Recent graduate - should I settle for an Americorps type position?
September 1, 2014 8:20 AM Subscribe
I recently obtained my Master's degree and have been in the job search for about a month now, mainly applying to NGOs. I've sent in only a total of 11 applications so far - 9 for ads appearing online and 2 unsolicited applications. One of these unsolicited applications has lead to an offer to interview for an Americorps like position (i.e. little pay, promises of training, and some horror stories - none at this particular NGO - to be found online). It would be a 7 month contract. Should I even consider it? More details inside.
posted by Blissful to Work & Money (9 answers total)
First of all, my partner would support me financially if I decide to take on this position, or if I decide to continue on my job search, so fortunately the question of "how will I pay the bills?" is taken care of. Also, I know I need to ratchet up the number of applications I am sending in. I'm working on that!
The mission of the organization interests me and is related to, though not directly involved in, the field that I am hoping to break into. I have one 6 month internship (where I did have real responsibilities) and 2 years of volunteer work under my belt, but not much else experience-wise.
I feel my lack of experience may be holding me back from interviews in real entry-level positions, but at the same time many of the job descriptions I've read are for positions I feel confident I could take on. Also, as these are NGOs, I do feel that my volunteering is taken into consideration. My question is, as I have only sent in 11 applications and have only been seriously looking for jobs during the last 3 weeks, is it too soon to settle for a less than ideal situation? I mean, many of the applications I've sent in could still be under consideration, right?
It is highly unlikely that this "paid volunteering" position would lead to a real contract at the NGO, but it could lead to my profile becoming more attractive, particularly concerning minimum experience and skills requirements. I worry, however, that I may regret pursuing this opportunity as it would take me off the job market for 7 months. I don't want to settle out of fear of long-term unemployment. Part of me is panicking because I see my former classmates settling for internships. I also worry, however, that potential employers may look at the position unfavorably wondering "why did she settle for that type of position when she has a Master's degree?"
I plan on going to the interview so I can get a better feel of the position and the organisation, but would love the hive mind's opinion on this one!