Help a Reader– Leave Country For Work or ?

I do my best to respond to all reader emails to the best of my ability. I’m not one of those bloggers that chargers per email and calls it “consulting.” When I don’t have the answer, I do my best to try to find it. Today I wanted see if you guys could help out a fellow reader.

I wanted to see what you guys had to say. A reader of Studenomics left this comment a few days ago, seeking out advice on career choices:

I have an offer to teach English in Spain in October, which would be so much fun (and I’ve lived in Europe before, so I know) but very low paying, and I also got a job offer in Project Management in the US, which is a really good job in a well paying field, but I’m so bored! (Example, there is nothing for me to do right now, so I’m writing this at work.) When it rains it pours! I had no offers, and now I have two very different offers. Both have positives and negatives. What should I do?

What would you guys do? What job would you choose and why?

Let’s look at what we need to keep in mind here:

Financial situation.

When you’re in debt, the obvious choice will always be to take the higher income so that you can start paying off your debt. Your financial situation will highly dictate your next career moves. A long-term apartment lease can keep you in town much longer than expected. Thousands of dollars in student/credit card debt can force you to work a job you don’t care for until you’re debt free. An emergency fund allows you to take some chances since you have money to fall back on.

Future goals.

Future goals are important when you’re deciding your next big moves in your 20s. If you want to save up for a home down-payment in the near future, you’re going to be in strict saving mode. If you have some time in between financial moves, you can explore less lucrative options and enjoy yourself in your 20s.

Career growth.

Which option will lead to guaranteed and quicker career growth? Sometimes the best way to work towards your dream gig is to sacrifice a little and work for less money. Every industry has different career paths and strategies for moving into the lucrative positions.

There’s a lot more to consider when deciding which job the reader should take. Those were the first thoughts that hit my mind.

For the record, I would take the gig in Spain. I think that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you might not be able to explore in the future. I’m assuming that this reader is not married and doesn’t have kids. This is a rare time where you can just get up and leave to chase your dreams. Why not give it a try? If it doesn’t work out you can always come back.

How would you guys advise this reader?

4 thoughts on “Help a Reader– Leave Country For Work or ?”

  1. I was faced with a similar decision last year when I graduated from the Faculty of Education. There are a ton of international jobs out there that were very appealing, but I know that I want to live closer to home for the majority of my life. I decided to go the less “sexy” route and stay in-province. My rationale is that if I left I risked losing a lot of positive network momentum I had built up in a very tight job market. I took the opposite view and said that it’s not like English is going anywhere, and people will still need to learn it in exotic locations whenever I am ready to go.

  2. I recently faced a similar-ish dilemma. A local low-paying job in one career direction or a long (70 mile, one-way) commute for a job that paid three times as much in a different career direction. The local job would take me more in the direction of my dream job, but would never pay for it. The commuter position would give me financial security to persue my dream but wouldn’t prepare me professionally for it.

    I took the local job, but then the position was eliminated! So my advice would be decide which position carries less risk. Which sounds to me like the project management position. And a great cure for boredom would be to try to take on new roles, come up with innovations to try improve things, or just learn new skills.

  3. I agree with this. Since this website is geared toward younger people, I imagine you’re young and don’t have as many responsibilities as someone in their 40s (mortgage and kids, just to name two choices). Do it. If you hate it, you can come back. But chances are, you’ll love it and look back at the time fondly. I can tell you right now if I had a chance at an international job, I’d take it over my decent paying job in a heartbeat.

  4. I would take the project management job. Opportunities to teach English abroad aren’t going anywhere, but it may be hard to explain away a gap in your career and get another cushy job in a good field. With additional experience in project management you will likely be able to leverage it to find opportunities abroad that pay you just as well and will also move your career forward.

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