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Thread: 2 Jobs: Money or experience?

  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    2 Jobs: Money or experience?

    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty stoked that after a long wait, I finally have two interviews next week. One is Monday afternoon while the other one will be either Tuesday or Wednesday (haven't set an exact date yet for the second one).

    Anyhow, I've been thinking about this lately, because I want to make the right decision. I'm a marketing major interested in research and the first job is great because it deals with coding, surveys, etc. The bad thing about the first one is that the pay really stinks. It's a major pay cut from my last internship, but I figured that since the internship is only 2 months, I could do it for the great experience and once I finish I could look for my last part-time job prior to graduation (I would be finishing the 2-month internship in August and graduating in December so from Sept to Dec I could get one last part-time).

    The 2nd interview (with the exact interview date still pending) is for a job that is seemingly sales-related. It involves generating business for the company by phone, and if I was to get new leads I'd get paid that plus the hourly salary. The salary, by the way, is excellent - it's what I was making at my first internship. As you might expect, I'm not too thrilled about a sales-oriented job because I don't wish to do sales. I want to work in marketing research and as I mentioned the first job seems more related to this.

    So the first interview will take place monday afternoon (for the survey job) and the other one I plan to set up either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday. My biggest concern is that the survey job people might offer their internship on the spot if they like me enough (after the interview) if few applicants have applied for the job.

    This would be a good thing in the sense that I have won offer #1, but I would obviously want enough time to go through interview #2 and find out if I get that one too. Is it typical for companies to offer the job on the spot like that?

    In case the first company DOES offer it on the spot, should I say something like "I appreciate it and am very interested but need a day or two to think about it." Would this be ok? Again, the problem is that I don't know how long it would take company 2 to inform me if/whether I won that job or not.

    Again, the first one is more relevant to my career goals, is of shorter duration (2 months), and pays really badly. The second one is not as related to my career goals, is longer (6 months - 1 yr), but pays great.
    In the long run I have to decide whether to sacrifice experience for money or vice-versa. FYI my financial situation is not in bad shape or anything but I want to make a decent amount.

    I look forward to anyone's tips/suggestions. Thanks in advance !

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hi Double J. In a perfect world, I would say that you should just go ahead and accept the research job. But here's a few things to think about.

    The first thing you should consider is whether you can afford a pay cut. Although I once took a low-paying job for the experience, and it turned out to be a good career move, it's no use taking a job if you can't make ends meet.

    Alternatively, if you do end up going into a little bit of debt from taking a pay cut, can you think of the research job in terms of paying for furthering your education as opposed to being a money making job? Do you feel confident that you'd be able to pay off any debts that you might incur while taking the salary cut?

    Another thing to consider is, if you don't think you'd be crazy about the sales job, do you think you'd be able to stay with it for the six to twelve months?

    If you are offered the research job right on the spot, I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask for a few days to consider it. You should never feel pressured into making a major decision right away. But what if it takes a while to interview with or hear from the second job? If it feels right to you, you can always accept the research job, and then resign if you get a job offer from the sales job. If you feel that would hurt your career (which is always a possibility), you should just take the attitude that the people at the sales job only hurt themselves by not interviewing you sooner.

    One thing to never underestimate is the vibe that you feel at an interview. I've been enthused about jobs before an interview, only to walk away thinking that I wouldn't like the people or the work culture at the company. I've also interviewed at places thinking I wouldn't like the job, and I liked the people and the atmosphere so much I ended up accepting the position.

    I'm not too crazy about the thought of a sales job either. However, I think some experience in sales can be valuable in just about any career field. You not only learn how to deal with customers, the skills you learn can transfer over to dealing with co-workers and bosses.

    Good luck with your interviews and please let us know how they went. I hope you get a good job offer from at least one of the places.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Hi Double J,

    Early in my career, (electronics) I opted for experience.

    Later, money became more a factor.

    But, let me add that work environment became as significant as money...

    I would never take a job that I did not think would be challenging and further my experience and enhance my career.


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