Work: Dear Jeremy: Torn between two jobs: high pay versus long-term prospects
(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) For just over a year I have been working in a small marketing company, with an admin role that I hate. While looking around for new opportunities, I used two recruitment agencies. As a result, I have been offered a role in media auditing at an international media agency, but another large agency wants me to have a telephone interview for a role in search engine optimisation (SEO).
I am not sure about what to do in the long term. The media auditing seems really exciting and challenging, as well as having a high starting salary. But it does have elements I wouldn't enjoy, such as long hours, travelling and liaising with clients directly. Also, there appears to be fewer opportunities in media auditing, making it harder to progress.
I am attracted to the SEO role as I have worked in this field before. Not only did I really enjoy it, I also gained the skills needed to be successful in this field. Also, there are more opportunities in SEO, as it is not just large agencies that recruit SEO specialists. Small agencies and clients also recruit in this area. I am unsure as to whether I should try and get back into SEO or take the role of a media auditor.
You've just spent a year doing a job you've hated. Now you're getting out, and quite right, too. But do the same thing again and your CV will begin to look a little dodgy.
You have a choice: between a definite offer to do a job that seems challenging and exciting and is highly paid but with which you're neither familiar nor immediately comfortable; and a job you may not get but is one you've already found enjoyable and in which you've already found success.
My warning bells ring when you say you would not enjoy liaising directly with clients in the media auditing role. The hours and the travel you could learn to live with; but client liaison is likely to be crucial, so if you're not temperamentally suited for it, this could cloud your working day. Your clients would undoubtedly sense your unease; your career assessments would be, in part, based on client evaluations; and I can see your employers beginning to raise doubts about your suitability.
All this may be painting an over-alarmist picture; but even if you weren't already regretting your last job, I think I'd still steer you away from media auditing. You need a role with which you're already familiar and can approach with well-founded confidence.
I know the SEO job is not yours - and it may not be. But my advice is that you should go for it with all the determination and enthusiasm of which you're capable. And if you fail to land it, think twice before you see the media audit job (if it's still open) as the obvious fallback option.
* If excitement, challenge and a high salary are what floats your boat, then the media auditing role would be a good move. The SEO job is the one that seems to have most going for it though. It's also one of the few job roles left that have long[ish] prospects - and this needs to be considered if you are thinking of settling down, buying a house and starting a family in the fullness of time. fairshares
* Do the job you enjoy and you'll find a way to balance your budget against the lower salary. There's no point earning megabucks if you're miserable as you'll no doubt know with your current job. fwoggie
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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