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Should I stay or should I go?
October 8, 2007 11:45 PM   Subscribe

Currently working two jobs and wondering if I should settle for a dead-end job?

I'm currently working two jobs.

I've been at Job A for about 8 months or so and currently make $8.50/hour as an assistant manager. Work environment is boring, but not hostile. However, my coworkers are slackers and leave most of the work up to me to be done during the slow times. The general manager doesn't seem to care about enforcing rules he sets up. The corporate office bitches about extremely minor things constantly.

I've been at Job B for a little less than a month, making $9/hour at entry level shift work. Work environment is crazy shifts with constantly changing hours and indeterminate shift lengths. I like the work, but the crazy hours are keeping me sleep-deprived and possibly making my bad feelings* even worse.

Job A recently offered me a promotion, for $11/hour now until March if I take on a less desirable shift (same number of shifts per week, unless I choose to take more) and $12/hour in March if I am willing to run the place by myself.

Job B has promotion potential every 20 shifts, but it's apparently very difficult to get because they're often denied.

I'm currently finishing my Masters and will be done in early December. I have no other prospects although I've been flashing around my resume. Job A is my first 'real experience' kind of job since graduating from college, where I worked jobs for similar lengths of time.

The question is, should I take the promotion from Job A, even though I'll be finishing my Masters' degree soon and therefore, become more marketable**? Or should I continue with my original plans and leave Job A at the end of October (as I had planned to do when I first started working there in March) so I can focus on finishing my Capstone project for my degree?

Thanks in advance.

* It's probably depression, but I don't have the money to get officially diagnosed.
** I don't have any sort of field that I'm itching to go into and will probably just get some sort of secretarial government job to get by.
posted by sperose to Work & Money (7 answers total)
 
"... The question is, should I take the promotion from Job A, even though I'll be finishing my Masters' degree soon and therefore, become more marketable**? Or should I continue with my original plans and leave Job A at the end of October (as I had planned to do when I first started working there in March) so I can focus on finishing my Capstone project for my degree? ..."

Without further elaboration, or knowing more of your situation, I think there is no question but that you should work your existing plan, for completing, as best you can, your Master's degree. In the long run, your hopes for your future are pinned far more to that degree, I suppose, than to any $11/hour job.

That said, I've worked many 2 job situations. In a lot of cases, the experience I had on the second job vastly informed my overall education, not to mention my progress as a human being. I do not wish, for one minute, to suggest that working an hourly job is stunting, or will hold you back, in Real Life, except for the bone tired, at times, fatigue. Indeed, my own experience is quite the opposite, although it has been decades since my work week was divided across two Employer ID's, and I served two masters.

I salute your efforts in pursuing your Masters degree, while holding down 2 jobs.
posted by paulsc at 12:19 AM on October 9, 2007


What are you getting your Masters in?

The answer to that question is really the linchpin of your situation.

Generally, people with Master's degrees are able to negotiate better schedules and make more than $9/hour. I take it you already have a BA? My gut says you should probably already be making more than $9/hour with just about any BA. Look towards the bottom of this page and click on "Bachelors of Arts (BA/AB) under "Top Results for Degree/Major Subject". The median salary for someone with a BA in Seattle is 33,000/year. Thats roughly $16 an hour before taxes.

That obviously won't make you wealthy, but its not bad, either. It's certainly not "dead-end".

Also, you see yourself doing a "secretarial government job" with a masters? That just strikes me as odd. Do you think your depression is affecting your sense of ambition?

Take the higher-paying job right now. Save up your money and finish out your studies well. Get ready to pay down your student loans. Start looking for internships or paid work in whatever your Master's field is and go from there. There are no "dead-ends" in life. You have a ton of potential and are worth way more than entry-level shift work or $9/hr "assistant manager".
posted by Avenger at 12:39 AM on October 9, 2007


Yeah, what Avenger says.

As I was reading your question, I was thinking, he's far too articulate to waste time at $9/hr (or 12/hr). Then I saw the bit about a Master's and I just rolled my eyes in disbelief.

If you really want to do government, get in now; the sooner you get in, the sooner you can retire with a pension.
posted by orthogonality at 4:44 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Stick to your original plan and concentrate on finishing up your masters.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 AM on October 9, 2007


Avenger: My Masters' will be a Science of Administration one with a concentration in federal programs management. After college, I tried to go for real jobs, but never was even called in to interview. I ended up getting Job A due to a random conversation with the manager one day because I walked into the store when I thought it was closed.
It's possible that there's another reason why I'm not ambitious, but to tell you the truth, I've never really been one of those people who knows exactly where they're going.
BTW, I'm a chick.
posted by sperose at 8:06 AM on October 9, 2007


It's possible that there's another reason why I'm not ambitious, but to tell you the truth, I've never really been one of those people who knows exactly where they're going.

There is a difference, though, between not knowing where one is going and going nowhere, which is where you seem to be at.

Talk to your doctor about depression. Ask if Zoloft or another SSRI is right for you. If jobs aren't calling you back for interviews, call them back. Call other places of employment. Send your resume far and wide.

I honestly can't think of any compelling reason why an obviously intelligent woman with a BA and an almost finished Masters should be working at either of your jobs. Theres a whole world of opportunity out there, but you have to take it.
posted by Avenger at 1:24 PM on October 9, 2007


I know this is a bit late, but for a follow-up:

I ended up leaving Job A on very pleasant terms due to the fact that my hours were about to decrease to less than a third of what they were during most of the season. I'm still at Job B, but they are on notice that if something better comes along, I'm gone in 2 weeks (common for many employees at Employer B).
Job applications have been flying in, resume has been spiffed up, and I'm getting loads of rejection letters.
The depression issue has been kinda sort dealt with. I've made phone calls to some of the sliding scale places, but haven't had any returned yet.
posted by sperose at 10:06 PM on November 15, 2007


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