Cool job or practical internship?
May 17, 2012 12:08 PM Subscribe
I haven't gotten an offer yet, but if I do, would it be a bad idea to pass it up for something with less benefits?
posted by dean_deen to Work & Money (11 answers total)
I am a recent graduate who is not 100% certain what she wants to do; but I do know I want to do something writing-related. I think that my dream job, in an ideal world, would be to become a religion reporter, but until and unless that happens (religion reporters are not super high in demand these days), I plan to just get whatever writing experience I can.
Here is my current (hypothetical) dilemma:
I have been contributing to a music website based in my home state for the past five weeks, and I just found out that they would like to start paying me in June ($0.10 per word, and the articles usually average at least 700 words). I have no illusions of grandeur here; I know I would have to get another part-time job to support myself, but I'm just excited that I will actually be paid to write. Yay!
But I also have an interview for a paid communications internship with a software company in a town half an hour away from where I attended college next week. I don't want to jinx it, but because of alumni network connections I think I have a pretty good shot at getting it.
Hypothetically speaking, if I did get the internship, I'm leaning more towards doing the former than the latter, for the following reasons:
1.) I already know what I'll be doing, and I know that I enjoy it. The internship itself seems to consist mostly of grunt work, though it would probably evolve into something more interesting if it transitioned to a paid position.
2.) Better location. The internship would be in a small city, which is a big improvement over the tiny town where I currently live, but any major concerts or anything culturally interesting would be a two hour drive away. If I returned to my hometown, I wouldn't have to commute to attend these sorts of things. I would be staying with my cousin, who's willing to cut me some slack on rent until I finish off paying my loans. The internship town seems like a pretty expensive place to live, apartment rental-wise.
But there are some good things about this internship, too:
1.) The experience it offers--I have plenty of journalistic and editorial experience, but lately I've been thinking about getting more marketing/communications experience, simply because I think it's a really useful skill set to have. There are very specific cities with an editorial/publishing focus, but marketing firms are in any city, so I think having that sort of experience is useful no matter where you go.
2.) Possibility of transitioning to a paid position with benefits. With this particular perk, I'm thinking specifically of the usefulness of having health insurance. I am healthy right now (knock on wood) and covered under my parent's insurance, but what would happen if Obama's healthcare reforms are reversed over the next few years?
3.) This place sounds like a lower-scale, Midwestern version of Google: the office has a restaurant, a barber and hairstylist, slides and a gym. But again, location is less than desirable.
4.) I will be out of my widowed mother's reach (the town the web site is based in is two hours from her home), so I won't feel obligated to have to visit her. I know that's a horrible thing to say, but sometimes I feel as if going to visit her prevents me from having my own independent life. I feel like I don't have the freedom of being in full control of my schedule if I visit her twice a month on the weekends--which is probably the frequency I would be expected to visit and help out.
From what I've read about the software company on glassdoor.com, the pay isn't that great, so I think the pay amount for the two would be almost equal. I have read past AskMe threads about being a music journalist, and I know it's not the glamorous job people think it is, since many music writers have to write about music they don't even like (although the site is selective about which artists it profiles, so luckily I don't have to deal with that as much), so that particular factor is not a concern to me.
Bottom line, I am wondering if it is silly of me to be leaning toward the music writing job, even though it's part-time with no benefits? I'm honestly thinking that the pain of having to visit home every so often would be worth it.