Should I stay or should I go?

There’s an opportunity for me in Montana, but I don’t know anyone!

Take a risk, says our elder.

Dear EWC

I’m a 19-year-old living in Ohio. I have not yet lived on my own though I have a big opportunity in front of me. I currently have a standing job offer in a kitchen in Montana just outside of Yellowstone National Park. This is an amazing opportunity but I’m concerned about leaving on my own to be somewhere completely unknown. The only problem I have is not knowing anyone there and not knowing anything about where I’m going. I need help deciding if this would be a responsible move or if I’m just acting on impulse and making a mistake.

Dirk replies

Thanks for your letter. Whether going to Montana is a responsible move or an impulse move may not be known at this time but what is the worst that can happen? You do not like it there? It is not a wonderful opportunity? You do not like living alone? If it is not what you want, you can always move back home.

I do think that your caution about this possible relocation or any for that matter is commendable. Few people would do as you are doing—asking for opinions of others (even strangers like me!) about this work option.  Many people would say no or yes right away. I suggest that you accept the position and give yourself six months to make a final decision. During those six months you want to become the best employee that you can be. Your effort should accomplish two things. Regardless of whether or not you remain, you will have learned new skills and gained a sense of accomplishment and maybe a good reference for future jobs. That growing awareness about yourself will give you confidence when you seek other positions. Those six months also will give you impressive material for your resume.

I also would view this six-month trial as an opportunity to learn about yourself, another part of this country, and earn some money to fund your travel in the region. When we go outside the boundaries of our usual routines, we come back with new perspectives on everything around us. You will be a different person.

If you decide to accept the position, use the Internet, local newspapers, social media, and any contacts to learn about the region. Options for housing, cost of living, weather etc. should help you budget and plan for the relocation.

Finally, whether your trip ends up being a temporary work assignment or a permanent relocation will be your decision. In any case, you will learn a lot about yourself and that will help you evaluate other jobs and places of employment. I wish you well!

Letter #: 431788
Category: Career

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