California pharmacist- is it worth living in California as new graduate?

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Hi everyone,

This question is for practicing pharmacist in California. Do you guys think is it worth living in California as new grad?Wages have gone down dramatically and taxes are through the roof. I have worked as grad intern and I have noticed that people in CA are super demanding and just pure annoying. Every day felt like I was over worked and no one cared about you as there are 10 other applicants waiting in line to take your job. Wages used to be way high in CA but now they seems to paying same as other states so I don’t think reason of being here. The only reason I am still in CA Is because of my spouse‘s job. I know California has amazing weather and food but I can’t seem to justify the cost and pharmacist wage for that.

Please share you thoughts.
 
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hye345

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Pay-wise, your right; the new grad rate has been falling like a rock. However, there are parts of California that are less expensive than others. So depending on where you wanna live, it might be closer to parts of the Midwest. Plus, CA has better labor laws than most other states (1.5x for OT, mandatory lunch breaks, etc).

Finally, and this should go without saying, but I don’t think you can really group all CA patients into one “mood” (actually, same goes for the weather and food). I’ve worked in different parts of CA (north and south) since 2016, and in my experience, aside from the occasional bad apples, most people are ok. Irksome at times, sure, but it’s not a state full of Karens and Kens.
 
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No.

California is a beautiful state but too many hideous people


Also California attracts and incentivizes degenerate trash to breed due to a relatively more generous welfare system compared to other states, e.g., Trump supporters "eating" welfare their whole lives in California while bashing the same state that allows them to survive.
 
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No.

California is a beautiful state but too many hideous people


Also California attracts and incentivizes degenerate trash to breed due to a relatively more generous welfare system compared to other states, e.g., Trump supporters "eating" welfare their whole lives in California while bashing the same state that allows them to survive.
This is true. I know from other people that they just have babies and use the system to live off of.
 
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PharmtoCS

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In California, you get the triple threat of
1) A terrible job market with falling wages
2) Astronomical housing costs
3) A high student loan burden (assuming you went to school here)
 
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confettiflyer

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Hi everyone,

This question is for practicing pharmacist in California. Do you guys think is it worth living in California as new grad?Wages have gone down dramatically and taxes are through the roof. I have worked as grad intern and I have noticed that people in CA are super demanding and just pure annoying. Every day felt like I was over worked and no one cared about you as there are 10 other applicants waiting in line to take your job. Wages used to be way high in CA but now they seems to paying same as other states so I don’t think reason of being here. The only reason I am still in CA Is because of my spouse‘s job. I know California has amazing weather and food but I can’t seem to justify the cost and pharmacist wage for that.

Please share you thoughts.

Well... if wages are falling, then you don't really have to worry about the higher tax bracket, lol.

I can't speak for retail job satisfaction or how your experience compares to other states, but my hesitation in outright recommending a move is informed by your spouse's job. How feasible is it that they are able to move and maintain whatever salary they are currently drawing? If they are in a highly specialized field like tech, or is in another field where a move doesn't make financial sense, you're pretty much stuck.

Your best bet is to a) minimize cost in-state and b) start prepping for a different workplace (i.e. additional training/experience). Costs fall off dramatically outside of the cities and away from the coast, so it's still possible to find a house for < $1M within 45-90 minutes of a major metro area. In my experience, pharmacist wages don't dramatically fall when going into lower cost areas in the state (in fact, sometimes they rise). So, assuming your spouse works in a major metro area, living as far away as possible in terms of commute comfort would be your first step in reducing costs.

You can take advantage of the income stability your spouse provides by taking more risks. This might mean an outright completely different career tack outside of pharmacy, or it might mean applying for residencies, or it might just mean trying to gain a foothold in a rural hospital as a reliable per-diem who has practically open availability.

Are you in NorCal or SoCal? All things considered, NorCal pays more and has (relatively) more openings than SoCal, so even an intrastate move could suit your needs, depending on what your spouse does. People are generally different up here as well. Goodluck.

EDIT: i just looked at your post history, i think you're in NorCal, if so then don't move to SoCal, it's probably worse and this is as good as it gets.
 
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Well... if wages are falling, then you don't really have to worry about the higher tax bracket, lol.

I can't speak for retail job satisfaction or how your experience compares to other states, but my hesitation in outright recommending a move is informed by your spouse's job. How feasible is it that they are able to move and maintain whatever salary they are currently drawing? If they are in a highly specialized field like tech, or is in another field where a move doesn't make financial sense, you're pretty much stuck.

Your best bet is to a) minimize cost in-state and b) start prepping for a different workplace (i.e. additional training/experience). Costs fall off dramatically outside of the cities and away from the coast, so it's still possible to find a house for < $1M within 45-90 minutes of a major metro area. In my experience, pharmacist wages don't dramatically fall when going into lower cost areas in the state (in fact, sometimes they rise). So, assuming your spouse works in a major metro area, living as far away as possible in terms of commute comfort would be your first step in reducing costs.

You can take advantage of the income stability your spouse provides by taking more risks. This might mean an outright completely different career tack outside of pharmacy, or it might mean applying for residencies, or it might just mean trying to gain a foothold in a rural hospital as a reliable per-diem who has practically open availability.

Are you in NorCal or SoCal? All things considered, NorCal pays more and has (relatively) more openings than SoCal, so even an intrastate move could suit your needs, depending on what your spouse does. People are generally different up here as well. Goodluck.

EDIT: i just looked at your post history, i think you're in NorCal, if so then don't move to SoCal, it's probably worse and this is as good as it gets.
Yep I live in northern California, spouse is in tech. He doesn’t want to move because of salary he is being paid and he likes his work. I don’t like here because I don’t justify reasons of living here. I feel like I could get same wage in Midwest with way cheaper cost of living plus I can stay close to family. We don’t have any family in CA. My spouse said he can pay off my loans so that’s not even issue but I can’t stand being in California. I am at point at where either I suck it up and stay in CA Or let go my marriage. I hate my life so much. I have debated to ask him if he can move to central California where housing is cheaper and there are Job opening but I doubt he would agree. Also, ever since I was in pharmacy school I knew I want to switch careers eventually for sure may be in next 5 years after graduation so that’s one of the option too. I have thought about learning coding and may be do something in tech if coding thing actually works out for me.
 
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confettiflyer

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Yep I live in northern California, spouse is in tech. He doesn’t want to move because of salary he is being paid and he likes his work. I don’t like here because I don’t justify reasons of living here. I feel like I could get same wage in Midwest with way cheaper cost of living plus I can stay close to family. We don’t have any family in CA. My spouse said he can pay off my loans so that’s not even issue but I can’t stand being in California. I am at point at where either I suck it up and stay in CA Or let go my marriage. I hate my life so much. I have debated to ask him if he can move to central California where housing is cheaper and there are Job opening but I doubt he would agree. Also, ever since I was in pharmacy school I knew I want to switch careers eventually for sure may be in next 5 years after graduation so that’s one of the option too. I have thought about learning coding and may be do something in tech if coding thing actually works out for me.

So he's in tech, you're thinking about tech... and you're contemplating leaving California?

I'm having trouble squaring your future career plans, his current job, and the financial issues you've raised. I'm getting the sense that you just don't like it here (and that's fine), but that the financial piece is actually okay. You talk about being able to get the same salary in the Midwest (that might be true now, I don't know what current new grad retail rates are locally), but I think you know and I know your husband won't be making close to that (short of him starting his own company).

Do you just not like living in SV or in the inner Bay Area? I'm assuming you're here, because you seem to be okay with moving to the central valley. Is the cost of living just grating at you? Is it too crowded? I don't know what to tell you, if seeing $1.2M shacks in Santa Clara and $15 grilled cheese sandwiches makes you itch, I don't know what to suggest. If you feel that you're not meeting financial goals with your husband, that needs to be addressed (but it doesn't seem that way as you said he has the capacity to pay your loans).

You said, "I hate my life so much" but all the signs point to a stable financial situation, so I don't think this is about the job market or reduced salaries as much as it is having to compromise on what is important to you: being closer to family and living in the Midwest.

An improved job market or higher pay isn't going to solve this bone of contention within your marriage. I don't even think a better job/work environment for you will solve it, either, and neither will moving 1-2 hours away from his workplace. I think your husband should do his due diligence to see if he can find a job he likes for the pay he likes closer to your family, but I also think you should temper expectations. Even if you find a job further afield in the central valley, moving there won't necessarily make sense since you would be counter-commuting.

I wish I could say something more optimistic, but marriage is a set of compromises, uneven ones sometimes.
 
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So he's in tech, you're thinking about tech... and you're contemplating leaving California?
I know right lol but getting into tech is long shot. I don’t know if that will even happen. Lol
I'm having trouble squaring your future career plans, his current job, and the financial issues you've raised. I'm getting the sense that you just don't like it here (and that's fine), but that the financial piece is actually okay. You talk about being able to get the same salary in the Midwest (that might be true now, I don't know what current new grad retail rates are locally), but I think you know and I know your husband won't be making close to that (short of him starting his own company).
Current rate for new grad in retail is 56. I was offered 57. My friend was hired at grocery chain for 60 in Midwest. Yep, husband will have huge pay cut.
Do you just not like living in SV or in the inner Bay Area? I'm assuming you're here, because you seem to be okay with moving to the central valley. Is the cost of living just grating at you? Is it too crowded? I don't know what to tell you, if seeing $1.2M shacks in Santa Clara and $15 grilled cheese sandwiches makes you itch, I don't know what to suggest. If you feel that you're not meeting financial goals with your husband, that needs to be addressed (but it doesn't seem that way as you said he has the capacity to pay your loans).
well he makes good money but not to point where we can find nice home. Nice home are 1.5 M + and I don’t think we can afford it.We still live like college students, nothing fancy. Only upside of this is that he can pay off my loans. I think moving to Midwest makes sense in long run as he won’t be making as much as CA but he can still make 100 K plus my income. We can also buy really nice house under 500 K. i have feeling I have better luck at finding nicer pharmacy job in midwest than CA. On top of all that we will be 30 min to hour from our family, that’s huge. Also, I feel like California has too many people and you have to pay for everything like everything. For example, you booked hotel room but you still have to pay for parking. Like what the heck lol There is so much more and yeah, small box looking houses are like 1.3 M in Santa Clara with no space around It. If I had family and house already there, I wouldt mind living there at all but here we are starting from scratch and I don’t see point of investing myself into 1 M house mortgage. Especially after my jumbo pharmacy school loans, I don’t plan on taking any more loans.I would rather wait to save 300-400 K house and pay cash than take loans. No loans for me in life now.lol
You said, "I hate my life so much" but all the signs point to a stable financial situation, so I don't think this is about the job market or reduced salaries as much as it is having to compromise on what is important to you: being closer to family and living in the Midwest.
yes, I think you are so right. I think it’s more about what’s important to me than other stuff. I feel stuck at the position I am where I have to pick what’s important to me vs my marriage.
An improved job market or higher pay isn't going to solve this bone of contention within your marriage. I don't even think a better job/work environment for you will solve it, either, and neither will moving 1-2 hours away from his workplace. I think your husband should do his due diligence to see if he can find a job he likes for the pay he likes closer to your family, but I also think you should temper expectations. Even if you find a job further afield in the central valley, moving there won't necessarily make sense since you would be counter-commuting.

I wish I could say something more optimistic, but marriage is a set of compromises, uneven ones sometimes.
 
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confettiflyer

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I know right lol but getting into tech is long shot. I don’t know if that will even happen. Lol

Current rate for new grad in retail is 56. I was offered 57. My friend was hired at grocery chain for 60 in Midwest. Yep, husband will have huge pay cut.

well he makes good money but not to point where we can find nice home. Nice home are 1.5 M + and I don’t think we can afford it.We still live like college students, nothing fancy. Only upside of this is that he can pay off my loans. I think moving to Midwest makes sense in long run as he won’t be making as much as CA but he can still make 100 K plus my income. We can also buy really nice house under 500 K. i have feeling I have better luck at finding nicer pharmacy job in midwest than CA. On top of all that we will be 30 min to hour from our family, that’s huge. Also, I feel like California has too many people and you have to pay for everything like everything. For example, you booked hotel room but you still have to pay for parking. Like what the heck lol There is so much more and yeah, small box looking houses are like 1.3 M in Santa Clara with no space around It. If I had family and house already there, I wouldt mind living there at all but here we are starting from scratch and I don’t see point of investing myself into 1 M house mortgage. Especially after my jumbo pharmacy school loans, I don’t plan on taking any more loans.I would rather wait to save 300-400 K house and pay cash than take loans. No loans for me in life now.lol

yes, I think you are so right. I think it’s more about what’s important to me than other stuff. I feel stuck at the position I am where I have to pick what’s important to me vs my marriage.

Okay, wow, this is a lot. Let's start here:

1) You said you were offered $57/hr, take it... it's better than unemployment. It also buys you time. If you hate it, suck it up for a bit while you plot your next move.

2) Are you planning to have kids? If yes, read on... You bring up a good point about you + husband's reduced income in the Midwest & COL being more advantageous than you + your husband's above average income in California. But what confounds this is your potential child care plan. With no family in CA, care would disproportionately fall on you (once your husband's paternity leave is used up, I'll assume it is one year paid leave based on what's common around here + state benefits).

If you move to the Midwest, is your plan to have your family do the bulk of the child care? Are you planning to hire a nanny while both of you work?

My concern would be, after moving out of California, if you have to exit the labor market for a time, the financial situation is such that your husband would be making far less, and you would be making zero. If no family is involved, it's almost as if you were better off in California, which in all likelihood has better parental leave benefits + FMLA protections once you've worked for at least a year (full time), not to mention your husband would be making enough to cover everything.

So, while yes, there is a fantasy thought that "everything outside of California is cheaper," you have to qualify that with specific financial details, and what you are planning to do with child care is an integral part of those details.

3) Finally, once you and your husband have settled into steady employment, begin to do serious research moving closer to your family, or if it's still acceptable, moving to a lower cost of living area that remains reasonably commutable for your husband. That could be the compromise needed here. You can even stay in the valley and look for larger homes with an accessory dwelling unit and rent it out, as laws tend to be fairly receptive to that.

I'm generally wary of high income individuals/couples moving to the central valley because...well... there's a reason those houses are cheap. The commutes are long, the crime tends to be higher, and the services that cater to high income individuals tend to be lacking in those areas. Things that we take for granted like same-day Whole Foods & Amazon delivery, dim sum, and specialty retailers (Peloton, Tesla, Apple, etc...) don't have presence there. Yeah okay I sound like a snob, but it is what it is.

You also lose the ability to network (once COVID is over) and hang around after work if your first priority is to hit the freeway on your hour+ ride home. Networking begets contacts, which begets income opportunity. The phrase in Spanish is "lo barato sale caro" or "that which is cheap, becomes expensive." While yes, you saved money on your big house... it's difficult to quantify and understand what you may have lost, because you don't know what you don't know.

So in closing, take the CA job offer that you have, go have loud and wild college dorm room sex with your husband, and then go on a hike in the Santa Cruz mountains or something of equal beauty. Settle in for a while, and plot your next move with clarity. Good luck.
 
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Deja

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sorry I skimmed your post, but it sounds like you are whining and being selfish for no reason

your husband is in tech and SF is tech heaven, he obviously makes a pretty high salary if he can afford to pay off your loan when you don't have a job.... you want him to give up all of that just so you can move to a cheaper place for a career that you don't intend to stay in? why didn't you drop out and study something else if you knew early on? esp because you also have a husband there to financially support you

I think you are having a lot of regrets and not being able to find a job is not helping with your frustration, but don't take it out on your husband and make him suffer too
 
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sorry I skimmed your post, but it sounds like you are whining and being selfish for no reason

your husband is in tech and SF is tech heaven, he obviously makes a pretty high salary if he can afford to pay off your loan when you don't have a job.... you want him to give up all of that just so you can move to a cheaper place for a career that you don't intend to stay in? why didn't you drop out and study something else if you knew early on? esp because you also have a husband there to financially support you

I think you are having a lot of regrets and not being able to find a job is not helping with your frustration, but don't take it out on your husband and make him suffer too
I think you make some valid points but yeah, he is supporting me until I get job. Once it’s done, it’s going to be 50-50 in everything we buy. Also, yes I mentioned that I may leave pharmacy eventually but not completely. I would still like to work PRN or part time. I am just trying to figure out if being in CA is worth it in long run. I want to have career and life which makes me happy. CA money doesn’t make me happy, I would rather live and make less than be unhappy. But that’s just me. I hope my mind changes and somehow I can convince myself to stay in CA.
 
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No.

California is a beautiful state but too many hideous people


Also California attracts and incentivizes degenerate trash to breed due to a relatively more generous welfare system compared to other states, e.g., Trump supporters "eating" welfare their whole lives in California while bashing the same state that allows them to survive.
Yep that's why California votes strongly blue every year. Blue not red
 

confettiflyer

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Yep that's why California votes strongly blue every year. Blue not red

Point of order, drive 45 minutes east or anywhere north of Sac and it’s deeply red. The population centers along the coast drive the blue votes, but while we have Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, we also have Leader Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes.

Also, the same ballot that overwhelmingly voted for Biden saw a) a tax increase on commercial property fail, b) an attempt to allow rent control fail, c) the reverting of gig economy people back to independent contractor status, and d) an attempt to restore affirmative action fail miserably.

Don’t forget this is the same state that banned gay marriage while electing Barack Obama (2008), banned affirmative action (1996 and 2020), flipped house seats back to R (Orange County 48th 2020), and produced Stephen Miller and Peter Navarro (current Trump aides).

So yes, CA delivers reliably blue votes overall, but that hides the true political reality that churns underneath. ~6M still voted for Trump here, out of ~17M cast. That’s approximately the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, and Maine....combined.
 
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I think you make some valid points but yeah, he is supporting me until I get job. Once it’s done, it’s going to be 50-50 in everything we buy. Also, yes I mentioned that I may leave pharmacy eventually but not completely. I would still like to work PRN or part time. I am just trying to figure out if being in CA is worth it in long run. I want to have career and life which makes me happy. CA money doesn’t make me happy, I would rather live and make less than be unhappy. But that’s just me. I hope my mind changes and somehow I can convince myself to stay in CA.

I don't understand. You said you were offered $57/hr yet you say you are looking for a job.
 

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Point of order, drive 45 minutes east or anywhere north of Sac and it’s deeply red. The population centers along the coast drive the blue votes, but while we have Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, we also have Leader Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes.

Also, the same ballot that overwhelmingly voted for Biden saw a) a tax increase on commercial property fail, b) an attempt to allow rent control fail, c) the reverting of gig economy people back to independent contractor status, and d) an attempt to restore affirmative action fail miserably.

Don’t forget this is the same state that banned gay marriage while electing Barack Obama (2008), banned affirmative action (1996 and 2020), flipped house seats back to R (Orange County 48th 2020), and produced Stephen Miller and Peter Navarro (current Trump aides).

So yes, CA delivers reliably blue votes overall, but that hides the true political reality that churns underneath. ~6M still voted for Trump here, out of ~17M cast. That’s approximately the populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, and Maine....combined.
Popular vote doesn't matter. Just electoral
 
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I don't understand. You said you were offered $57/hr yet you say you are looking for a job.
I was offered position way before graduation then I took my California law exam ( CPJE) which I didn’t pass on first attempt so my offer was taken away.
 

mentos

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This is true. I know from other people that they just have babies and use the system to live off of.

How does this work? As a parent (not in CA) we get a $2000 child tax credit which pays for like diapers and not much else.
 

confettiflyer

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How does this work? As a parent (not in CA) we get a $2000 child tax credit which pays for like diapers and not much else.

It doesn’t, it’s part of the Welfare Queen myth.

You get more in food benefits (CalFresh and WIC), some extra cash benefits (CalWorks), and the kid gets state healthcare, but it’s not like Saudi Arabia which just gives you money.

The high costs of living negate the benefits.

But this is a US-wide thing where it’s sometimes more advantageous for someone who works a minimum wage job to quit, go on state benefits, and stay home with the kids vs working + paying for childcare.
 
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I was offered position way before graduation then I took my California law exam ( CPJE) which I didn’t pass on first attempt so my offer was taken away.
That's terrible they didn't give you another chance like one of my friend's who didn't pass the first time. Keep your head up, more jobs will open up with the vaccine coming out.
 
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Sorry to hear that. The CPJE is not an easy exam. I think 30% end up failing.
Honestly I didn’t even study properly. My employer was pushing me to take it ASAP after my graduation. I was working full time so never got off to study. Traditionally, people take naplex first, I took CPJE first. Anyways, I think I am better prepared now.
 

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