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Career Development

Safety Nets Are Comforting, But Sometimes It's Time to Move On From Your Job

We have a bit more leeway to find ourselves now than we will in the future and taking a new job or leaving the safety net is the first step.

Man in dress clothes holding a bag and book

Comfort and a safety net. We always search for these things in our every day lives, whether it's love, family, or work. And while it gives us peace of mind, it can also hold us back. When you are just staying with a significant other because they're a safe option. When parents are not being used as a temporary home on the way to the future, just being plain old used. When is it time to move on from a job, no matter how great it is?

Personally, I've had an amazing job for the past two years. Working at the Rutgers Physics Lecture Hall has been a wonderful experience because of its freedom. There are so many aspects to the job, from setting up physics demonstrations, explaining them to people, being a liaison between professors and the office, taking care of administrative and financial duties. I've grown as a person and became one of the top workers in a year. My boss has given me, and all the rest of the workers, the opportunity to learn skills and hone our specific crafts. If someone likes building demos, he lets them work. If you like explaining demos, he gives you the opportunity to do that in front of other people. While working there, I took over most of the administrative duties like handling schedules and payroll, budgeting, and liaising with professors.

I love this job for the opportunities and my coworkers. You end up learning about people's lives and people in general from this job. There's so much diversity and a pinch of weirdness in every worker that opens your mind to other lifestyles and knowledge bases. For the past two years, I wouldn't have had as great a college experience if I didn't work here. I've been afforded the opportunity to put myself through college and financially support myself. I met my current housemate through work. I made several friends.

But I've also seen this job for what it is. A safety net. It started out as an amazing work-study job, which is great, but it's also now just a job. Not to say that I'm ungrateful for all it's given me, but right now, it's just my safe option. I could stay here for another couple of years until I finish out my degree, but if I really want to push myself, I must also acknowledge that it means leaving my cocoon of a job. It means having to get a job or an internship that's more towards my field.

As college students, we're all going to be getting job experiences and internships but being able to discern if it's a just for now opportunity or if there's a legitimate future is imperative. At this point, being challenged and learning is more important than security. We have a bit more leeway to find ourselves now than we will in the future and taking a new job or leaving the safety net is the first step.

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