Amanda writes: How far is too far from LA? I was born and raised in Orange County so I figured it might be easier to just live at home and commute. While I am well aware of the devil that is the 405 and rising gas prices (devil's spawn), I am dedicated enough to leave the house at 5 AM if I need to. When I send out resumes and put down my home address, will the gatekeepers deem Orange County acceptable or would it be better if I just moved to LA?
SJ writes: I'm moving to SoCal in a few months. My future roommates are already out in LA in grad school, so they're in charge of finding places to live. One goes to USC and the other goes to Chapman University in OC, so they're trying to find a place that would be cost efficient and equidistant for the three of us. The area that those girls are focusing on is Long Beach. Once I get out to the west coast, I'll be trying to find an entry level job in the industry - so my concern is, in terms of finding said entry level job, does it matters where you live? I'm just a bit concerned that since Long Beach is about 30 minutes away from LA, that may be considered too long of a commute for potential employers and they would be less inclined to hire me. Any advice would be amazing and very much appreciated.
A few employers might be turned off by an address on a resume that's too far from their LA office (especially if they've had previous employees with tardiness problems), but I don't think most people will toss your resume aside based on your address. If you want, you can leave your address off your resume and just list your cell phone number. Since lots of us keep our non-LA cell numbers (myself included), the area code isn't exactly a dead giveaway that you're not in LA... but if you don't have any SoCal work experience, you probably DO want to include a local address so that people don't think you're applying from New York or something (which would be a strike against you).
SJ: Long Beach is not "30 minutes" from LA. Maybe 30 minutes at 2 am if you're driving really fast. I used to travel to Huntington Beach (just past LB) fairly often and it would often take me 90 minutes, even when it wasn't rush hour. It's going to be hard finding somewhere convenient to both Chapman and USC; I know this isn't want you want to hear, but I recommend finding new roommates. (Or living with just the USC one, maybe.) You're going to waste a ton of time and gas if you get a job in LA. I don't think anyone will care that you live in Long Beach in terms of hiring you (as long as you can show up to work on time), but it just doesn't seem feasible to me.
On the other hand, I think Amanda is smart to stay in OC and live with her parents for a while, since she'll be living rent-free. If you can handle living with your parents for a few months (or maybe even a couple years), you will be able to save a LOT of money - and trust me, this will make your life much easier in your 20s. But if you're paying rent, I recommend getting as close to job opportunities as you can.