Help! Which entry level job should I take?
January 29, 2014 6:00 PM   Subscribe

In looking for entry-level work, I interviewed for a ton of positions, and somehow have gotten myself into the spot of being hired for 3 places all at once. Need advice ASAP as two of them want me to start as soon as tomorrow!

-First job: Temp agency. Entry level office admin, $10/hr. Answering phones for a small moving business run out of a converted home office, with filing/general office work as needed. Told is "part time to full time hire" but not sure if this is B.S. or not. Would possibly translate well into a later career in general office work.

-Second job: Store/location manager of a small nail salon and retail boutique. $11/hr. Full time, no health insurance.

-Third job: Hotel front desk attendant. $10.50/hr. Full time, strong possibility of advancement to front desk manager in a few months. (new hotel with new management, undergoing renovations, understaffed and wants to promote quickly)

Complications: I like the people who run all three business very much! All three businesses have good reviews, good/upbeat managers, nice staff, and honest practices. They are all local legit businesses that are fairly close by. Help!

Feedback from people who have done anything at all similar is greatly appreciated. Particularly interested in hotel management- is it possible to get stuck at front desk forever, and how likely is it that hotels promote people pretty quickly? The hotel industry seems pretty strong in my location and I could probably get another hotel job with experience pretty easily. The other two jobs are a little less corporate/professional.
posted by stockpuppet to Work & Money (17 answers total)
I'd go with the last; it sounds like it has the most opportunities for advancement. Also, should you want to work in another field, the values/skills of management and responsibility could transfer more easily than with the other two. Lastly, like you said, if the hotel industry is pretty strong in your location, then that's more of a plus if you're looking to advance in the future.
posted by suedehead at 6:13 PM on January 29, 2014 [6 favorites]

I would go with the hotel job.
I was in the same predicament three weeks ago.
You didn't say if the hotel job has health insurance. If it does it is most defiantly the winner.
I think the answer is yes, people get stuck at the front desk forever...but that doesn't really mean forever. You can always find a new job, the skills translate to other industries. You could end up hotel manager, which is really like the front desk, only more.
I'd go with the hotel job.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 6:15 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Think about what skills you'd like to learn and what sort of work you'd like in the future. Since you're interested in continuing in hotel management, the last one sounds the most appropriate for you. You sound the most enthusiastic about it too.

Does it have benefits too? If so, that sounds better than job #2 (no health insurance) and job #1 (no promise of a full-time position).
posted by myntu at 6:17 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hotel job has the best potential for other positions. Nail salon: fumes. Temp agency: temporary.
Good luck!
posted by lois1950 at 6:18 PM on January 29, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Night shift at a hotel front desk is a great way to get studying in too, even if you don't want to stay there forever.
posted by rockindata at 6:22 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hotel job! Work hard, get promoted to front desk manager, then after year or two inquire about being transferred to similar managemente position in a different department. If the hotel is not a chain, stay there for a year or two, then use your experience there to get you into Marriott or a similar big hotel chain.

I worked for a franchise Marriott for a while where I remember they switched around department heads (my boss, in the restaurant became the housekeeping manager and so on), then I went to a coorporate Marriott and they were all about promoting from within, with management programs to train those interested.
posted by Locochona at 6:29 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

The third job sounds like a great place to launch a career.
posted by grudgebgon at 6:30 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I bet there is the potential for a lot of overtime pay at an understaffed hotel too, if that's something you're interested in.

A friend of mine has been working in hotels for seven years and is now guest relations manager at a major luxury hotel. She seems to enjoy it.
posted by grouse at 6:34 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would go with the hotel, too. Sounds like room for growth and also a little bit fun.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:35 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing option 3. At entry level, room for growth is key and you should be wary of any job where they don't explicitly address that.
posted by jeoc at 6:43 PM on January 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd agree with the above, provided that you're ok being very flexible with the hours and days you work. (For me, I'd take the week-day, business hour one - because I couldn't do the others at this point - but it sounds like you know what the hospitality industry involves and you're ok with it.)
posted by stormyteal at 6:47 PM on January 29, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks guys!

lois1950 has it: "Nail salon: Fumes." made me laugh and is very true. That is a major downside! The hotel job has worse and more irregular hours, but it's also a more pleasant and enjoyable environment.

I will go with the hotel job, and if there turns out to be no advancement at this particular hotel, at least it's a more standardized career with more openings.
posted by stockpuppet at 7:18 PM on January 29, 2014

Definitely hotel. Temping is fine, but even when it looks promising for a transition to permanent, I've seen the rug get pulled out from underneath people. And as someone who makes just under $11/hr even .50 cents can make a big difference when you are making such low wages. Also if you want to get into hotel management, having work experience will really open doors for you. I've learned once you have an "in" people are a lot more likely to say yes to you for future related jobs. The nail salon would pay more but put yourself in the best position for career advancement even if it isn't perfect now.
posted by Aranquis at 7:25 PM on January 29, 2014

Best answer: Chiming in to say the hotel job sounds best, hands down. Salons are FULLLLL of drama (not that hotels aren't, but salons are like absolutely famous for this) and temping is temporary.
posted by celtalitha at 8:10 PM on January 29, 2014

Best answer: The hotel job has worse and more irregular hours

Some people make use of the free time that comes with night desk clerk hours to study or work on personal projects. A friend of mine found that they had about 4 hours free on an 8 hour shift to use this way, so long as they could do it at the desk.
posted by yohko at 8:14 PM on January 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

I worked weird hours through school and it worked out fabulously for me. Lots of time to study.

Another benefit of working at a hotel---DISCOUNTS on other hotels in the corporate brand.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:45 AM on January 30, 2014

Best answer: In general, it's good to go with a well-run, profitable business. Family businesses are places to get stuck in a bad job since all the perks go to the family.
posted by SemiSalt at 9:30 AM on January 30, 2014

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