I recently switched careers (into IT from a non-IT job) and completed a certification/internship program. I live in Tampa and I've been actively interviewing for roughly a month, with a couple of prospects still in the pipeline, though mostly in the preliminary stages.

I interviewed this week for a position and was offered the role.


  • It's doing the job I want to break into
  • The technologies are on par with my interests
  • It's a junior role that wants me when it seems most positions are looking for 3+ years minimum.
  • Casual environment


  • It's an 1.5 to 2 hour drive each way
  • The pay is relatively low considering for the commute ($40k)
  • The manager seemed pretty bored and disengaged during our interview, and the office was kind of a disgusting mess, IMO. Neither of which really impressed me.

I have another interview on Monday with a more local company, so I asked for time until then to weigh both options. I hate the idea of turning down work in the beginning stages of my new career, but I also know that the commute would get real old, real fast, and I would jump at a more local opportunity if it were to materialize.

Part of me feels like it's more honorable to turn it down now, avoid burning bridges by quitting in a month or two, and take the chance to keep looking, while another (ruder) part says take the job for now and do what you have to do if/when another offer pulls through.

Moving isn't an option (the amount of time left on my lease and the cost of moving closer would not make sense at this time), and the pay makes holding a second apartment close to the job all but possible.

  • What factors should I consider when deciding if a job I do not really want is worth taking vs turning the offer down in hopes of finding a better job?
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    Hi, unfortunately we don't offer career advice here on this site, instead we prefer to focus on a specific, solvable, workplace issue. Unfortunately we have no idea what you want out of a career and as such this is a choice only you can make. – Rhys May 18 '13 at 9:39
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    Depending on what your car is, you could find yourself burning $100 a week on the commute, which is going to be probably 1/4 of what you make after taxes. – Amy Blankenship May 18 '13 at 15:02
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    Hi K McK, welcome to the Workplace! I've edited this to make it a bit more on-topic here. Specific career advice questions are not appropriate for the site as they only apply to the asker, but the general question, "how to determine if a non-ideal job is worth taking?" is a question which applies in your situation as well as can be useful for others. – enderland May 18 '13 at 17:09
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    $100/week? If it's 50 miles each way, it's more like $250/week, plus the lost leisure time. – kevin cline Jun 20 '13 at 4:40
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    @Chelonian: it's not just gas. That's only about a third of the cost of running a car. Another big component is the depreciation of the car. $30K for a car that goes 200K miles is 15c/mile in depreciation. – kevin cline Jun 27 '13 at 15:11

Reading between the lines of your question, my sense is that you don't really believe this is the job for you.

I'm a strong believer in "go with your gut instinct" in these matters. For me, the long commute, low pay, and most importantly, the bad feeling about the Manager would add up to a "No thanks". I would also suggest not taking a job that you feel you would likely quit in a few months. In my circle, people who job-hop that quickly get a bad reputation. You don't want that to start off your new career.

If you are financially capable of waiting, I'd suggest doing so. A month is not a long time to be looking for a good job - particularly when you are changing careers.

But of course, you need to weigh what is important to you. You need to weigh your chances to get into IT via this job, versus all the negatives you are expressing, along with your chance to find a better, more long-lasting IT job.

Good luck!

  • Absolutely, Joe. – samarasa May 19 '13 at 14:49

If you don't have critical financial problems, then I would suggest to turn it down the offer in a polite manner. This is because some times "working environment" significantly affects "your happiness" compared to the projects/work you do. I am sharing this from my own experiences. As you said, commute is also a big problem with the offer.

Better to do some research on the company before accepting a job. Look at glassdoor and indeed. Read reviews (latest) and then think about pros and cons of the job like what you did in the above question. We should always remember that working environment is as important as the work/projects.

Be brave and have patience. Keep looking for a suitable position. I hope that you will definitely get a good job. All the best.

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