Today I’m going to touch on something that I am not a total expert in. Mostly because I just moved to the Seattle area about 2 months ago and I would still consider myself a total noob in terms of being a “Seattleite”.
But there are still many things that even I’m noticing and feeling.
Ask any person living in the Seattle area about their rent increase and you’re going to get some groans, sighs, and death stares (me).
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE living in the city (I’m in Green Lake so not quite in downtown but still very close by!) and it’s totally worth it. Of course it still hurts though. My rent is high and the median salary for this area is about $100,000 (which I don’t make).
Seattle is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. in large part to Amazon’s neverending growth and hiring plus other large tech companies like Google and Facebook eyeing the commercial real estate and office spaces available in the area.
As a person who resides in the city limits, it’s a new and conflicting place to be in the midst of. Yes, I want the city to do well and prosper. Yes, it’s great for Washington as a whole and for finding job opportunities. No, I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to live here. No, I don’t want all the long time residents of Seattle to get pushed out because they can’t afford the cost of living.
The culture and economy of Seattle changes incrementally day-by-day.
It used to be that living in the city was cheaper. It’s where all the artists and older residents would be. But just as the technology industry is constantly changing, the cities that contribute and support it are a part of that shift as well.
As someone who is a freelancer and living in the city, it’s terrifying. I signed a one year lease for my apartment and the high rent does keep me accountable for maintaining work. If for whatever reason I don’t have any work for a few weeks or a month or so though, I’m in big trouble.
As someone who does a lot of work for Amazon, it’s interesting. Amazon is thriving and definitely not going anywhere, they’re growing exponentially everyday and are still hiring constantly. Overall they have been a great company to work for and be a part of. I have learned SO much while being there and has made me grow not just as a business person but as a person in general.
It was a bit of a shock for me to be in a place where everyone actually wanted to be there.
Whoa. People actually like their jobs?!
And I only say that as a person who had been working random entry-level part time jobs to make ends meet while freelancing and building up my work experience in photography.
The change in attitude and mindset in the workplace was very new to me. And I am so grateful to be a part of it. It's a fantastic team to be a part of. They're my "FAMazon" if you will.
It’s weird to be stuck in the middle of it all.
Change is a good thing. It’s also something that is unavoidable and is going to happen whether or not you accept it or understand it.
With all this flux it’s key to remember that Seattle is one of those techie places but it’s important to maintain the history and culture that really brings this place to life and is what I love about it.
Plus if you’re from the Bay Area and you’re moving up here you’re going to be surrounded by the 12th man (Seahawks fans for all you crazy non-football peeps) and that’s totally fine with me.
Anyone else feel the pains/gains of expansion in this beautiful city? Let me know in the comments.
Cheers to growth,