Post # 1
Just to preface this post: I am really lucky to have found a full-time job with benefits and decent pay right after I graduated college-so I don’t want to sound entitled or ungrateful. However, after working here for almost 2 years, I’ve learned that this is not the type of work I want to be doing. There are some aspects that I enjoy, but the cons seem to be outweighing the pros.
Now, the grant money is running out. I’ve known this for a long time now and I’ll have to find a new job in the next few months. My co-PI (who works under my boss) has offered me a job opportunity, but I’ve told her previously that I’m thinking about moving on. She told me to think about it, but also said that I should try to find something that is more aligned with my interests. Just today, another PI, who has worked with my boss in the past, asked me if I was interested in doing some contract work since his contrator is leaving around the same time my job ends. I haven’t replied back to the email and don’t know how to respond…
This morning, I heard more depressing news on NPR about college students and half of those graduating after the recession not being able to find full time work.
The realistic side of me is saying to take one of these jobs because it might be difficult to find something else and well, I need to pay rent and bills (I got this job mostly because of my past experience in similar research, but I don’t have much experience in the work I’m more interested in). The idealistic side of me wants to go after something I’m more excited about. When that time comes and I can’t find anything, I don’t want to have to fall back on these jobs. I’d also rather see someone who was actually interested in those studies get the job instead of me who would just be taking them out of desperation.
Post # 3
You are right, finding a job is a difficult task. To put it simply, I would advise you to: take advantage of these opportunites available to you internally. If this really is not your passion, start applying for jobs while working your new assignment and feel blessed to know you have these options.
Post # 4
@Papillon23: I agree with this advice. After I graduated, it took a year and a half for me to get a job! It was terrible. However, you DO have options, and I would take advantage of that opportunity.
The stories are depressing. The fact that these new graduates have ever increasing amounts of student loan debt does not help.
Post # 5
Take the job and then while you’re still employed look for a new job.
Never let a job go without getting a new job.
Post # 6
@Papillon23: I agree.
I’m a very practical person. I tried to put myself in your shoes, and the thought of turning down these “sure thing” jobs makes me cringe. If you truly want to do something else, you can always apply for other jobs while working one of these jobs like Papillon23 said. Also, I know it’s not idealistic, but I remind myself all the time that sometimes a job is just a job. Sometimes the more practical things in life take precedence over idealism. You could always find a way to incorporate your interests into your free time through volunteer work, hobbies, etc. without putting yourself in a position of possible hardship.
Post # 7
@PinkMagnolia: +1, completely agree with this!
Post # 8
The thing is, I have a job right now. This current job ends in 5 months – so yes, I still have a lot of time. Should I decline these job opportunities now because I want to look for something outside of this field? I’m just afraid of not finding anything when my 5 months are up and then shooting myself for not taking these positions.
I don’t want to leave these people hanging especially when they can find someone else who may be more interested in the positions. It’s not fair to them, and not fair to me.
Post # 9
In this economy, it is taking well educated professionals YEARS, not months, to find a new position. You could (and should) begin your search now, but I would not be optimistic enough to say that 5 months is more than enough time to find a new job – particularly if it is in a field that you do not have any direct experience in.
It is a better career move to take an offer that is certain and in the meantime continue to look for other opportunities elsewhere. Just because you commit to this new position does not mean that you cannot still put out resumes/cover letters (particularly if this job is not contracted – you can leave whenever you want, for any reason or no reason at all).
Also, something to think about: some hiring managers will only look at resumes from people who are currently employed. For example, my father’s company will not even consider interviewing a candidate that is not currently working – it sucks, but in this economy, the employer holds all the cards and job applications are a dime a dozen. . . actually, make that four dozen.
Talk to anyone who is an unemployed college graduate – or even an unemployed masters/professional student. Ask them about their job search in your area (not sure where you are located, but things might be different in your city/town than where I am located) – I think that may help put things in perspective for you and could help sway your decision.
Good luck on your search!
Post # 10
@PinkMagnolia: “Never let a job go without getting a new job.”
Post # 11
Having just quit my job I’m being picky about the next job I take. I realize the job market isn’t what it used to be but I’m finding it suprisingly easy to find something. In your case I don’t think it would hurt to maintain these people as your contacts but if you feel you can find something better for yourself (and if you’re anything like me) I would probably pursue other options. I quit last Tuesday and have had 2 job offers already that I’ve told the recruiter I needed to think about. I don’t want to trade one horrible job for the other.
Post # 12
@masqueradestars: If you’re afraid of not finding something once your 5 months are up, then I’d say take these assignments.
I don’t want to leave these people hanging especially when they can find someone else who may be more interested in the positions. It’s not fair to them, and not fair to me. <–That’s considerate of you, however, this whole job/career thing is a giant game we all have to play. You ultimately have to put yourself first. If that means you commit to these new opportunities, start working on the new projects, and end up finding a better job down the line, then so be it. That means you would have a job you’d like, and they would find someone else for the position. Just a part of the job cycle, really.
Post # 13
@cora_123: I don’t want to trade one horrible job for the other.
Yes, that is exactly how I feel. I already don’t like the type of work I do, so staying here, I’d be doing more or less the same type of stuff.
Everything about the job market now is so uncertain. Probably why most people are suggesting that I take one of these jobs…
Post # 14
Will the positions they are offering you eventually end as well? If so, that could buy you some more time. Technically you wouldn’t owe them anything if you accepted and then found a different job in the next five months before the new job started. Although, I could see how you would feel bad.
I quit my job a few months ago to move with my FH. I haven’t had much luck finding a new job and after not looking for jobs for a few years, I can tell that employers are expecting a lot more from candidates that they were before. If you quit with no job lined up, be prepared to deal with the unexpected and feeling like you will never find something. Also, be 100% certain that you can manage financially for a while. I have a feeling I may never find a job and have been contemplating just going applying at Target and trying to not feel like a failure. I am living in a highly concentrated area with a very high unemployment rate, so that could be part of it too. But overall just be sure you won’t kick yourself for not taking one of the jobs.
Post # 15
@afk222: Yes, one of the positions is 2 years and the other is 1 year.
I just emailed the PI about the 1 year position and told him that I would have to think about it. He said that is fine, but they want to be able to finalize something in 2-3 weeks.
Fortunately, my partner said he can support us while I look for another job. His job is more stable than mine (not dependent on grant funding).
I guess I should start sending out my resume and see what the response rate is like!
Post # 16
@masqueradestars: Perfect! Best of luck to you with your decision. Do what will make you most happy! 🙂