You mention that you don’t want to move but find your area isn’t a tech hotbed. I don’t really have any specific advice for you here except to recommend you research jobs nearby, far away and in cyberspace (virtual) equally so you have a good understanding of your options for your career planning. It’s always an eye-opener to discover options you didn’t realize existed (nearby or elsewhere) and it’s much easier to make a hard decision when you’re looking at information instead of when you’re relying on untested assumptions. I also recommend doing this research comprehensively, meaning that you should research your interests and options along many dimensions, geography being only one. There’s also your career interests, work-life-family needs, lifestyle and financial requirements, your personal strengths and growth desires and what companies in different industries and geographies have to offer you.

Be sure to include close family members in the discussion appropriately. I had one client who was surprised to find that his wife actually wanted to relocate when he’s been assuming she didn’t. The conversation about his job opportunities opened up a whole new line of discussion for their marriage and prompted her to consider a career change, too. Of course, you need to balance your needs against the needs of others, and that’s a very personal decision but it’s much easier if you’ve discussed the issues with those others first.

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