Do I take this job offer or do I extend my internship?

Q. I have been interning with a PR firm for the last five months. My internship ends next month. I had mentioned to the HR manager that my hope was to be retained by the company after the internship.

Last week, she informed me that although there was no opening at present, she was hopeful for one in about three months’ time. She suggested that I intern for another three months as I wait.

Although I yearn to work for this firm, another company has offered me a job. I am in a dilemma. Do I take the job or renew my internship contract?

It is a positive sign that you have been asked to be patient by this organisation, awaiting likely employment after your internship. It shows that your potential to make future contribution to the business has been assessed favourably. Many successful individuals point to internships as valuable cradles for their careers.

The quandary of whether to wait as an intern or take up the new job opportunity may require you to consider a few questions.

Have you discussed the job opportunities you are likely to get after completing your internship? How has the organisation treated other interns in the recent past?

Concerning the job offer, what attracts you most to the organisation? Do you know what is required to succeed in that organisation? Have you spoken to an individual who works there to better appreciate the environment?

Are you able to plot the role that you have been offered along with your desired career trajectory? Which of the two organisations bears a culture that would best support your growth?

Which one presents the most likely stairway to your desired career destination?

If you sense that by waiting you are likely to have a better career deal, it may be worth your patience. If you are however certain that the new job offer is more suitable for you, take it. This organisation has already assessed you based on your internship, it might temporarily keep the door open for you after you leave. At this stage of your career, your future prospects, rather than pay, should inform your decision.


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