Re: The Cost of Living in the Bay Area

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Tue, 30 Jun 1998 09:29:24 -0700

> I have just returned from a conference in Washington DC and
> am currently considering four different job possibilities as
> a result. Two of the jobs are within academia, one is with a
> public library, and the other is a with a library software
> vendor called Innovative Interfaces Inc.

Have you looked at the other search engine companies?
They are paying top dollar. I wouldn't take any positions
without at least sending a resume to the top 3 or 4.

My recomendations off the top of my head:
o $10k moving expenses
o 15%- 35% of salary signing bonus
o I'd add in 5-10% just to cover regional expenses.
o I don't know your salary history, but take your
top potential salary and median tech industry
for the area I think is 65k, in that area is $72,9k.
and figure out where you fall in the scale.
o Another rule of thumb is tech skills with some
other skill is worth 5-25% more also (look at
a CS degree and MBA). Library science with tech
skills are desired right now.

Greg's magic calculator says you are worth $94.8k with a signing
bonus of $19k for 1 year and $33.1 for 2 or more years and a
$10k moving fee sight unseen with good recs. What are the benefits?
Is there any stock involved?


> Innovative Interfaces tried to get me to sign a contract on
> the spot, but I declined saying that I wanted to explore all
> my options. They then offered me more money and a signing
> bonus. I still decliined... now I have an all-expenses paid
> trip to San Francisco from them so that I can fully explore
> their company. The position they are wanting me to take is
> that of Training Specialist. Essentially, I would "train the
> trainers" in that I would travel to Universities and Colleges
> in California and abroad and teach librarians and faculty members
> how to use their product. It is right up my alley and lets me
> combine my teaching background with my library background.
> But, I digress...
> My question for FoRK is this: How much of a salary should I
> demand so that I can live comfortably in the Bay area? Their
> offices are located in Emeryville... They seem to be offering
> me good money, but the cost of living in San Fran is high (or
> so I hear and my research is verifying this).
> I have used the various "salary calculators" and whatnot that are
> on the web to try and figure this out and my conclusion seems
> to be that they are not offering me enough even though it is
> WAY WAY more than I earn now.
> So, I want to hear from people who actually live in the Bay
> area... how much money do I need to demand when I get in to
> final contract negotiations? I am prepared to play hardball
> with them as I have other options and I don't want to sell
> out for too little.
> Any and all opinions are welcome!
> Diva (who is thrilled at the prospect of getting the hell out
> of Geneva and may just sell her soul to do so!)