- 3 years ago
I’m graduating from my master’s program in December and the job offers are starting to come in. My top two firms made me offers (one was a surprise to me) and now I’m kind of torn as to what I should do.
Firm 1 – VERY nice people, they have a reputation throughout my city for being one of the friendliest firms, they’re a small local firm which means I would be able to see projects through from beginning to end and work in a wide variety of areas in my field. They really value work-life balance, which is more rare in my field. They also seem to really value their employees from everything I’ve heard (flexible, willing to work with you, want to help you achieve whatever career goals you have). But because they are a local firm only, it would be harder to transition out to other jobs in the future.
This job would start in August, so I’d have a full seven months off after graduating. It would be nice to travel and have some time purely to myself – something I don’t see happening ever again after I start my career. But also, my grandma is 94 and fading fast. She is the member of my family who I’m closest with, the only one who has always supported me and always loved me and always been there for me. I would LOVE to get to spend this time with her, especially because I worry we’re fast approaching the end of her life. I love her so much, this time with her would be invaluable to me. But I know that if she still had her full mental capacity, she would probably tell me that I shouldn’t take her as a factor into this kind of decision because she’s always been that kind of practical.
Financially, this time off would be fine. I have no student loans, more than healthy savings (about a year of post-tax salary saved – and I could work part time during the seven months if I really felt I needed to), and very low expenses so I’m not worried there.
Firm 2 – The people here were super nice and everyone was so open and honest about the reality of the work. They were the sort of friendly, joking environment that I really think I would enjoy. A friend of a friend works there and she loves it, had nothing but rave reviews to share even before she knew I was applying there. This is also a national firm, which would just provide more opportunities overall, a higher calibre of work, and more chances to go to different locations even within just this firm. Also, because it’s a national firm, it has a recognizable reputation in the job market which I think would be a better boost to my resume going forward. They’re also unique in that with most firms in my field it’s “up or out” so if you don’t make partner (something I’m 100% not interested in), then they fire you once you reach a certain level. With this firm, though, you can build up expertise in an area rather than going on the partner track, which is really appealing to me.
However, with this firm I would start straight after New Year’s so I’d have maybe a week off before starting. I wouldn’t get that time to spend with my grandma that I’ve been basically fantasizing about since I knew it was an option on the table. They also work longer hours and I get the feeling they would have a bit more of a problem with you actually using things like vacation days – a very common problem in this field, so it’s not a dealbreaker since it’s more what I was expecting.
The thing is, I love both of these firms a lot. They both pay about the same so that’s not a factor either. But I worry because I know if the 7 months off weren’t on the table, I would go directly to Firm 2 without a thought. I love Firm 1, but I know Firm 2 would have a better long-term impact on my job prospects. But I also worry that when I look back on my life that I’ll regret not jumping at this chance – one of those situations where it’s like you never really regret not having worked more, if you know what I mean.
I’m just really not sure (hence the obnoxious length of this post, I apologize) and would appreciate any feedback those of you who have more experience have to offer.