Should you accept a job offer or not? You may think the answer is simple… Especially if you are a recent grad. If you are unemployed then DUH, you would obviously accept the job. But what if you are already working?
Getting your first job is the hardest one to get… or at least that’s what many people have told me. It took me a little over six months to get offered a job out of college. When I did start my first job, my unemployed self was happy to finally receive a paycheck – but my career-driven self wasn’t all too thrilled. The job wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I knew I couldn’t be picky. I wanted to work in television and the job was in the field of corporate video production. Boring. However, I was lucky to have a job so closely related to my desired industry (well, I was lucky to have a job in general). And I was young enough to work at this job for a good amount of time – and still be super young when I leave and start a new job.
During my time at this job, I kept my eye out for any jobs in the Boston area that had to do with television. Eventually, I received an email from a contact I knew from my FIRST internship (the first of six – over 3 years ago!) about a job opening. The job was a step in the right direction for what I wanted to do out of college, so I was excited. I expressed interest and before I knew it, I was interviewing for the position. At first, I was set on not leaving my current job. I started to enjoy what I was doing because I actually knew what I was doing. I didn’t work overtime. I had freedom. But most importantly, I was comfortable there.
Comfort. Of course, comfort is fantastic. You want to feel comfortable in life – in relationships and at jobs – but sometimes to get to the place you want to be, you have to take risks. So for me, I knew I was going to have to take that risk. Maybe I wouldn’t like the new job… or maybe I would absolutely love it. But whatever the outcome, I would never know unless I took that chance. The job I left did not involve working on the weekends, being on call, and/or having to stay late often – but my new job would involve all of those.
My decision was made especially hard when I was offered a decent amount of money to stay at my first job. Friends had warned me about this happening – you tell your employer you got offered a new job and then they offer you more money to stay. Well, all I had to do in this situation was think about how I would feel if I didn’t take the risk to work in a 24/7 crazy television environment. I would probably wonder every day what would have happened if I didn’t take that job. I know a lot of you would take the job that offers more money… but when you are actually passionate about something, money doesn’t really matter. The money will come in time. I am still in my early twenties… No need to break the bank yet. If I start increasing my salary now, no jobs I want will hire me because there will be others who will agree to be paid a lot less than me.
I am going to be 23 years old on Sunday (yes, early HB to me), and I know I am young enough to try something new out. In a year, I will just be turning 24… AKA still young. That is why we should take our chances now… in our twenties. Sure, companies with great benefits and flexible hours are awesome – but do the bitch work that will get you far in life now. Because in a few years, when you’re starting a family, you will wish you did.
Although I only worked at my first job for eight months, it was okay to leave because I was starting a job more closely related to what I (think I) want to do in my career. If I was working in television already, I would try to stay in the position for a decent amount of time. If you like what you’re doing, there is no need to leave – however, if you find something that will advance your career then you may want to reconsider. There is a huge difference between a job and a career – and you have to figure out which one you are aiming for in life.
As I said before, we’re young. We are young until we get engaged and start having kids. Don’t let these years pass you by.