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Should I Take a Job Opportunity Where Nobody Knows My Name?

The following question has been edited into a Q&A format and some details may have been changed to keep our listeners’ information anonymous. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or if you have your own question, use the ASK P&B button!

Hey guys, I just discover your podcast and love it.

I am a recent graduate of a Master’s program. My situation is a little unique, I went to grad school straight from undergrad, so technically at 24 I don’t have any full-time experience. I do have part time and research/fellow and internship experience, so I do think I have a little bit of something to offer.

Anyways, job hunting has been hard. I feel like I’m overeducated for entry level jobs but not ready for high-level jobs that ask for a master’s and many years of experience. I am trying to strike middle ground and apply for jobs that say “master’s preferred” or ask for 1-3 years experience, so above entry level.

My question is this: I was offered two different positions.

  1. The first is one I feel overeducated for–they only ask for a BS and one year of experience. The only qualms I have is that it will give me some experience in what I want, but I don’t think it will give me higher level experience I may need to move up to those “master’s required” jobs in the future. It also pays less because it doesn’t ask for a master’s. However, the job is in a big city close to many of my family and friends and I know and like the city.
  2. The second job asks for a master’s, it will give me more higher level experience, but the duties sound like I can definitely handle them. It does pay more and sounds like a better fit. However, the position is in a big city across the country that I don’t know much about. I told myself that I would be willing to move for a great opportunity, but now that it’s actually happening and my family is sort of pressuring me to stay near them, I’m torn.

Short version: Should I take a personal risk and move far away for a job that seems to give me more experience/more fitting to my education qualifications? Or should I go for the job that I don’t consider the best fit, but in a city near loved ones where I at least know I can flourish personally and hope I can eventually move up the ladder to a greatly suited job?

The jobs are both in my field and have aspects of things I truly want to do. I’ve been told that there are not many mistakes you can make with choosing your first job as long as you learn something? I hope that’s true. Please help!

Rich here. Thanks for listening and for the question! Wish we could’ve gotten to this sooner, but it’s been crazy. I’ll tell you a “quick” story.

I used to live in New York City. I was close to family and friends. In fact, I said I’d never move to the west coast unless I got a job with a Google. Then it happened. I had to choose between staying local for comfort and “what-if” scenarios (what if someone gets sick? what if someone gets in an accident?) vs. the trajectory of my career. I chose the trajectory. It made some people sad, but it was the best decision I could’ve made.

I lost nearly 40 pounds of unhealthy weight and have progressed professionally to the point I now lead engineering recruiting and diversity initiatives for my division. All this happened in less than three years from my move. I also get more calls and messages from recruiters than I ever got in New York, and legitimately believe I can write my own ticket. If I was still in New York, I’d still be in my comfort zone. Likely working for the same company and coasting.

However, if I chose to move back after this experience, I’d come back making more and capable of a greater scope of responsibility. I even have the opportunity to transfer back through work and keep all the same perks and benefits. (This s not a humble brag, by the way. Just evidence to further justify my positive experience, and possibly yours.)

In fairness, I have had to miss events and I have had moments where I’ve been sad I couldn’t be there for somebody, but when I think about the overall quality of life and financial standing, this is a winning situation. I’ll hopefully be out of debt in 2017 and can’t say I’d be this close if I were still living my NYC life. (Admittedly, making friends is a process out here, but I’ve saved a lot of money by not getting pulled into the same shenanigans every weekend. lol)

Do what’s best for you. Just remember that the longer you wait to take chances, the more risky and difficult they become. As an aside, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to read our post on how to account for salary and adjust for the cost of living in different cities to be sure you negotiate for continued personal and financial success in your new city.

Best of luck!

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