A $100,000 Job Offer: Dreams Derailed?

My summer officially started around the second week of June. Summer was the one thing I had been looking forward to the most. Why? I desperately needed a break from my 90-hour workweeks and my average night of sleep, which included less than 5 hours of snooze.

Having such a jam-packed work schedule meant neglecting my family and friends, as well as not having a social life of any kind. Oh, and let’s not forget having zero time for romance.

Naturally, I was more than happy to catch a break.

Now my summer has been partially filled with spending quality time with my family and friends, as well as taking care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally; in other words, getting enough sleep. I have also gone on a few dates and made a few new friends. On the other hand, my summer has also consisted of working the social media circuitvolunteering and finding ways to afford my double Masters degree, which I start in the fall.

So as you would probably guess, I have been applying for scholarships, fellowships, assistantships and more to fund my education. Education has been and will always be the number one priority for me. In fact, I have tentatively planned out the rest of life in terms of my education and where I want and expect it to take me.

Well, last week I had my moment of truth. I was at the office finishing some paperwork and transferring files from my laptop to the office computer, when my boss made me an indirect job offer. To make the story short, I was presented with a full-time occupation as my boss’s Executive Assistant. The salary: $100,000 per year! Yes, a Monday through Friday, 8AM-4PM job would get me that much money.

Having heard his proposal, I did nothing but keep on working and left the office 30 minutes later without mentioning the subject matter again. So you might be wondering why I did not take the offer right away, right? I mean, who would turn down such an offer?!

While I have not verbally turned down the position, I turned it down inside my head from the moment I heard it. Why? Accepting such a job offer would certainly deviate me from my educational plans and life goals. It would mean pursuing a single Master’s degree, rather than a dual one. In addition, it would most likely mean finishing a single Masters degree in three years, when the original plan was to finish a double Masters degree in two years. Similarly, finishing a Ph.D. within the next five years would be almost out of the question. Most importantly, working as an Executive Assistant would not bring me the same satisfaction as a profession in social work, research and teaching would do.

After all, I have never had money, I still do not have money and I do not want to have a lot of money, if it means sacrificing my goals. All I want is a chance to give back to my community as much as I have been given—inspiration, motivation and knowledge.

Never forget: There will be times in your life when you will have to make very tough choices, but you must never sell yourself short, especially in the long-term. Stay true to yourself and pursue your dream of being who you want to be. You never want to reflect back on your life and wonder what you could have been had you followed your dreams.

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