've went to school and worked for the last 4 years in the EMS field. I can freeze my paramedic license for up to 4 years but who knows if I'll be able to maintain the proper amount of continued education to keep it.
-I'd be leaving all family and friends, I know no one in San Diego
-The academy is 5 months long, including 2-4 hours of spanish everyday, 2-4 hours of law everyday, and a minimum of a 2 mile run everyday (some pt instructors lead 8 mile runs pretty regularly). I'm not out of shape and I'm sure if I devote myself to it I'll make it but there's still that "what-if" in the back of my mind.

-Not necessarily a con but the Border Patrol is the most dangerous Federal LE agency.. Agents get shot at pretty much on a daily basis. This is something to think about when family comes into play.


Here's there recruiting video. For anyone interested they are doing a hiring frenzy right now. Requirements for GS-5 are 1 year experience in a stressful job (You can sell anything to be considered stressful). I believe they are going to close applications the first of the year in 2008.


Any guidance is greatly appreciated, I have no idea what I should do!


BP recruiting video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4qZO3CLOto
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 12:20 PM
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 12:23 PM
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here's another con...you may not be somewhere nice like SD, they may base you out of a shithole like outside Nogales. You will also be hated by a majority of the population where you will live.

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 12:40 PM
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Take it.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
-Very weak I know but my girlfriend is about 8 months away from her 1st year of med school and we are pretty serious, she's the coolest person I've ever met.
I had someone tell me once "You can't put your life on hold for someone". I wish I followed his advise. Just do it if you want it and figure out how to live with it.

As far as leaving family and friends here - believe me, you will only love them more. And San Diego is actually very close - only 4-5 hours of flight. To give you some perspective all my folks live in Russia (think 24+ hours to get there + borders, visas, customs and much more expensive). A move to a completely new environment with no roots is an interesting experience, one not to be missed.

Something to add to the cons, though: make sure you do want it. It may sound damn cool and romantic but working for a government organization has a huge downside. First and foremost, any government job is a bureaucratic hell. At first it's funny, then it's annoying and in a couple of years you either become institutionalized or quit. I'm speaking from personal experience and from what I heard... Sure, I work in IT, but law enforcement could be even worse - considering that they deal with legal matters.

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 01:04 PM
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Have long have you known the girlfriend?...I would discount any input she has severly if it's been less than a year.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 01:21 PM
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 01:38 PM
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. D View Post
here's another con...you may not be somewhere nice like SD, they may base you out of a shithole like outside Nogales. You will also be hated by a majority of the population where you will live.

I definitely won't be accepting any offers in the shit hole area's... If I get an offer in California (either San Diego or El Centro sectors) I HAVE to accept otherwise I'm dropped from the application process. If they offer me anywhere else I can decline until I get offered something in my geo preference. I would think about some areas in texas that I hear are really nice, and possibly parts of arizona but I'm not going to NM.

The gf is willing to work something out but it's still going to suck. It being 14 degrees outside today isn't helping me stay here either lol.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CerkMX View Post
I opted out of a career path that limited my options for places of employment...but that's just me

Unfortunately public service (LE and Firefighting) is what really interests me. I wouldn't be happy doing anything else. In the end it's all about being happy. Job offers in federal LE don't come around to often either.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 02:01 PM
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add cost of living to the list of Cons
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redduck21 View Post
add cost of living to the list of Cons
I've been out to the san diego area twice in the last year and besides the price of homes the cost of living really isnt that bad. Comparable to living in chicago. I'm willing to pay a little more for cost of living too for the warm weather. Last time I was out there in August gas was actually cheaper than it was here. Decent apartments are around $1000/mo.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 02:58 PM
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working for the government is le sucko... i feel like they are constantly watching over my shoulder. i have to log every minute that i am in the office for "accurate workload estimations." i work in Aerospace, so it's a totally different job, but they do pay pretty well.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:02 PM
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Ask yourself which you would most likely say at the end of your life:

"I'm glad I gave up a wonderful woman to have a job I love"
or
"I'm glad I gave up a wonderful job to have a woman I love"

Only you can answer that.

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
Ask yourself which you would most likely say at the end of your life:

"I'm glad I gave up a wonderful woman to have a job I love"
or
"I'm glad I gave up a wonderful job to have a woman I love"

Only you can answer that.
Take both

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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:04 PM
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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:06 PM
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I opted out of a career path that limited my options for places of employment...but that's just me
Yeah, I wouldn't want to exclude Utah ever either.

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post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickIF View Post
I've been out to the san diego area twice in the last year and besides the price of homes the cost of living really isnt that bad. Comparable to living in chicago. I'm willing to pay a little more for cost of living too for the warm weather. Last time I was out there in August gas was actually cheaper than it was here. Decent apartments are around $1000/mo.
you're right, other than housing, there's not a big difference.
and it's not just warm weather, it's PERFECT weather.

did you know San Diego means whale's vagina in German?
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post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:12 PM
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go to salary.com
find the cost of living calculator
type in your salary and compare San Diego VS Chicago.
Im guessing youll see a difference of 20-25% in cost of living. Just a hunch

Yet, the salary differences arent anywhere near that

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post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 03:20 PM
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Enjoy the CA income tax rate, the AMT and bringing a vehicle in from out of state.

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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weelpilot View Post
go to salary.com
find the cost of living calculator
type in your salary and compare San Diego VS Chicago.
Im guessing youll see a difference of 20-25% in cost of living. Just a hunch

Yet, the salary differences arent anywhere near that


You guys are arguing the wrong points with me here. I would LOVE to move to california, so what if it costs more you HAVE more (ocean, mountains, desert, forest). The problem with salary calculators is i won't be living IN the city of San Diego, it will be a suburb which isn't listed of course and according to the the last calculator I used it said naperville was more expensive than san diego and I know a certain someone on this board that makes less than 65k a year and is a home owner with a decent amount of toys 6 blocks from down town naperville.

I just emailed a list of MD and DO granting schools to the girlfriend in Southern CA, Arizona, and Texas... let's see if she gets the hint.
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 07:04 PM
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i say go for it... if you can freeze your medic license you have 4 years to move back to chicago if you want to and probably only take a small step back but will have some valuable life/work experience in the meantime.
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 09:49 PM
 
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 10:11 PM
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 10:17 PM
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You guys are arguing the wrong points with me here.
Hi, my name is NickIF. I have a question that I want you to spend time considering. But, you are only allowed to address it from MY point of view.


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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 11:57 PM
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Here's my take (and I have a co-worker who is married to a BPA, so if you want to talk to someone that does it, send me a PM).:

Choosing a job or career is more about what you want for your LIFE than it is about the JOB. If the job can not 100% support the kind of life that you want, then you wil never fully enjoy the job. I see everyone here is discounting the gf, but I know when I met my bf I had been putting things aheads of relationships for years...when given the chance to move back to Chicago, I decided to stay here because I thought that it was time to actually put my personal life first. For me, that bet paid off. But I guess what I am saying is don't discount the importance of your personal relationships-- because that, my friend, IS what life is all about.

If you are passionate about this job and you have been dreaming about it for years, then by all means go for it. But it sounds to me that this is just "another cool job" that you happen to qualify for, and you are feeling hte lure of the prestige. By all means, congratualte yourself on the effort-- but do you really want this to be your life? Government work IS interesting, but is THIS is government job you want?? (on that note, have you ever considered the State Department? They have very cool jobs, and many are in Chicago).

Finally, from someone who has lived in the border bubble for quite a while, let me remind you (although I know you know) that it's not pretty. San Diego is lovely. Arizona is lovely. Even McAllen TX can be lovely. However, get to the border and it's disgusting and brutal and really rather sad. I have many friends that live in TX but go to work in Mexico, and EVERY DAY they are escorted to work by armed guards. You weren't kidding when you mentioned the real dangers....so don't forget that.

Well that's my 0.02. I know it sounds like I'm against it but I'm not. It's just food for thought because I have to be working tonight and I'm sitting in front of the computer awaiting a response from my boss

Good luck
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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 12:25 AM
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oK, I got bored with reading the rest of the thread, I read 3/4 of your post. My advice is: if it is worth you posting on here it is worth going through. everyone has to change every so often in their life so more than other. GOod luck with protecting our borders.......as I know you will go through with this as (we never have met) but you have been posting about this a long timel...

Good Luck
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 05:42 AM
 
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No one here has a stake in the outcome of YOUR decision, only YOU. Do what YOU want and forget the opinions.....
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch View Post
Ask yourself which you would most likely say at the end of your life:

"I'm glad I gave up a wonderful woman to have a job I love"
or
"I'm glad I gave up a wonderful job to have a woman I love"

Only you can answer that.
With all the women on this planet and being young I think there will many many more women out there for the picking.

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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 08:41 AM
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Naperville is more expensive than San Diego? Better check housing prices.

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