Should I take a placement offered, or should I keep trying to find a permanent job?
Well I know this can feel like a difficult decision, but this is likely to be the only time in your life when your financial responsibilities are such that you can take advantage of this opportunity. I know the temptation of work and a salary can often feel like the way to go, but sometimes the decision you are making can be a job versus a career, so you have to ask yourself “what am I looking for?” Of course you are likely to get a job that pays to the level you need to start with as most of us do, but is that the field you want to be in? And more importantly will it show any future employer in that field how that job has contributed to your determination to get into that field of work. More often that not it doesn’t.
Please consider the placement offered where it is a key contributor or learning experience in the ultimate industry or career where you wish to succeed. Don’t see it as if you are working for free, see it as not having to pay for your learning and what an opportunity it is to help you achieve your goals of 2 and 3 years time rather than your immediate desire to earn money.
Therefore the answer to the question is, Yes you always take a placement over a permanent job offer unless the job offer is already in your field of expertise and therefore you don’t need the placement. As clearly if the job offer is in your field of expertise you are actually getting paid to learn and do what you want to do, unfortunately for the majority of us there are not enough of those out there, but those that are that fortunate, take the opportunity offered and Well done for getting it. Therefore if you are taking a placement because any job you are being considered for isn’t in the area you wish, then be enthusiastic about it as this is the starting point on your road to success and the money will come later on.
There is one other area of caution I would air at this point and that is please ensure what is being called “A Placement” is actually a placement. This is not an opportunity for a company to abuse a worker and get work for free. There should be clear guidelines as to the period of work , ie 3 months, 6 months 1 year and it should also be explicit about what you will be learning in that time and more importantly you should be able to see before you go in, how this learning will position you at what level in the world of work at the end of the period. If you can answer these questions then there is no doubt the placement will be of value and it is what we would consider to be a true placement. Take it, you will have time enough later on to make choices which are financially based when you cannot afford to be without a job, so embrace the time you have now and the learning others are offering without chasing the money just yet.