I graduated last May and have experienced the similar ups and downs of being a recent college grad. My current dilemma involves work. Let me say first and foremost I love the company I work for! It’s a small advertising agency which allows us to be a close-knit group. My coworkers have a lot of faith in me and my abilities. They trust me with a lot of responsibility that most entry-level positions don’t have. They push me (in a good way) and I am learning so much about the industry and about being a young professional just by being here. Not to mention, they’re very flexible with vacation days and I have my own office! So then, what is the problem you say?
Well, the job is located in my college town. It’s been unbelievably hard being so close to the college action and not being able to participate. It feels like I am an outsider in a place that used to feel so familiar. I’ve been having a terrible time making friends or dating and I feel stuck. I was very unhappy with my circumstances last fall so I started submitting applications for new jobs in my hometown so I could be closer to my family and many of my friends that graduated with me.
Well, timing is never good on these things. This spring, just when I had wrapped my head around staying at my current job and feeling happy with that decision, great opportunities in St. Louis started calling me for interviews! I don’t want to feel like I’m closing the door on something that three months ago I would have killed for but I also don’t know if now is the right time to make a move after only one year at this job. I guess what this all boils down to is when is the right time to leave your comfort zone and move on to another opportunity? It’s a scary thing and any advice you can offer would be great.
That’s amazing that you love your job and I think you should really appreciate that because most recent grads do not experience that! I think you need to decide what is a higher priority for you, at this point in your life — is it your career or is it friends?
Personally, I would say that your career is high priority right now (although if you don’t agree, that’s okay!). You’re just starting out in your industry and building your career from the bottom up. Friends will always be there if they’re true friends and it’s common to struggle with finding good friends in the city you live in, so you’re certainly not alone. It’s also common for twenty-somethings to think that moving will solve their problems, but that isn’t always true.
My answer is to always go with your gut, and I think your gut is telling you that you love your job and you’re not ready to leave it. It’s hard not to be swayed by other job offers, but if you’re happy where you are, then it’s okay to turn them down. And as for friends, don’t feel like you “should” have friends and don’t shame yourself for not having friends. It’s hard to make good friends out of college but it does happen in time, you just need to put in the effort and don’t be so hard on yourself if you have nothing to do on a Friday night. Know that this is just temporary and you’ve only been out of school a year. You will find friends in your city, I promise you!
I hope this helps :). Good luck!