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livelaughlove21's avatar

When offered a job, when should you accept and when should you pass? (see details)

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14286 points ) December 2nd, 2013 from iPhone

As some of you know, I’m graduating from college in a couple of weeks and I recently began applying for jobs.

I did an initial interview with two staffing agencies that specifically place job seekers in legal positions. I’m looking to find a job as a legal assistant making at least $28–30K. I’ll have my BA, but I have no legal experience aside from two summer internships with probation.

One of these agencies landed me my first “real” interview with a mid-size law firm whose client list mainly consists of school districts. They specialize in school and employment law, student punishment, special education, etc. My interview is Wednesday.

My question is this: Let’s say I’m offered the job. Would it be in my best interest to take it as long as they offer my minimum salary requirement and I could see myself working there? Should I hold out for other offers (a risky move)? Should I take the job and continue to interview, potentially burning a bridge if I get a better offer elsewhere?

I was hoping to get in with criminal defense attorneys, because that’s the area of law I’m most interested in, but I don’t want to turn down a job when I may not get another one anytime soon. I’m just a bit concerned school/employment law may be boring. I could always get a couple years of experience under my belt and move on to another area of law, right? I’ve never looked for a “permanent” job before, so I’m not sure what I should do.

Of course, I haven’t even had the interview yet, so I may not get the offer.

Thoughts?

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11 Answers

josie's avatar

Depends on how hungry you are and if you can pay the rent.

If you were an actor would you take a job in a car commercial, or wait for a movie contract.

Depends on how hungry you are.

glacial's avatar

If you take the job, don’t keep looking. Put in your time there, and then start again. In other words, if you see yourself continuing to hunt for a job right now, don’t take this one.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@josie My husband is currently supporting us, so I’m not in danger of being homeless or anything. However, I really want a job.

I just started looking, so I don’t want to jump at some opportunity just because it was offered and potentially miss out on a better offer. Then again, I don’t want to turn down a job and not get another offer for months.

This isn’t just some job, I’m looking for a career.

josie's avatar

If you have a supporting spouse, then wait for the career offer.

hearkat's avatar

Other factors to consider are the people you’d be working with. Research the lawyers and firms on the web – there are ratings sites where people critique the service a lawyer provided them. When there, notice the demeanor of the secretary and how she and the others interact. You want an employer that is respectful, supportive, and appreciative. If they treat their staff poorly, you definitely don’t want to work there.

YARNLADY's avatar

Take any reasonable job offer. You can always leave, and if you leave during the first three months, a customary probation period, you don’t even need to include it on your future applications.

ETpro's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I have to second @YARNLADY Now it the prime time of the year to get that critical first interview. The top brass are busier than one-armed paper hangers right now ensuring that year-end goals are met, but they will have time after the first of the year to interview the candidates that make it past the filtering process. That’s prime time to actually get and offer. So naturally, you can keep looking—trying for other first interviews—right up till the time they make an offer should that happen. But if they offer and there’s nothing else going in January, take the job and get some experience under your belt. Beginning some graduate work in criminal law would be a good move as well to build up that resume to get the law job you really want.

Happy hunting.

drhat77's avatar

It is ironically easier to find a job while employed then while unemployed, so you can always aim higher while in a job you don’t particularly adore

Smitha's avatar

I think it would be wise to take what is offered to you, if a better job comes along, quit the one you have.
I don’t think it will be a good idea to spend time waiting for your dream job while doing nothing at all. Most people don’t get a high-paying job or job of their choice immediately. Sometimes, you must work your way up the ladder, even if you have credentials. Good luck to you on finding your dream job!

livelaughlove21's avatar

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I had my interview this morning and it went really well (I think/hope!). As it turns out, I REALLY want this job. It seems like a great firm, the legal assistants do a lot of interesting work, and the benefits are AMAZING. I won’t think twice before accepting this offer if I get it.

The person that interviewed me said she’s going to forward my résumé to the next person up the totem pole for further consideration. Fingers crossed!

ETpro's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Wishing you good luck in landing it, then.

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