Friday, March 3, 2017

Accepting an Offer (or, How Three Years of Working at the Career Center Paid Off)

Sorry for dropping off the radar for a few weeks everyone - between the snow day and the holiday weekend, scheduling has gotten a little funky lately. While I was MIA, I made some pretty big headway on my post-graduation plans - you are reading the blog of a newly-employed Jumbo!

I will officially start working full-time at Massachusetts General Hospital in June. I'm so excited and happy, but more than anything relieved - finally, the anxiety nightmares about living in my childhood home at age 22 will come to an end!

There were a lot of factors that went into my decision to accept this job. I spent about a week with the offer on the table, weighing all the pros and the cons, thinking about the repercussions of either action. In the end, though, I knew as soon as I replied with a "yes" that it was the right call for me.

For all my fellow seniors out there who are grappling with job offers and other big life decisions, I'll give you a peek into my mind this week to see how I handled the decision - what I considered, why I considered it, and ultimately why I made the decision I did. (A quick disclaimer: all of these decisions were made just for me, with my specific background/circumstances in mind. Not everyone will come to the same conclusion, and that's more than okay!)

Location, location, location.

One thing I've constantly asked myself over the past few months, when thinking about what I want to do next, is where I want to do it. Having grown up in Massachusetts and gone to college right outside Boston, I wasn't sure if staying in the area would be a good or bad thing. I know my way around, and I have all my friends and family here, but would staying in Beantown feel like too "safe" of a move? Why shouldn't I take the first opportunity I have to go somewhere new, like California or New York City or somewhere outside the US? In the end, I realized that I was looking to leave Boston for the wrong reasons. I wanted a travel adventure - not a relocation for a job. When it comes to medical research, Boston is a premiere city in the field; it's one of the reasons I chose to come to Tufts. Leaving such a gold mine behind - especially one where I'm already comfortable - would be a hard sell.
The Schuyler sisters may have been singing about NYC, but the greatest city in the world is actually Boston. (Don't worry, you're all still my heroines.)

Build that network.

There's a lot more to a job than the starting salary or the location. Particularly for a first-time job, one of the best possible perks is the opportunity for networking. I was fortunate enough to find a job that involves meeting and working with a lot of different professionals, and I see that as a huge benefit. I also knew that I wanted to work somewhere with lots of other young people, in a collaborative and social environment. While perhaps a less formal medium of networking, this consideration crossed my mind as well - and ended up being one of the many "pros" of the offer.

"How's the money?"

In the past two weeks, I have learned that this is every person's first question when you tell them you have new job offer. And there's a reason - money is, after all, what makes the world go 'round, and it's no secret that new college grads are facing immense student loan debt nowadays. Having done some research prior to my job search, I knew going in that the work I wanted to do would not provide the funding for me to live a glamorous lifestyle. And while the starting salary for a lot of new graduates may be low, the biggest thing that everyone has told me is that it's manageable. While there's no doubt that I'll have to make sacrifices in the next few years, I know that the benefits of this job (see above) can make up for it.
The Joker, while misunderstood, is actually the source of all my career advice.

In a matter of months, I'll go from barely-functioning college student to totally-dysfunctional young professional. And while it certainly wasn't an easy decision, I am so glad that I took the time to think about my offer and really consider it in full. If you're ever looking for a friendly face to talk about a job offer (and maybe even offer a few words of wisdom), the Career Center's door is always open! Speaking from experience, they are some of the best people to talk to when it comes to these decisions (huge shoutout to all my bosses for the incredible support they gave me throughout the process!). Alright, now time to celebrate with some midterm-cramming.

Until next time,
Sean Boyden
Class of 2017