It’s Hard to Say No

Yesterday I encountered a somewhat unexpected situation, although I’m guessing it’s not uncommon among job-seekers.    A neighbor and friend who knows I’ve been job hunting contacted me about an open position at his firm.  It’s an interesting role at a well-respected firm, and although I wasn’t exactly a shoo-in, I’m sure his recommendation would have carried a lot of weight due to his position.   Although the position was primarily administrative with correspondingly modest pay, it sounded like there was a good chance for advancement to a related, better-paying position for someone who could learn quickly.  What ultimately made me decide not to apply is that I don’t possess the educational credentials or experience in the type of service the firm provides, which means there’s a definite ceiling on where I could go with this firm, or even in this field.

Early in my career I held marketing positions at a couple of engineering firms.  It was a great learning experience and I really liked most of the people I worked with.  (Engineers are my kind of people.)  However, it became very clear that for someone who is not an engineer, and therefore can’t do billable work, there’s only so far one can go.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do a little bit of billable work in the economics practice of the second engineering firm I worked for, but this was far from their main line of business.  That particular practice was eventually eliminated in the region I was in.  At that time I vowed never to work in professional services marketing again.  In another life, maybe I’ll come back as an architect, lawyer, engineer, or doctor, but I’m not planning to go back to school to enter any of these professions in this one. 

I hope I’m not still jobless in six months and kicking myself for not pursuing this position.  I guess only time will tell whether or not this was a good call.  Right now I’m making the riskier bet that I’ll find a decent paying job in the fields I have been targeting.



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