A Quandary.

So I have this interview tomorrow. But I’m unsure of what I want to do. See it’s this marketing internship with a well-known and respected IT company. $12 an hour and 40 hours a week. Pretty sweet deal, right?

But, here’s the kicker. It’s only 60 days. At the end of the period there’s a review. If I’m doing really well and there’s a job opening they’ll give me a job. A real, business, marketing fucking job. If I do horribly, they’ll just terminate the whole thing. If I do really well and there is not a job opening…I don’t get a job…

So I realize that the only way to succeed in life is to take chances and make waves and all that. But I also realize that there are these very real things called bills. And I have quite a lot of them. And if I don’t have a job at the end of 2 months, then I don’t have a way to pay my bills. I also forfeit the raise I’m about to get at my current job, dental insurance I’m getting, and quite probably my full-time standing. I can’t take a leave of absence because I have only been there a year. My coworkers have informed me that if I leave on a good note I can get my job back in 2 months if things with this other company don’t work out. And judging by the amount of people I know there who have left and come back repeatedly, I know this to be true. Mostly. What I don’t know is that my specific job will still be there. The job as the only actual full-time cashier/respected department floater who has been depended upon for the last week to run a department while the department head was working at another store. So I could come back, lose any and all benefits, and only be working 15 hours a week. Do you see the issue?

My mother does not see the issue. She’s says to go for it. And I understand where she is coming from. But, my mother and I have always differed in the way we think about the future. As well as money. I like to know that I can pay my bills and eat my food and be what I consider to be a contributing member of the household and not a total drain on my wonderful boyfriend’s money. She responds to this with “Well, just get a different job.” Yes. Because that’s been going so well for me thus far. I actually have amazing jobs thrown at my head every day, I just find the joys of working at a service job even though I have a degree to be really rewarding… I get that too I guess. As a woman who hasn’t worked for “the man” since about 1982 when she and my dad went into business for themselves and who is currently a real estate agent who, while she works at Century 21 and technically has a boss, still essentially works for herself, she might not have the best idea of getting a job these days. Frankly getting a job in the 70’s when having a 4 year degree was still impressive and the population was a lot lower and so was the cost of living (and hitchhiking across the country was still considered relatively safe) was a bit of a different experience. I try to explain that “just getting a new job” really doesn’t exist anymore. As I ‘ve discussed I’m over qualified for a lot of things and under qualified for the rest. It becomes a matter of finding someone who is either willing to hire me even though I have too much education and experience or hire me even though I don’t have enough. Quite the gamble.

It seems like settling to stay at a job where I make just enough to get by and that is not a career. But it seems silly, also, to take a chance on something like this without the guarantee of a career. If I was still a college student, this would be a no brainer. If I was younger and still having things like my car and health insurance as well as my cell phone paid by my parents, this would be a no brainer. But as an almost 26 year old entirely on my own with an all too familiar understanding of what happens when you don’t give companies the money you owe them, I’m unsure. I guess if I take it, don’t get the job, and can’t go back to the one I have now I could go back to writing about the woes of being totally unemployed. Without the benefits of receiving unemployment…



4 thoughts on “A Quandary.

  1. I swear I am not being entirely reckless when I tell you: Take. The. Marketing. Internship.
    Your concerns are all quite valid, but I think the benefits in this situation outweigh the risks. Even if they don’t hire you at the end of the internship, you can still put that impressive internship on your resume. You’d be making decent money during the 60 days that you are guaranteed to be there, so scrape some into savings in case you don’t get hired. I know it wouldn’t be a ton of money, but every bit helps. If they didn’t hire you, the experience you gained might help you land another good, non-service job. Or, worst-case scenario, if you had to go back to working a service job, at Fresh or elsewhere, even if you have to go back as part-time, I bet you’d get bumped up to full-time again before long, because you are a good, reliable employee, and those are hard to find. The turnover rate in the service industry is huge. Some full-time employee would quit or get fired before long, leaving a spot open for you. If you don’t do this internship and stay where you are, there’s always a chance that your hours will get cut anyway.

    The worst thing that could happen if you take this internship is that you’ll end up right where you are now, except with some very impressive marketing experience on your resume. The best thing that could happen is that you’ll end up with an awesome job.

    Sorry to leave such a long comment. There’s just something about your plight that I relate to, since we graduated at the same time and neither of us are quite exactly where we want to be career-wise. I hope my thoughts are helpful, regardless of what you decide.

  2. I absolutely appreciate your input, regardless of how long it is šŸ™‚ They’ll have to offer it to me before I can take it, though. I’ve figured out I’ll make about $3600 and spend about $1800 just on bills during those 2 months. Plus a few hundred more for food, gas, and miscellaneous expenses. Leaving me with something like $1400. Barely enough for me to make it a month and a half without working if I don’t get the job and just in case Fresh didn’t take me back or took me back on with less hours. You’re absolutely right about the turn over rate situation. Just not at this store, it seems. Or at least in the departments I’ve been working in. Most of the people have been there years. All the cashiers, pretty much, have been there at least a year and were fighting for the one full time spot they had when I just came in and took it. So the second I’m gone another cashier or another college graduate will come right in and take it. And I’ll have to wait until they leave to get back there. Apparently, according to corporate, they aren’t even supposed to have full time cashiers, which is why 2/3 of my hours actually come from helping other departments.
    But what is really making me consider everything is the fact that I’m already in the middle of a social media marketing internship and I’ll be starting a traditional marketing internship in February or March. Which is exactly what this 2 month long paid internship is. Neither is paid but both are already giving me that resume plumping experience I so desperately need. Plus they allow me to work from home, make my own hours, and have quite a bit of creative freedom. Thus allowing me to take time off as I need, work as quickly or slowly as I need and only meet with them physically when I have the chance (in fact the second one is in a different part of the state so it’s actually a cyber internship). So what I really need is a job, not a third internship. If they could just guarantee that career at the end…this would all be a lot easier.

  3. That is a crazy situation with the turnover at Fresh! Not what I would have expected at all. Yet another side effect of a crappy job market, I suppose. Maybe since you have that traditional marketing internship lined up in a couple of months, that will help open some doors for you. So many people have just given up on the job market; I think it’ll look good that you’ve been trying so hard. Holding down a full-time cashier job AND two internships is no easy feat, even if you are able to telecommute. At the very least you are going to have one formidable resume when all is said and done.

    • I know, it’s really strange. At my last job the average length of employment was like…3 months tops. Of course they were all high schoolers. I think we have…2 kids in high school. And the rest, 2/3 are in their 20’s and a lot of them have Bachelor’s and (shiver) Master’s degrees. The last 1/3 are older adults. And as for trying hard, that’s what I’m hoping people will see when they look at my resume. I’m even, at this moment, applying for volunteer work to beef it up some more. I’m hoping my lack of an actual career will become less noticeable as a result.

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