Before you get to the “just right” job…

Megan Phillips, a first-year MLC student who is interested in applying sociolinguistics to a professional setting to support sociocultural analysis.

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Recently during one of my informational interviews, the person I was interviewing gave me some advice that I’ve been mulling over. Her advice? Don’t be too picky. By this she meant that when one is job searching or project searching, they shouldn’t disregard an opportunity simply because it doesn’t seem perfect. She’s found that in her career, some of the most valuable experience came from jobs that she was forced to take or took even though they weren’t perfect.

As I’ve been thinking about this more over the past few weeks, I’ve found that I’ve fallen prey to this Goldilocks problem myself, as I’m sure others have. I have been discouraged through internships and prior job experience as nothing seemed to be “just right”. And yet, because I needed to, I continued to work on those projects and through doing so, gained a different set of skills than I had ever expected to have. These projects have additionally put me in contact with people who I would not have met otherwise. Once I’ve explained to them what I’m actually interested in doing, most often people have been incredibly helpful and kept an eye out for me for new opportunities where I might better align what I wanted to do. And I’ve found that the experience I gained working on a project that wasn’t “just right” was experience I was able to apply later down the line, even if it simply gave me more “street cred”.

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(image via www.adecco.co.uk )

So I think the question becomes: do we turn down an “okayish” job in the hopes that something else more perfect appears or in this time of low job-rates, do we take the not so perfect job? This is the point my contact was stressing when she said “don’t be too picky” as you never know what job or project might lead you down a path to “just right”.