Those Entry-Level Startup Jobs? They’re Now Mostly Dead Ends in the Boondocks
Lauren Smiley

This post reeks of snobbery and fear of change.

In 2000, Dell (at the time a “Unicorn” in its own right) made a similar decision to start a lower-cost service and manufacturing site in Nashville, bringing several hundreds of jobs at the time. People who worked for Dell in Austin (already a very hip town at the time) took demotions or made lateral moves to help seed the new office in a very questionable new city. This was Nashville ten years before Nashville was remotely “hip.”

Today, those people who seeded that baby office are professionals at the top of their careers. I was in the first wave of new-hire “natives” at the sales call center. People that I went on to train or hire or manage or work with are similarly flourishing, either still with Dell in leadership roles, or working for other tech companies all over the country, or leading for companies who are relocating their service centers to Nashville today. Those people led a cultural change and are making Nashville “hip.”

Anyone in a service or entry level sales job in SF or the Valley who sees Nashville (or any of the other “boondock” cities) as a backwards move is missing out! Go ahead, stick around here and pay 75% of your salary in rent, or learn to code or other relevant skills and get a job that will actually pay the cost of living here. There are opportunities everywhere. Take them!

And maybe in 5–10 years you can come back to Silicon Valley again with more marketable skills, or maybe you’ll like it so much where you go that you’ll transform it and stay.

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