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Why an Imperfect Job Could Actually be the Perfect Opportunity

Should you apply for an open position that seems like an almost-but-not-perfect fit? Should you accept a job offer that comes with almost, but not quite, everything you’re looking for? Some experts might recommend holding out and waiting for something better. Let this bus go, they’ll say, and wait for the next one, and you’ll be more likely to get exactly where you want to go. Some will even compare the job search to dating and may suggest that if you “settle” for less than you want—from a job or from a partner—you may find yourself trapped in a mediocre life, watching your dreams slip away.

That’s a bit too dramatic for us. Instead, we recommend getting on the bus. Don’t stand there at the station instead of launching yourself toward new experiences and new adventures. Grab your bag and get moving. Here’s why.

You can change your mind.

If you date someone who doesn’t ring your bells and let one date turn into fifty, then a wedding, then decades of boredom and resentment, that’s a legit mistake. But that doesn’t usually happen. In dating AND the job search, there’s always time to revise. If you don’t like the path you’re on, you can choose another. There’s no longer any stigma attached to what used to be called “job hopping”, and if you accept an offer and decide to move on a few months later, nothing short of a binding contract has to stand in your way. At-will employment means either party can terminate at any time, for any reason. So don’t worry. A job offer isn’t a trap.

There are very few “bad” decisions.

If you accept an imperfect offer and find out that your new company isn’t what you want, you’ll change course and start looking for something else. But in the meantime, you’ll have some adventures (or misadventures), you’ll meet some interesting new people (or jerks), you’ll immerse yourself in a new culture and environment, you’ll face challenges you haven’t faced before, and each of these things will help you learn, help you grow, provide you with valuable lessons, and enrich your world. It doesn’t really matter if the people are annoying or the job is a dead-end; you can leave both behind. But the fact that you encountered them will leave you with a wider worldview and a meaningful, even if short, education.

Money is serious and important.

If you reject this offer or pass on applying for this open position, what will you be doing instead? How else will you be spending your time? If you’re living at home with your parents, will you continue living with them until the next offer comes along? If you have no income at all and you’re watching your savings drain away while you wait for perfection, can you afford to wait a few more weeks or months? Examine how far your current income can take you, and make sure you aren’t setting yourself up for financial strain. If any income is better than none, take the offer. If you can support yourself while you continue your search, your destiny will be guided by calm, rational decision-making, not clouded by urgency and panic.

For more help with your specific job search and some clear-eyed guidance that can move you toward your chosen career goals, turn to the experts at Personnel Services Unlimited