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Would you take the 'better' job or wait for the 'perfect' job?
December 12, 2013 2:24 AM   Subscribe

I think I'm about to be offered a new job. It's the type of work I'd like to do. But it's not my 'perfect' job and it wouldn't mean a payrise. Should I wait? .

The new role is for a non-profit, which I've experienced before, and I'm not very keen on entering that world again. Plus, the salary is the same as I earn now. And raising my income is a big priority for me at the moment. I'm tempted to try and negotiate but I'm not sure if that a no-go in the charity world.

I currently work at an unstable startup (you can see a previous question about that here). Things are better and I've had a payrise since then, but I still feel like the company could go under if we don't get the next round of funding. But we have at least 6 months grace. I have a lot of autonomy here and a more impressive job title than the role I might be offered.

I already have another interview lined up in January for a company that I'd love to work for (although again it's not for much more money). So I'm fairly confident in my job-hunting abilities.

Would you take the more stable job or wait for a better opportunity next year?
posted by Encipher to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not very keen on entering that world again

That would do it for me.
posted by flabdablet at 3:07 AM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wait. You're not that enthused about the other job, and you say you have 6 months, that's plenty of time for jub hunting if you are proactive.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:15 AM on December 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

looking at your history it doesn't sound like you've had too much job stability so it might be best to stay put for now. i think the key is really finding your passion and pursuing that as opposed to going after money and prestige or quick fixes. do know though that there is no "perfect" job.
posted by wildflower at 3:17 AM on December 12, 2013

Not enough upside - you gain some potential extra stability (but really starting a new role is a lottery anyway - it might not work out). No extra income which is a big priority, and it's a sector you don't want to get back into + you potentially lose the good things you have now. Keep looking, you'll find something better.
posted by crocomancer at 3:25 AM on December 12, 2013

FWIW, negotiating salary is absolutely done in the nonprofit world. But you sound so unenthused about this role that you should probably give it a pass.
posted by lunasol at 4:10 AM on December 12, 2013

I'd wait. Not necessarily for a perfect job, but for one that allows you to better your situation.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:20 AM on December 12, 2013

I was in this position last year and I'm really glad I didn't take the 'better' job then because I'd have been out of the running for the 'even better' job I'm about to start. It's still certainly not perfect, but it's a good enough fit for my aims that I can justify leaving a well-paid, stable and otherwise decent job to take it on.

I had very clear ideas about what I wanted. These focussed on doing type of job Y in specific industry X under contract length Z. Other jobs came up that nearly fit but didn't quite, even though they offered other benefits (more pay! better commute! shiny projects!), so those offers were not enough reason to make the move.

Note that for me, at least this time, a pay rise was not one of my key criteria (although it has been at other times and may be again in the future). If you had a specific desire to work for that org I'd say the lateral salary level was not important, but you clearly don't. If your current job is tolerable and your reasons for leaving are to earn more money in a more stable environment then you shouldn't consider offers that don't meet that criteria.

I've always been pretty specific in my reasons for changing jobs and I've been able to find opportunities that met those needs at the time. As Wildflower says, nothing is ever perfect and you cannot know how a job will actually turn out, but there's a lot to be said for focussing on tangible objectives and actively pursuing them. Having a clear idea of why you want a specific job also makes you a more attractive candidate.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:38 AM on December 12, 2013

Definitely wait. Unless the situation is dire, you want to move to toward a job you want, not run away from one you don't. Think two jobs down the line, and about the story you want to be able to tell.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:12 AM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Disagreeing with the above; a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Taking the new job or waiting at your old job until something better than the new job comes along is a false dichotomy. You can take the new job at the nonprofit and continue looking. When start-ups tank, sometimes they take final paychecks with them or have other catastrophic financial situations that could result in you being stiffed for your work. The risk-averse move would be to take the job with the nonprofit, and keep your eyes open. It's better to pace on dry land than a on sheet of ice!
posted by juniperesque at 8:39 AM on December 12, 2013

Dont just pass on it - Why not give this perfectly good non-profit job to someone who would love it, and be excited by it? Everyone wins.
posted by Kruger5 at 9:54 AM on December 12, 2013

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