San Francisco - quality of life?

Alright dudes and dudettes. I'm considering being a traitor to the East Coast and setting up camp in San Francisco. Can anyone attest to quality of life in the area? Can you live comfortably off a salary of 50k or so? And most importantly - do you need a car, or is public transport good enough that I can get around to cool places, buy groceries, and make my way home to my outer-urban apartment without wanting to stab someone in impatience?

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Comments (97)

Nov 11, 2013 - 5:12pm

I have a friend who lives in SF and makes about that much-- his quality of life doesn't seem that great, lives in a mediocre place with roommates about 40 min. away from the financial district (via public transport). Also, the city of SF imposes a bunch of random, adding to the already high cost of living. With that said, I'd love to move there.

Hey, how's your art career going?
Nov 11, 2013 - 5:26pm

$50k? per YEAR!? After taxes that barely covers rent in a decent neighborhood. No you cannot live comfortably on that. What do you think this is, LA?

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
Nov 11, 2013 - 5:34pm

Live in SF right now...I'm 10min from Financial District. Honestly, it depends on where you plan to live, and with whom. Based on 50k/40=1250 for rent each month, you will likely need to commute at least 30min. Check out other options such as commuting via BART. Public transportation here is pretty efficient, also Uber (App) will be your best friend...since you're from NY, I'm sure you've used it before. For groceries, have Safeway deliver...no hassle/saves time.

Nov 11, 2013 - 7:12pm

sigmahatsquared:

Live in SF right now...I'm 10min from Financial District. Honestly, it depends on where you plan to live, and with whom. Based on 50k/40=1250 for rent each month, you will likely need to commute at least 30min. Check out other options such as commuting via BART. Public transportation here is pretty efficient, also Uber (App) will be your best friend...since you're from NY, I'm sure you've used it before. For groceries, have Safeway deliver...no hassle/saves time.

50K is going to be tough if you don't like a commute. A lot of the tech firms will bus their employees in at no charge (I think?) but I don't know a lot of banks/funds that do this, though some do. That would be a nice perk but otherwise you're BARTing most likely, but it is what it is. SF is more expensive than NYC, and 50K can't really get you too much in New York so...

I hate victims who respect their executioners
Nov 11, 2013 - 5:42pm

Maybe it's just that I live on the Peninsula and not in the city proper, but I find Bart to be a bit on the shady side. If you're willing to drive/take Bart, you might be able to save a few bucks living in South SF/Brisbane/San Bruno/etc.

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Nov 11, 2013 - 5:53pm

you can live in SF with 50k. I did it but you are not going to be living like a king. Find the cheapest place you can get. It depends where you are working. A lot of finance jobs are actually in Palo Alto area. You can get a nice place in sunnyvale or redwood city (30 min commute to palo alto) for under 1k. But if you are in the city you probably should just get a roomate and pay about 1200 a month for rent. should be fine as long as you don't model and bottle it.

Nov 11, 2013 - 9:29pm

No. $50,000 is not enough and you will be miserable.

I mean, after the Feds double team your pay check with the great state of California, you're going to have -- what? -- less than $3,000 leftover for rent? This is a visualization that shows you what the median price of a bedroom is in various parts of the city. Compare to take home pay and realize that you're probably going to have to live in Oakland, Daly City, or Redwood City, depending on where your job is.

I don't mean to be discouraging, but insane tech salaries + rent controlled apartments (i.e., artificially restricted housing stock) + restrictions on new building = APARTMENTPOCALYPSE 2013. Woo Bay Area!

Nov 11, 2013 - 7:58pm

Public transportation in SF is pretty shitty. BART is awful: too expensive, too few trains, and doesn't hit the South Bay (Palo Alto, Mountain View, etc). More inter-city transportation than intra. The MUNI is ok, but it hits a limited number of areas.You can take buses, I guess...but most yuppie-types use Uber. It's a godsend.

Now, living situation? SF is obscenely expensive, as everyone here has mentioned. You could probably swing it on $50k if you live in a not-so-nice part of SOMA/Mission/Sunset and pick up a roommate. That's not too bad at age 23, but if you're in your late 20s, the roommate thing gets old.

If you want to move to the Bay Area and actually see a few pennies of your salary, I'd recommend living in Oakland ("Oakland is the the new Brooklyn!" - Oakland) or Berkeley. You could get to downtown SF in maybe 45 minutes, and since you won't be in banking the whole "BART shuts down at midnight" catastrophe would be a non-issue for you.

Nov 11, 2013 - 9:12pm

bulge4lyf:

why anyone would move to san francisco is beyond me.

I would agree... unless the place they're moving from happens to be New York.

I hate victims who respect their executioners
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Nov 11, 2013 - 9:52pm

Should have clarified some items:
1. Not working finance (which is why the salary is so low)
2. Moving from Austin. Cheap city to live in, no career advancement.
3. Never lived in NYC... from Boston...

Nonetheless, thanks for all the feedback. Will definitely take this into consideration.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Nov 12, 2013 - 12:35am

San Francisco is like an expensive Austin sans good music, plus aggressive homeless people. $50K is poor in SF. You might become homeless and aggressive, if you move there. You've been warned.

Nov 12, 2013 - 10:19am

Agreed with BlackHat re SF housing being more expensive than NYC. SF is the only major market that has an even more messed up rent control policy than NYC with worse and more militant NIMBYism. Combined those with high demand for housing and you have the most expensive (if you pay market rate) and distorted housing market in the U.S.

Having said that, The Sunset area is still affordable at your budget level. I believe it is about 30 min commute to the downtown area by bus. Plus you are right on the beach and there is a quite active community of surfers there. So if you are into surfing/bodysurfing or consider getting into it, that can be a major boost to your quality of life. The swells off the East Coast has nothing on what CA has to offer. Just make sure to get yourself some high quality wet suit(s). The water is cold year round there.
To save money on food, you can live off the super-burritos at places like El Falorito in the Mission. Given the sizes of those things you probably only need to eat one of those a day.

Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.
Nov 12, 2013 - 10:49am

Do not listen to anyone telling you you can't survive SF on $50k..it never ceases to amaze me how a forum full of ostensibly smart people constantly hurls out such haphazard and dumb advice regarding life matters. I know many people that work in SF in industries like advertising, PR, recruiting, and startups that often earn well less than $50k annually. $50k would probably be a solid raise for most the girls I know out there. Like BH said, they do what the majority of 20-somethings in big cities do and have a 30-45 minute commute via the Bart and have a couple roommates in a mediocre apartment. It ain't Austin, but no one moves to SF to save money. Rent will be your biggest cost, but especially if your firm helps subsidize your travel expenses, you will be more than able to manage.

Nov 12, 2013 - 6:46pm

CaR:

Do not listen to anyone telling you you can't survive SF on $50k..it never ceases to amaze me how a forum full of ostensibly smart people constantly hurls out such haphazard and dumb advice regarding life matters. I know many people that work in SF in industries like advertising, PR, recruiting, and startups that often earn well less than $50k annually. $50k would probably be a solid raise for most the girls I know out there. Like BH said, they do what the majority of 20-somethings in big cities do and have a 30-45 minute commute via the Bart and have a couple roommates in a mediocre apartment. It ain't Austin, but no one moves to SF to save money. Rent will be your biggest cost, but especially if your firm helps subsidize your travel expenses, you will be more than able to manage.

What they are really saying is not "you can't afford SF on $50K budget" but rather "You can't afford the lifestyle I feel I "deserve" in SF on a $50K budget."

There's some validity to that argument; many of the things which make cities like NYC/SF great places to live are only accessible to wealthy people. But yes, you can always get by on much less, and still take advantage of many cool aspects of the city. Plenty of great food, entertainment is actually dirt cheap.

Nov 12, 2013 - 2:34pm

Click OK to Continue:

just curious why you're moving from Austin to SF besides the opportunity for better career advancement in a bigger financial hub...


Is this sarcasm? :(
Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Nov 12, 2013 - 12:40pm

I'd echo that Sunnyvale is a nice compromise, although you wouldn't want to commute to SF from there. I used to live there and worked in Mtn View and that worked out well. Redwood City is ok, but pretty boring. I keep trying to convince my wife to buy a house in East Palo Alto... I can pretty much guarantee that place will gentrify like crazy over the next 5-10 years. Location is just too damn good. You just need to survive the stabbings for a couple years...

Nov 12, 2013 - 3:49pm

kmzz:

I think he's saying why move aka Austin is pretty awesome even though SF has more finance jobs


Austin is a big fish in a small pond. Great if you want to chill and have a fun life. Not so great if you want accelerated career advancement. Just my two cents.
Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Nov 12, 2013 - 3:59pm

Always thought Austin was a pretty up and coming city. Know there is a reasonably strong tech / start-up community there.

Best Response
Nov 12, 2013 - 5:54pm

HFFBALLfan123:

You are in no way a big fish, just fyi.


Never implied I was. The *city* has a "big fish in a small pond" mentality. Yes, we get that it's growing at an extremely fast rate. Yes, a ton of Cali transplants are now calling it home. That does not make Austin the next SF or the next NY. It's the fastest growing city because of cheap real estate, not because it's a hotbed of great entertainment and lifestyle. Yes, there ARE good places. Yes, I've been to them. No, they're not any more special than a bar you'd find in Midtown or South End.

It's one thing to visit Austin - it's a great place to visit and chill for a few days. It's something else entirely to try to work and live here. Austin wants to grow, but at the same time they hate chain restaurants, big business, and anything that isn't "homegrown". Startups and businesses here want to expand nationally, but they want to keep their "small-town feel". They want to be successful, but they want to spend next to nothing on their operations. People boast about the fact that "Austin is becoming a big city" but then they whine that it's losing its old-school charm. That kind of paradoxical thinking is exactly why doing business in Austin is so difficult.

HFFBALLfan123:
It is an awesome city, chic probably got shockered by a few frat guys and now hates the city. It's the fastest growing city so can't be THAT bad...

Dude. I've lived here my entire life. For some reason I think that gives me slightly more clout to judge what a city is like. Besides, to each his own. I have friends who visited Boston and hated it. I loved it. All depends on what you're looking for. What I'm looking for isn't in Austin. End of story.

labanker:

Always thought Austin was a pretty up and coming city. Know there is a reasonably strong tech / start-up community there.


Where exactly do these kinds of claims come from? There is a strong start-up community, but the success rates of these start-ups are horrid (as with most). The "strong tech" you're talking about would be Dell and IBM, both of which are not the best places to work at the moment given their latest rounds of layoffs. NI is a great company, but heavily B2B tech as opposed to B2C tech that I'm interested in. You have a few satellite offices of places like AMD, I guess. And yes, other big tech companies - Google, Apple, EA, etc. - have offices here... for customer support.

Not sure why Austin is constantly being called a hotspot of tech. There's a lot of techies but I'll never be doing marketing at satellite offices that focus on QA and Support. In order to get into that area, I would need to be in a larger office with corporate operations. Hence HQ locations like SF.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
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Nov 12, 2013 - 4:04pm

I can offer you a little bit of insight on the move since I live in SF.

Roommates are a definitely a great way to reduce housing costs. You can find a decent place for $800+, with the average being about 1000 with roommates. With this in mind, the process is like finding a job. There will be much competition and you will need to sell yourself and be a good "fit" in order for them (current residences) to offer you the place. A typical listing in the 800-1000 range for a room for rent typically receives more Craigslist responses then they can even respond to (This was the case when my previous roommate moved out).

Transportation is okay. Better than LA that's for sure. I live in the Richmond district, about 10 blocks from Ocean Beach. It would take me roughly 45 minutes to be downtown since there are so many bus stops. If I take my motorcycle, it would be about 25 minutes. Uber works but I find it very expensive.

Overall, I would say that you can move into the city on a 50k salary. No, you won't live like a king, but you shouldn't be struggling. The key is to setting a budget and sticking to it. I live on much less then 50k and I scrape by somehow. You should be far better off than me. Good Luck.

Nov 12, 2013 - 6:53pm

I grew up in the East Bay Area (35 mins from SF) and did an internship in SF in the financial district and absolutely love the area! My job is taking me East Coast but I hope to make it back to the Bay some day.

Depending how far you are willing to live away from the city, you should look into living in Pleasanton/Walnut Creek. You can find very affordable housing that still has the benefits of being in a safer and more chill area. Taking BART into the city (when they are not striking) is extremely easy and efficient.

If you have any other questions about living in the East Bay and commuting, go ahead and PM me.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

Nov 12, 2013 - 8:16pm

After reading some of your responses here, I think it may be worth spending some time being introspective. Changing towns is extremely unlikely to make you happy. Most people who are happy are happy no matter where they live. There have actually been studies that have been done about what people think would make him/her self happy about being in a different town. Predictably, people get it all wrong.

Personally, I would focus less on the goal of moving to San Fran and more on doing a national/international job search. Let the job you want (and get) dictate where you end up and just try having a good time there, wherever that may be.

Nov 12, 2013 - 9:13pm

DickFuld:

Personally, I would focus less on the goal of moving to San Fran and more on doing a national/international job search. Let the job you want (and get) dictate where you end up and just try having a good time there, wherever that may be.


Perhaps my initial post came off too much as "I hate my life". Not really the case - Austin's not my favourite city but I'm definitely not wallowing in frustration. Life is going pretty well, in fact. My reasons for leaving are not for happiness but for the next step in my career. Looking for better venues for professional development. SF isn't the only city I'm looking at, but I've had experience staying in the other cities I'm exploring (LA/NY/Bos), so I figured I'm inquire about SF, which I've only been to once (and stayed at a hotel, so that barely counts).
Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Nov 12, 2013 - 8:43pm

^ It can make a huge difference. Of course, it comes down to relationships, but different places definitely have different scenes / people. Agree to some extent with "it is what you make of it", but that has limits. Day 6 in North Dakota isn't going to go down as one of the best in your life. New York for media, SF for tech, Paris for sexy results, and Tokyo for bat shit quirky. London for Arsenal, top of the table

Nov 12, 2013 - 9:11pm

I don't totally disagree, but if you're a finance person, you could never end up in a place like North Dakota. You're talking about NYC, Chicago, London, San Fran, etc. Anyone who is unhappy in Austin isn't going to be happy (all else equal) by moving to San Fran.

I've lived in a number of different places and was just as miserable in one place as the next.

Nov 13, 2013 - 2:36am

I visited Austin for the first time about a month back and thought it was awesome. Between West/East 6th, Rainey, and Salt Lick BBQ, one of most memorable weekends I've ever had. Can't really speak to professional development in Austin, but I'd jump at the opportunity to move.

In regards to moving to SF, I was born and raised in the Bay Area and live in SF currently. Some helpful tips and things to keep in mind:

1. Work / Life Balance: I can promise you that your work / life balance will be much worse in SF. SF is a grinders paradise. Between Cal, Stanford, and the recent influx of Ivy grads, you're going to have a much harder time standing out when everyone is a gunner. My roommate is from St Louis and was a super star back at WF Securities. He was blown away by the sheer work ethic and effort it takes to stand above the pack. I can't think of anyone who works in banking / consulting / start up that actually enjoys SF M-Th. You'll miss outshining your peers in Austin.

2. Neighborhoods: First off, I don't think any white collar job would only pay $50K in the city... AP Clerks get paid more than that. SF is different than most cities in that it doesn't remotely resemble the cities surrounding it. There's a big disparity in living in Oakland or Daly City versus actually living within SF. Go on Craigslist and "try out" for roommate spots. I don't think it's possible to have a studio for any less than $1400 / month, and that's the outskirts of the city. Most affordable neighborhoods are Richmond, Sunset, Portrero, SOMA, and Presidio. I feel that NOPA, Lower Haight, Laurel Heights, and Lower Pac Heights are the best neighborhoods in terms of pricing, proximity to downtown, and that "SF charm."

3. Convenience: Doing anything in SF is a major pain. Despite being one of the largest cities in the country, the city completely shuts down by 10 PM during the week. There was a period where I had to buy dress socks on my way to work for three days because I couldn't get to the laundromat on time. Parking in most neighborhoods is gone by 8PM and practice paralleling NOW. Unless you feel like spending $300 / month for reserved parking. Groceries are also annoying, since many grocery stores don't have parking slots. It's not like Austin where you have a full scale Whole Foods in the middle of down town. MUNI, the main method of public transit, is full of bums at all hours of the day.

Despite my complaints, I think SF can be a great city if you can afford it. On $50K, I don't know how much you'd actually enjoy it. Personally, I'd kill for a corporate strategy gig in a low COL area (PHX, Austin, Chicago), where the hours are lighter and the competition is much weaker. To each their own. Feel free to PM if you have any questions.

Nov 16, 2013 - 11:16pm

If you decide to live further outside SF like Martinez, you may still use a car but commute in for work on BART is ideal.

Nov 17, 2013 - 1:16am

I have a brother who lives in Oakland for many years,his rent keeps going up and up,he is a good tenant so they give him a break,his rent is over 1k,he wont tell us how much,it is a one bedroom apt in a building with a pool,I dont know if anyone ever swim in that pool,it is within walking distance to Bart station,bank and supermarket.
I dont know how safe it is now,it is on Clifton Ave.
But going from TX to SF,dont forget they have high sales tax,and state income tax .
If you are from Boston,have you considered Chicago?

Nov 17, 2013 - 10:26pm

I grew up just outside San Francisco on the peninsula, lived there for a year and the overwhelming majority of my friends live in the city now so I think I have a good grasp of living there. Here are a few thoughts for you:

1) Do not listen to all these people saying "save money and move to Dublin/Pleasanton/Martinez/Walnut Creek". You will be 20+ miles outside of the city and BART does not run late enough on weekends for you to ever enjoy yourself. I CANNOT stress this enough. If you want to actually enjoy anything in San Francisco then live in the city even if its in the Sunset district.

2) While were on the Sunset district...this is a great place to live if you dont have much money. You will easily find studios for 1000-1200 and can find very nice places with roommates for 700-1000. This is where a lot of my friends who are making 35-50k live. The weather is almost always foggy and its much colder than the rest of the city but you can easily get around the city with Lyft, Uber, Taxi etc.

3) 50k will not afford you a luxurious lifestyle like it might in Austin but you can live well. Food is not very expensive, drinks at some of the divey bars in the marina arent very expensive. Take advantage of the nature around the city too.

TLDR; YES you can live in SF making 35-50k. I know people who do it and are very happy.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
Nov 17, 2013 - 10:30pm

Thanks for the insight @leveragealltheway. I live a minimalist lifestyle so I don't mind the non-luxurious aspect. Was mainly more concerned whether there would be any $$ left over for savings after rent. Thanks for the comments.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Nov 17, 2013 - 10:33pm

No problem. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
Nov 18, 2013 - 6:49pm

chicandtoughness:

Alright dudes and dudettes. I'm considering being a traitor to the East Coast and setting up camp in San Francisco. Can anyone attest to quality of life in the area? Can you live comfortably off a salary of 50k or so? And most importantly - do you need a car, or is public transport good enough that I can get around to cool places, buy groceries, and make my way home to my outer-urban apartment without wanting to stab someone in impatience?

What exactly is PR/Marcomm/IMC?

Breaking into finance isn't really working out for me. So I am looking into other industries to hold me down until I break or get a gig that can help with an MBA resume.

How's the pay like in your industry? I remember reading a post of yours awhile back that your make pennies compared to your previous gig, just want to know what "pennies" define.

Thanks, sorry for going going off-topic but if you ever move to NYC you'll make it by with 50k.

Nov 18, 2013 - 8:42pm

TheKid1:

What exactly is PR/Marcomm/IMC?

Breaking into finance isn't really working out for me. So I am looking into other industries to hold me down until I break or get a gig that can help with an MBA resume.

How's the pay like in your industry? I remember reading a post of yours awhile back that your make pennies compared to your previous gig, just want to know what "pennies" define.

Thanks, sorry for going going off-topic but if you ever move to NYC you'll make it by with 50k.


PR = public relations.
Marcomm = marketing communications, which is basically a blend of marketing and public relations.
IMC = integrated marketing communications, which is basically the above but with a wider scope. IMC can include everything from PR to marketing to advertising to internal communications to investor/analyst relations to market research to... yeah. Northwestern University coined the term (thanks to Kellogg/Medill). If you take a look at their FT Masters in IMC program requirements, that will give you a good idea of what it entails: http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/experience/imc/full-time/curriculum/

It's probably too time-consuming to go in-depth here on this post. PM me and we can chat there, or if you want to do a quick chat via Skype/phone I'm cool with that too.

Big 4 advisory, entry-level = 65-70k
PR agency, entry-level = 25-35k

It's not fun. PR is an industry - like finance - where there are a ton of people (mainly catty girls) vying for very few positions (hence why they can undercut your pay). If you didn't start out properly by doing at least 2 internships in college, you're way behind. Many entry-level positions at the "bulge bracket" of PR firms require at least 1 year of prior experience (internships count).

If you're a finance junkie, some PR agencies will make you want to rip your hair out in frustration. Not very much focus on quantitative reasoning, to put it lightly. If you can make it to the larger/top agencies, then you'll be with smart, driven people that work hours to rival bankers (they just don't complain about it because not all of it is in the office - staffing events, interviews, signings, etc. are all part of the job but it usually runs into your evening quite well). However, if you're in a boutique agency, say farewell to intelligent thinking. I'm not kidding.

If you want to do some poking around: the Goldman Sachs of PR is Edelman. Look around their site a bit. A few of the other PR "bulge bracket" include Waggener Edstrom, Weber Shandwick, Fleishman-Hillard, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Burson Marsteller, Porter Novelli, and WCG/W2O.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Nov 18, 2013 - 9:39pm

chicandtoughness:

TheKid1:

What exactly is PR/Marcomm/IMC?

Breaking into finance isn't really working out for me. So I am looking into other industries to hold me down until I break or get a gig that can help with an MBA resume.

How's the pay like in your industry? I remember reading a post of yours awhile back that your make pennies compared to your previous gig, just want to know what "pennies" define.

Thanks, sorry for going going off-topic but if you ever move to NYC you'll make it by with 50k.

PR = public relations.

Marcomm = marketing communications, which is basically a blend of marketing and public relations.

IMC = integrated marketing communications, which is basically the above but with a wider scope. IMC can include everything from PR to marketing to advertising to internal communications to investor/analyst relations to market research to... yeah. Northwestern University coined the term (thanks to Kellogg/Medill). If you take a look at their FT Masters in IMC program requirements, that will give you a good idea of what it entails: http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/experience/imc/...

It's probably too time-consuming to go in-depth here on this post. PM me and we can chat there, or if you want to do a quick chat via Skype/phone I'm cool with that too.

Big 4 advisory, entry-level = 65-70k

PR agency, entry-level = 25-35k

It's not fun. PR is an industry - like finance - where there are a ton of people (mainly catty girls) vying for very few positions (hence why they can undercut your pay). If you didn't start out properly by doing at least 2 internships in college, you're way behind. Many entry-level positions at the "bulge bracket" of PR firms require at least 1 year of prior experience (internships count).

If you're a finance junkie, some PR agencies will make you want to rip your hair out in frustration. Not very much focus on quantitative reasoning, to put it lightly. If you can make it to the larger/top agencies, then you'll be with smart, driven people that work hours to rival bankers (they just don't complain about it because not all of it is in the office - staffing events, interviews, signings, etc. are all part of the job but it usually runs into your evening quite well). However, if you're in a boutique agency, say farewell to intelligent thinking. I'm not kidding.

If you want to do some poking around: the Goldman Sachs of PR is Edelman. Look around their site a bit. A few of the other PR "bulge bracket" include Waggener Edstrom, Weber Shandwick, Fleishman-Hillard, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Burson Marsteller, Porter Novelli, and WCG/W2O.

Thanks for that, very insightful. Too be honest, doesn't sound really fun seems stressful for a entry level gig with crap pay compared to banking. I guess its something you would have to interested from the get go to stick out and deal with the nonsense.

I can see why you would want to leave the industry.

I want to know how were you able to land interviews for start-up companies in San Fran and other cities? Since your no longer in finance or management consulting. I would assume it would hinder you ability to switch over.

I am just asking because I recently accepted a data analyst role for a competitor of Bloomberg and would love to make a switch into start-up or back in finance. What would you recommend?

Thank you.

Dec 30, 2013 - 2:05pm

Reviving an old topic to say 1) will be moving to SF for sure, and 2) need info on the best neighbourhoods to live in. Not interested in any area where I have to ride the BART in to work. Was looking at SoMa, Mission, Lower Nob, PacHeights, NoPa, among others. Calculated a budget and I can put anywhere from $1300-1800 into rent. Can anyone attest to relative safety of some SF neighborhoods? Working in the Financial District, by the way.

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P) Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)
Dec 31, 2013 - 12:56pm

Mission can be a little sketchy imo, but I live down on the peninsula so YMMV. Look into the Sunset, as well the area around SF State and UCSF. Those should be more affordable, but again, I'm not an expert. Regular MUNI buses are the worst, look into having access to the MUNI metro instead. You'll have no problem getting to the major malls as well as Civic Center/Fin'l District/Downtown. http://www.sfmta.com/maps/muni-metro-map

Feb 2, 2017 - 10:54pm

Just make sure to budget yourself properly like not always spending crazy amounts of money going out to restaurants or bars. Try cooking more at home and bringing lunch to work and you can find that you will save a lot of money that way.

Feb 2, 2017 - 10:55pm

Car in San Francisco (Originally Posted: 02/07/2008)

I will be starting as an analyst in San Francisco this summer. I am planning on living as close to the Financial District as possible. Will I need a car to get around the city or is the Bart system good enough that you don't need a car. Also, what can I expect to pay for a 1BR apartment in DT San Francisco

Feb 2, 2017 - 10:56pm

The Muni and Bart are not as reliable/efficient as other cities (DC, NYC) but will be just fine if you're planning on living on the peninsula. A car is useful but definitely not needed. For a decent apartment close to the financial district look to pay 1200-2000 at most.

Feb 2, 2017 - 10:57pm

either for garage or looking for parking (which can take a while). if you live near fin district, a car is not needed. Parking can be terrible

Feb 2, 2017 - 10:58pm

you don't need a car at all...you 'll end up paying hundreds extra for parking. Muni, as someone already said, is not totally reliable but still runs SF, so you should be fine. You can always rent a car on weekends if you are going somewhere..
have fun..

Feb 2, 2017 - 10:59pm

Agree with guy, a car is totally unneccesary. MUNI covers the whole city, and though it's not a german railway it is reliable enough that you can count on it for your commute. BART only covers a very limited part of the city (basically one line down Market St. and into the mission), but if you live near it then it is great.

Also, here is some unsolicited advice on where to live, this is straight from an email I sent to a friend who was considering moving to the city...

Your office is in the financial district - there isn't a lot of housing there, and anything that is there is probably expensive. Definitely look though, it wouldn't be a bad place to live and you may get lucky. Same with Union Square, which is southwest. Southeast of you, there are some really nice apartments along the Embarcadero between Market and about 5th Street - this small neighborhood is called South Beach and is more broadly part of SOMA (South of Market Avenue). Again, this neighborhood is very expensive. As you move away from the water toward Van Ness Ave, SOMA becomes a bit more industrial and less appealling (though not really bad). The only spot I'd definitely avoid is the Tenderloin, which is directly West of Union Square. Not incredibly dangerous, per se, but lots of homeless people, crack deals on the street, your car will get broken into, etc. Oh, you also probably don't want to live in Chinatown, not because it's dangerous but its incredibly crowded and just not very nice. Also smells bad due to dried fish products in all the stores on the street. Chinatown is basically Grant and Stockton Streets between Columbus and Bush.

Your best bet is probably North Beach or the Marina. Both of these neighborhoods have lots of bars, lots of young people, etc. If you're willing to have roommates, check out craigslist and you should be able to find a nice place for about $800/month. If you want your own place, you'll probably have to pay at least $1200. The heart of North Beach is Columbus street, between about Filbert and Pacific; that's where most of the restaurants and bars are. In the Marina, it's Union Street, between Octavia and Fillmore. North Beach is closer to the financial district, Marina has slightly better bars/scene.

Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and Pacific Heights are all nice neighborhoods as well, though without quite as much of a young crowd/bar scene for the most part. In Russian Hill, Polk Street has lots of stuff on it (bars, restaurants, shops, etc.). In Pacific Heights, I'd recommend being as close to Fillmore street as possible.

Based on where you are working, you probably won't want to live anywhere West of Divisadero St (or even past Fillmore, really). Castro district is gay (not that there's anything wrong with that...), Noe Valley is too far south, Mission district is ok and on the cheap side, but probably a little too far from your work (unless you are right near a BART station, in which case it would be fine). Potrero Hill is ok, but a little sleepy/residential.

Some useful websites:
http://www.craigslist.com - for apartments, roommates, etc.
http://www.housingmaps.com - mashup of craigslist and google maps
http://www.511.org - public transportation info. The trip planner section is really useful, could give you an idea of how easy it would be to get to your work from different places.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:00pm

What do you all think about living in Oakland or Berkeley - for example, the Rockridge/Claremont area?

I'll be working for a consulting firm, and have been told that I'll be able to keep fairly regular hours and be out by 7:30 - 8ish, so a 25 minutes commute doesnt seem all that bad.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:01pm

I don't know east bay neighborhoods very well, but the only way I would want to live in the east bay and work in the city is if I could take BART. The bay bridge is a nightmare for traffic, even at 7:30-8 PM. Obviously lots of people do it (hence the traffic) but I would not recommend it. It will probably be more like an hour commute than 25 minutes.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:02pm

Living in San Francisco (Originally Posted: 03/03/2011)

Any people on here live in SF? I'm moving out there next year.

Any advice on living it up/places to live, transportation, etc appreciated.

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:03pm

Work on your lisp and limpage of the wrist. (Just kidding) Place is fucking cold and expensive.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:05pm

Have heard Marina area is pretty good to live (at least for 20somethings with decently-paying jobs - rent is high and fratty overall culture).

SF is a great city; weather's pretty good - never too hot never too cold - and great culture.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:06pm

I actually love SF weather, never uncomfortably hot or cold.

As for places to live, the good places for finance/banker types are the Marina, SoMA, Nob Hill, and Pac Heights.

“Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do”
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:07pm

Where are you coming from?

Nouveau forgot to add, the financial district, cow hollow, and sunset.

Also, bring some chap stick because the weather is dry as a desert!

"I am Shiva the god of death"
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:08pm

Castro, you can never go wrong...

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:09pm

CIty is fucking awesome. Wish I never left SF for NYC (seriously). I lived in nob hill and loved the area. Worked market hours, so walked down to financial district every morning at 4:15 AM. Loved every minute of it. Done at 2 or 3pm every day at best (starting out). Payed $1500/month for rent and lived in a penthouse with my own bathroom (door man, parking and utilities). Place had a gym, pool and sauna included. Much less expensive than NYC, and much richer in culture. Not many d-bags there, but much tougher women than nyc (nyc ratio is way better even with all of the gays in SF).

I'd choose the nob or marina (a bit more pretentious). Chances are you're working market hours, so I'd live close to work. Go for nob/russian hill.

Enjoy it. I should have never taken taken higher salary to leave that city.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:10pm
Bodhis:
CIty is fucking awesome. Wish I never left SF for NYC (seriously). I lived in nob hill and loved the area. Worked market hours, so walked down to financial district every morning at 4:15 AM. Loved every minute of it. Done at 2 or 3pm every day at best (starting out). Paid $1500/month for rent and lived in a penthouse with my own bathroom (door man, parking and utilities). Place had a gym, pool and sauna included. Much less expensive than NYC, and much richer in culture. Not many d-bags there, but much tougher women than nyc (nyc ratio is way better even with all of the gays in SF).

I'd choose the nob or marina (a bit more pretentious). Chances are you're working market hours, so I'd live close to work. Go for nob/russian hill.

Enjoy it. I should have never taken taken higher salary to leave that city.

Thanks bud, I've been hearing a lot of good things about Nob Hill.

http://ayainsight.co/ Curating the best advice and making it actionable.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:15pm
Bodhis:
CIty is fucking awesome. Wish I never left SF for NYC (seriously). I lived in nob hill and loved the area. Worked market hours, so walked down to financial district every morning at 4:15 AM. Loved every minute of it. Done at 2 or 3pm every day at best (starting out). Payed $1500/month for rent and lived in a penthouse with my own bathroom (door man, parking and utilities). Place had a gym, pool and sauna included. Much less expensive than NYC, and much richer in culture. Not many d-bags there, but much tougher women than nyc (nyc ratio is way better even with all of the gays in SF).

I'd choose the nob or marina (a bit more pretentious). Chances are you're working market hours, so I'd live close to work. Go for nob/russian hill.

interesting yea nob hill is good so are like chicks bad there or just putting themselves out lol. Btw man you were living like a boss how many sq was it?

Enjoy it. I should have never taken taken higher salary to leave that city.

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed, Go Bucks!!
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:12pm

How bad is the BART, say, if you're coming from South SF into the city? Is the BART just a piece of shit or is it fairly decent/clean (compare against Boston and NY).

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:17pm

Much as Greece will never fall because it would take most of Europe down with it, Cali will never fall because our ideologically warped Leftist-Coastist pseudo intellectual elite could never handle the cultural fallout.

As a result, the only thing that will happen is young over achievers like you will get the social value benefits of spreading the brother love to your less capable/willing/motivated citizenry. Since California is the home of much upper class wealth this Ponzi mechanism will continue functionally (if not successfully) for quite a while. That is until the leeches are no longer satisfied with a free breakfast, lunch and dinner...

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:19pm

I mostly agree with you here, but keep in mind all unions have 'CEOs' too

tupsi22:
Well, the way I see it, at least the little guy gets to cheat the system once in a while too. Cheating... it's not just for CEOs anymore...
If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:20pm

the "little" guy? How are these unions (some of the most powerful lobbying force) considered the 'little' guy.

How about the small business owners and private sector workers who have to pay for the 'little' guys to cheat the system? $110,000 a year avg PENSION for 30 years of work? Are you fucking kidding me? This isnt cheating.. this is raping the assholes of those that are productive in society.

Jesus Christ... "the little guy gets to cheat hte system once in a while too... its not just for CEOs anymore" ... Last time I checked the CEOs you are referring to are part of a private organization that is answerable to their shareholders. Who the fuck are these govt workers answerable to? Oh thats right no one... the citizens pay for their checks....Shit man, I guess I should start to get on the gravy train. $110,000 a year avg pension... holy shit. God damn, I should have strived for my GED, got a nice cushy job as a "Data Analyst" (read: Data Entry job) where I couldn't get fired, and collect a nice $50K a year pension at the age of 48. Shittt son, stick it to those fucking CEOs.

Let the gooood times roll.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:21pm

"Last time I checked the CEOs you are referring to are part of a private organization that is answerable to their shareholders." LOL. Right. If by "answering to shareholders", you mean "filling the board of directors with their friends that will rubberstamp whatever they want", then OK. (Although that is getting slightly more difficult.)

Come on. You are not seriously arguing that corporations and CEOs are any less corrupt than unions. At the end of the day, BOTH screw the working class. Which, if you are working in IB, you are not exactly a part of.

Any yeah. If I was smart, I would have not wasted 100K on school. I would have gotten my GED and worked for the MTA collecting tons of overtime and disability. (That is almost a joke, but not really. Have you seen what those guys make?)

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:22pm

California needs Cris Christie. Oh, wait, we got him.

Yeah, that's not sustainable, and it's also unfair to the people who have to pay into that especially considering that the average person stops getting paid when they stop working......

Get busy living
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:23pm

You don't have the opportunity to earn nearly as much money in a Govt job in all the years before you retire. Why would anybody want to do a Govt job if you received lower pay and no decent retirement benefits? Wake up and smell the free market economy. You argue Govt is incompetent yet you don't support them attracting better talent? You must be a republican (read: hypocrite)

And if you read it more carefully and you take out the average for the fire and police dept, the figure is actually LOWER than the average. I fully support the police and fire depts getting that much because they risk their lives on a daily basis to protect us.

Don't like where your state is heading? GTFO. There are plenty of people who would still want to live there.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:24pm
djr:
You must be a republican (read: hypocrite)

haha yea only republicans are hypocrites
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:26pm
djr:
You argue Govt is incompetent yet you don't support them attracting better talent? You must be a republican (read: hypocrite)

You phrased that carefully. Some of us do argue that the government is largely incompetent, and instead of throwing money at it (taking money out of our pockets), hoping that it will attract enough cumulative talent to fix the behemoth our parents created, we see an alternative solution: decrease its' size and our dependence on it. Nothing hypocritical about that.
Feb 2, 2017 - 11:28pm

djr:
You don't have the opportunity to earn nearly as much money in a Govt job in all the years before you retire. Why would anybody want to do a Govt job if you received lower pay and no decent retirement benefits? Wake up and smell the free market economy. You argue Govt is incompetent yet you don't support them attracting better talent? You must be a republican (read: hypocrite)

And if you read it more carefully and you take out the average for the fire and police dept, the figure is actually LOWER than the average. I fully support the police and fire depts getting that much because they risk their lives on a daily basis to protect us.

Don't like where your state is heading? GTFO. There are plenty of people who would still want to live there.

Feb 2, 2017 - 11:25pm

Generally speaking, government jobs are considered to be the best jobs around. Maybe not for this board full of Ivy League and other top, motivated students, but for the rest of the country? I mean, the average salary for someone in the US is around $40,000. So, yes, the average person does earn more in a government job. On top of salary they get full benefits, about as close to perfect job security as you can get, and an unheard of retirement plan for people earning what they do. And considering there are about 2 million civilian federal employees, how can their compensation packages be considered anywhere near fiscally responsible?

Chart of jobs comparing private to govt: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm#chart
Full article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm
For jobs included:
Federal employee average salary: $67.7k
Private employee average salary: $60k
Federal employee average benefits: $40.7k
Private employee average benefits: $9.8k

djr: First of all, I'd like to see where you're getting your figures from, none of the sources (including the one above) I've seen come close to what you're saying. Second, government has shown that it not only attracts weaker candidates despite higher pay and better benefits than the average. Case in point: been to the DMV? Tried to secure a building permit? Every dealt with a regulating authority? And, on top of THAT, they make sure they get to keep their jobs. It's fucking ridiculous. Republicans are saying get their pay more in-line with that of the private sector, and cut the number of jobs the gov provides.

And we don't live in a full free market economy, government intervention precludes that. They can pay their people whatever they want and take however much they want from the citizens of this country. And telling us to gtfo because we don't like where this state is headed is exceptionally stupid. Were you going to leave when Bush was President? No, you stayed and fought for Kerry and Obama.

And on a side note, yes I have thought and still do think I may at some point renounce my citizenship. Sadly, this comes down to a case of the lesser of two evils. There are pretty much no places left in this world that offer both a free economy and free society. So I stay here, for now, because it's one of the more balanced places left. That doesn't mean it's a good option. Oh, and notice how as the government gets more and more involved in our daily lives, our economy gets more and more turbulent.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
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