Author Topic: A choice between jobs  (Read 2313 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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A choice between jobs
« on: July 30, 2013, 02:05:22 PM »
So I have spent the last 6 months apply for jobs, only for not a single one to offer me an interview. In the last two days, I have had two different places call me to set up an interview, and while neither has offered me a position yet, I am in a bit of a conundrum in terms of which one I would prefer. I was hoping to get some insight from the community here and see if anyone had personal experiences from their own lives that could give me guidance.

First, I will give you a bit of my background. I am 24, and I have worked a few various jobs doing tech support, and I currently have three part time jobs in which I perform varying degrees of computer/network support. My wife also works part time and combined we make just enough money to pay for our necessities while saving a small portion. I am currently about half way through getting my Masters degree and I am heavily considering pursing a PhD program in educational studies that will take me another 4-6 years to complete. I am taking out about $1,200 a semester in student loans to fill in the gap of my graduate assistant-ship to pay for my tuition.  My wife would also like to go back to school for a 9 month program in Esthetics (this would double her current income), which we will have to finance a good portion of considering our current income levels. If we financed it, we would be looking at another $5K - $10K in debt, depending on what kind of grants and help from our families we can get. Currently, I have about $35,000 in student loans.

The first job I was offered an interview for is another part time job that will fit into my current schedule. It is a teacher's aide position at my city's public library for an after school tutoring program for at-risk kids.  I have essentially no experience working in a classroom setting, and my hope, when applying to this job, is that this could work as a segway into the PhD program. This position would likely pay minimum wage, and would make my schedule pretty busy as it is on the other side of my city. But I think that this job would be more enjoyable and would enrich my life more than the other.

The other job I am interviewing for is a salaried, full time tech support position through the university. This would completely cover my tuition costs and would more than double my current income. I would have to quit two of my current jobs, but I could keep one of them that is only for a couple of hours every other night. There are a few more restrictions in terms of how many classes I can take though, so it would likely take me longer to complete my PhD. I also don't think this job would be nearly as enriching for me as getting to work with at-risk kids. With this position, I would easily be able to save more than $10,000 a year, all while going to school AND paying for my wife's education.

So I'm dealing with the typical dichotomy of working for more money vs. doing something that enriches my life more. I could easily work the tech support position for a few years, save up a good chunk of money, and spend the last few years of my PhD working part time and focusing on my studies. Or I could work a minimum wage job that helps me more now, but leaves me as a poor college student for a few more years that gradually builds up more debt.

I saw an interview yesterday that said the most important thing you can do while you are younger than 40 is do things that create new, beneficial experiences for you, and it seems that this minimum wage job would do exactly that. At the same time, financial stability could also benefit me greatly. Obviously, I have not been offered either job yet, but I am well qualified for both and I have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out what I would do if they both offered me a job with my mind constantly going back and forth.

So like I said, if anyone has input or past experiences that relate, I would greatly appreciate the guidance.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 02:08:01 PM by CptPoo »


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: A choice between jobs
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 04:33:35 PM »
At the end of the day, you're just selling your time. Might as well do it to the highest bidder.

It doesn't sound like you'd hate the higher paying job, so I'd do that for a while. There's plenty of time for at risk kids when you're FIRE.. and you'll be in a better place personally to help them without feeling like it's coming at a cost to you.


  • Bristles
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Re: A choice between jobs
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 10:33:41 PM »
If it was me, I would take the full-time one if it is offered.

But it's not me, it's you. Only you know where you might want to go with your life. My only caution is that, while education is never wasted, I would never bank on the "if I do this qualification, my salary will rise by x%".  There are very few situations where that is absolutely certain.  My PhD got me some jobs but stopped me getting others and is often viewed with suspicion outside of academia. I am glad I have it, but it is not a passport to riches!