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My Girlfriend’s Job Search Dilemma

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My girlfriend recently moved down here from New Jersey and is in need of a job. A chemical and biomedical engineering is what’s on her resume but that makes her qualified for a whole bunch of engineering-type jobs that include process engineering and the like. Anyway, part of her search has put her in the databases of several head-hunting firms here in Baltimore so in addition to her own searches on Monster, Hotjobs, etc ad infinitum, there are temp agencies and head-hunters looking for her as well. This has yielded several interviews with local companies, one of which is some manufacturing firm in Baltimore that makes some widget for something. She was offered a contract engineering job with that company doing something that she wouldn’t be entirely thrilled about for pay that is fair for the work but perhaps a little under (not much) her fair market value. Should she take it?

They liked her so much that they offered her a job knowing it’s not her thing and told her she could continue to look for a job (at night). She picked up on the fact that they were hoping she’d start, really like it, and stay. She’d have to commit for at least a month and it would be a full time job. Now we begin to weigh the pro’s and the con’s (in my order of importance):

Pro: She is being paid and she gets health benefits.
Con: It’s not the work she truly wants to do. It’s not like she hates it, it’s an indifference.

Pro: She gets frequent interaction with people during the day.
Con: She has to commit to work there at least a month, preferably six; which means if a job dropped in her lap today, she wouldn’t be able to start that for another month. Plus, it’s a little irresponsible to only work somewhere for a month.

Pro: She gets used to the daily grind again, which isn’t critical since she only stopped working a few weeks ago.
Con: It may not be an entirely ideal work environment, as is the case with a lot of heavily male manufacturing facilities, there is probably a little (or a lot) sexism.

I don’t think this will be the only job she’s going to be offered and I think she shouldn’t accept it. The money isn’t important now, she can activate a COBRA if she needs it, and I don’t like the idea of locking yourself up for a month just for some extra cash. We talked about it and she had come to the same conclusion; anyone have thoughts on this?

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7 Responses to “My Girlfriend’s Job Search Dilemma”

  1. A month doesn’t seem like that long a time to be locked up to me, if she finds a new company that really wants her, I’d bet that they’d wait a month for her to start. That said, maybe the time could be better spent finding something she really likes and networking, etc., if money isn’t that important for now.

  2. Matt (different one) says:

    Hard to imagine moving to a new city and being in a “money’s not that important right now” situation. :)

    Anyone making a job offer is implicitly expecting to wait two weeks before you start. Most will wait longer if you need them to. So the real question is whether she expects to get an offer in the next two weeks from a prospective employer that’s unusually impatient. Only you and she can judge the probability of that outcome…especially since only you and she know how good her Baltimore network is, how active her search has been, how many prospects are currently in active consideration, how good she felt about her prospects during the recent interviews, or for that matter just what exactly “recently” means.

    If they think she’d like it so overwhelmingly that they’re offering it to her in full knowledge that she wouldn’t immediately stop hunting…well, then either they’re too delusional to be trusted around heavy machinery or else maybe they have a point. On the other hand, if she’s realistically expecting an offer call to come in on Monday, and she’s pretty convinced she’d hate this place, then it probably doesn’t make sense to go work there.

  3. Well, I figured if she’s moving there, she’s living in Jim’s new swank pad. ;)

  4. Jose says:

    Take it!

    They are already told she will continue looking for a job.

    It is a perfect situation.

    On a ligher note:
    Haven’t you noticed that it is easier to find a job once you have job?
    It is like girlfriends. When you have none… girls don’t look at you. When you have one, you have to start pushing them away.

    Money and Investing

  5. jim says:

    I have women tripping all over me now but my girlfriend is such a pain, she keeps fighting them off.

    I was thinking about it more and the final con wasn’t worded as I intended. I didn’t mean to imply all manufacturing facilities are inherently sexist… here is what happened, all over the facility there are swimsuit calendar’s (doesn’t bother me, doesn’t bother her) but at once point someone walked up to her and her interviewer and asked “why are you interviewing a woman for a man’s job?” Now, she thought it was a joke despite a deadpan delivery, and the guy interviewing her played it off as a joke, but it sort of rubbed her the wrong way. I wanted to capture that experience as a Con but not explicitely call it out. Does that change of your conclusions? Or do you think that it doesn’t really matter?

  6. Jess says:

    Tell the sexist pig that your not interested and there are better opportunities. Keep looking. But being old fashioned, I thnik more effort should be placed on face to face networking. The adage used to be that the good jobs don’t get advertized. If health insurance and the high cost of COBRA are a concern, there IS a way to resolve that issue.

  7. Kim says:

    Has your girlfriend looked up craiglist, baltimore yet? Such as the posting below.

    Good luck!!!

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Construction – INSPECTOR I

    ——————————————————————————–
    Reply to: pam.hoebener@dmjmharris.com
    Date: 2005-09-15, 1:35PM EDT

    Openings for all experience levels of Construction Inspectors for Maryland SHA District #2 (Cecil, Kent, Queen Annes, Caroline and Talbot Counties), and other projects throughout the state.
    We are also seeking Construction Inspectors for DelDOT highway projects in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware.

    The candidate will need to effectively communicate (written & oral) and understand scope of work requirements. This position will require an individual that is willing to perform a variety of tasks and is a team player. Candidate will be required to Uphold Corporate Quality Assurance Policies/Procedures Some travel requiredPerforming inspection duties for architecture and/or engineering functions to ensure conformance to quality, performance, safety and/or code requirements. Provide QA reports to supervisor for approval Maintain inspection records. May recommend requirements for remedial corrective actions.EOE.
    Job location is Baltimore, MA

    Compensation: negoitable


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