Have you noticed how things sometimes happen in tandem, or in threes? I call that “synchronicity at play.” And yes, in the last little bit I have seen synchronicity playing! I have worked with two university students from different streams invest in their resumes to apply for a job offer well before graduation. They both worked for companies during the summer months, and neither job, surprisingly, was related to either students’ field of studies!
Each student applied to a permanent opening in a junior role within a large company where there would be ample and rich opportunity for growth and advancement. And each shared with me that they had to have hard conversations with their parents about whether or when they would complete their schooling, the benefits of taking the job if offered, and so on.
The first has now landed the job; the second just submitted his resume.
Is there a right or wrong answer here? Is it always best to complete a degree or does it sometimes make sense to take an offer?
When I was between my second and third years at university, I too was offered a permanent position with a large company, in a junior role, but I turned it down to complete my degree. And yes, I have had times where I regretted that decision! My first post-grad job was unrelated to my goals (I did not know then what I know now about resume strategy!), had no possibility of advancement and was truly a dead-end job. Besides, I hated it.
It took me years to regain the momentum that was started and rolling with the post-summer job offer. But, I have also many times been really happy that I finished that degree.
As with so many situations in life, there is no right or wrong and none of us has a crystal ball to determine, with certainty, which choice turns out for the best.
If you are faced with such a decision, many factors could impact your decision. For example:
- might the company agree to allowing you begin on a part-time permanent basis so that you could complete the year or half year you need? Some companies would admire you for this as they prefer to have degreed employees.
- is your debt hanging heavy over your head, causing you real stress? Would it make sense to take a break and finish the degree online through long-distance studies? There are many ways today to gain a degree.
- is the job in a company that you love to work for, with a corporate culture that you admire, with support for learning, and other perks like flexible work hours or work-from-home options, flexible benefits, enviable holiday time, on-site day-care - whatever makes you really happy? Is it a company that, if you didn’t accept a job with now, might be quite improbable to get an opportunity with later?
And finally, listen to that gut feeling that is either whispering “you know you’d rather be a social worker than an event planner! Get back to school,” or “this is it – don’t let this one go.”
Either way, if in six months you think you’ve made a big mistake, it’s not the end of the world! Retrace your steps and get things back on track! Mistakes are not irrevocable; they are learning opportunities. It’s not a mistake if you learn something about yourself and make changes accordingly!
- Working to your career’s success! – Stephanie