Ask LH: Which Of These Two Job Opportunities Should I Take?

Dear Lifehacker, I am currently unemployed and have a bit of a dilemma. I’ve been offered a temporary work contract in a regional area for approximately 3-4 months. Meanwhile, a local business I previously trained with has hinted at a permanent job opportunity — but they won’t give me any sort of time-frame or even confirm that the position exists. I’d really love to work for the latter company since I enjoyed the work experience immensely (plus it’s closer to home). Should I stay unemployed and wait for that company’s job or should I just go with the temporary position? Thanks, Down But Not Out

Job hunting picture from Shutterstock

Dear DBNO,

Guaranteed work always trumps a vague promise; especially when you’re unemployed. The long commute might not be ideal, but accepting the regional position will put money in your bank account right now. It will also eliminate what would otherwise be an embarrassing blank spot on your resume.

If you enjoy the position and are good at your job, it could even lead to full-time employment. Turning all that down on the off-chance of getting hired elsewhere is a pretty big gamble.

With that said, you might be able to use the contract offer as leverage. If you’re on friendly terms with the manager, call them up or send them an email explaining you’ve been offered employment elsewhere but really want to work for them.

If they were serious about the job offer, they should be able to provide more concrete details and may even lock in a start date. If they continue to act wishy-washy, the job offer was likely on shakier ground than you thought.

We’re also going to throw this one over to our readers — have you ever turns down work for a better job that might not happen? Let DBNO know how you fared in the comments section below.


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