Compiled and edited by Julie Tereshchuk

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Dear Mentors,

I’ve been laid off from not one but two marketing agencies twice since March because of budget cuts. I’m still keeping my head up though, and think I’m about to get a new job offer. But… I’ve done some research on this company and don’t like what I’m reading. Am I crazy to decline, and to keep looking for my “forever home?” Or should I be thankful for anything, take the steady (but unsavory) paycheck for now and search again next year?

Yours,

Mentee

 

Dear Mentee,

First and foremost, always trust your gut. ALWAYS. If you have savings, keep looking. If your bank account is empty, take the job and STILL keep looking. Our company doesn’t even consider an employee permanent until after 90 days because a job offer can come from a competitor and snag them at any time. This is business – they’ll do what’s right for them, you do what’s right for you.

This market has folks feeling like they should just be thankful, but if it’s at the cost of your mental health and you have the means to pass on it, listen to your gut!

Yours,

Lani Rosales

 

Dear Mentee,

For me, the biggest question I would have is whether I can afford to wait it out or not. If you have 6+ months of savings or a severance package, can afford COBRA or whatever health insurance you’re on, you may be able to afford to wait. It may take talking to a financial consultant to crunch some numbers. It sounds like you deserve the break from the emotional rollercoaster of taking on yet another job that (this time you’re fairly certain) won’t last.

Otherwise, unfortunately, your options are more limited. However, consider the alternatives that might be better for your mental health during the holidays. Maybe you could try out a retail or other out-of-left-field job for a few months? Temporary staffing places are buzzing with seasonal opportunities right now. You might be happier working through the holiday season in a lower stress, lower commitment position while you keep searching for an ideal long-term career move. I guarantee that the employers who matter–with the corporate culture you want–will not fault you for taking on unrelated/odd jobs to ride out the remainder of 2020. It shows grit. And it shows that you have strong morals to not settle for a long-term position you know you’ll leave as soon as you can. It’s an exceptional year and they know we’re all doing whatever we can to make it through. Best of luck!

Yours,

LuAnn Glowacz

 

Dear Mentee,

The answer to this question depends entirely on your financial position. If you can afford to hold off, and you’re willing make looking for your “forever home” your full time job in the meantime, then don’t settle! You can also look to freelance to keep some money coming in if you need it. Check with local agencies and ask about contract work for their overflow, or create a profile on a site like Upwork.

Yours,

Maura Thomas

 

Dear Mentee,

As always, my core advice is “know thyself” – my advice for your dilemma comes down to your comfort with risk and the unknown. Some of the personal and professional growth I value most came when I found myself in the “wrong” role for me. Even a messy situation could be the thing that propels you forward in a meaningful way. So if the status quo is uncomfortable, the opportunity looks pretty good (trust your gut!), and the only downside is some online reviews, I say go for it.

However, I’m serious when I say “trust your gut” – if your research is really giving you a bad feeling, that’s a good sign to slow down and ask more questions. Can you find someone who’s worked there to validate your findings? You have the most power you’ll have at the role when you’re holding a job offer – ask the HR team to address your concerns head on, before you accept. Personally, I always regret opportunities I didn’t take more than I regret choices I’ve made, and I find the slow patience required for job hunting poorly suited to my temperament; I’ve also heard it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. Maybe consider this role as a stepping stone you can always quit when the right one comes along. Good luck!

Yours,

Jenny Magic

 

Dear Mentee,

No, you are not crazy to decline. Follow your gut. Plan for the ‘right’ thing. In terms of the two downsizings, it is clearly not about you and your skill set so soldier on, believe in your ability and, probably most importantly, prepare a paragraph on what you are ideally seeking and then define what you bring to the table in that regard. Sign up for a peer mentor who can work with you on this.

Yours,

Jane Baxter Lynn

 

Dear Mentee,

Trust your gut! Do you have the means to prolong your search a bit longer? Then by all means, turn down this job offer if you don’t feel like it would be a good fit for you! I myself turned down a very good job offer when I was on the hunt, because like you I realized that what I’d be signing up for was not going to be the right fit for me. It took another 6 months, but eventually I did get a much better position and offer! Not to mention, as unfair as it is, having too many very short stints on your resume can unfortunately reflect poorly on you, even when it’s not your fault.

That said, if your resources are tight and you feel that you need to take this position at least as a holdover until finding a better option, there’s no shame in being pragmatic. You should also look carefully at any unemployment insurance you may be receiving to determine whether you could continue receiving support should you turn down an offer. Good luck!

Yours,

Gina Helfrich