The Job Search: Should Money be the Deciding Factor

Dear Gabby,

I am going to graduate from college in the spring and I’m trying to decide how to go about a job search. My mother says I should look any and everywhere and go with the best money offered. However, I am conflicted about leaving this city where I’ve lived for more than 10 years and feel like I have my roots. She says the world is my oyster but I’m happy being clammed up right where I am, though job prospects are slim. If I stay here, I may have to take a job not related to my degree or earn less than I could in other parts of the country. What should my priorities be in this job search?

Content and Clammed up in Cleveland

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Dear Clam,

First of all, your mother is right; the world is your oyster. And you are right; roots and home are powerful forces in a person’s life. So what’s the right choice?  Dear Gabby’s pearls of wisdom are this: Do It All. “HUH?” you say? That’s right. Apply to every decent job, near and far, that you can get your hot, enthusiastic, little college graduate hands on.  The fact of the matter is that this country is in a recession and decent jobs for new graduates are not easy to come by. In order to make the most of the time and money you put into getting this degree, you should find a job that will challenge you to use it!

Now if you really want to work exactly where you are, that’s fine. A great job may come along there. So by all means, apply to jobs in your area. That’s cool. But if you’re set on staying in the area, you may indeed have to compromise.

On the other hand, if you love what you majored in, why would you want to do something else unless you had to?  I mean, what if a GREAT JOB appeared two states away? And Gabby isn’t just talking great money. Making lots of clams isn’t the only reason for taking a job. What you want is a great opportunity. Some jobs may pull you in at a higher salary, but in the end there’s nowhere for you to grow. You’re stuck like a size 10 foot in a size nine boot and that really starts to pinch after a while. No, what you want is a job that will lead to something more. More responsibility, more cross-training. Then the money will come. The hardest part is relocating and doing the scary stuff like making a new life in an unfamiliar place. To that Gabby would say, “JOIN, JOIN, JOIN.” Join a church, a service club like the Junior League or a gym. Get out, meet people, put out shoots – that’s how roots start.

Only you can really decide what you want most.  Fortunately, it sounds like you have a supportive family behind you. Also, you’re at a point in your life where your personal baggage is pretty light. You really only have to please yourself. Embrace that because it won’t always be that way. And other things won’t always be the way they are either.

Don’t be surprised if you enter into this field you so love to find out that it’s not right for you, or, that after a decade in it, you’re ready for a new challenge. This first job decision seems monumental, but if you’re like the average young American, it’s not such a huge commitment. Very few college grads lock into a career on the first try. Think of this first job as a primer. You will learn an incredible amount about full-time work – yes, even if you’ve been working your way through college – there’s nothing quite like that first career job. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and your priorities may shift from what they are now.

Remember, Clams, no matter where you wind up, a good, steady paying job is a blessing – most especially today. And remember that God has a plan for you. A plan for a future, a plan for hope. Wherever you go, there He is.

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