Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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DR.JOB Q & A: Take Offer--Or Not

Q.1 I MADE A GREAT IMPRESSION at my interview today and they offered me the job. I have a week to get back to them, but I also had another offer that sounds interesting. Since this one pays more, I wonder if I should take it.
ANS) IF YOU'RE NOT INTERVIEWING for practice and wasting everyone's time JP Hansen, author of The Bliss List suggests you take out a sheet of paper and list your Musts and Wants in two columns. Your Musts are what is most important to you (i.e. salary, bonus potential, location, etc.) and your Wants might include: opportunity for advancement, an extra week of vacation, being able to work from home, etc. Next, rank your Musts and Wants in order of importance. If you can honestly say all of your Musts have been met by the first offer, accept it, and don't second-guess yourself. If most Musts are not met, the job may not be right for you. 


(Q.2) I'VE BEEN A TEACHER'S AIDE AT A PRIVATE school with limited budget. They can't rehire me for next Fall because of budget problems. I wasn't prepared for this, am very upset, and must start job-hunting again. I have a teaching degree and certificate, so I'm going online today to start looking. But I'm still teaching summer school and I  wonder how I'm going to go to on interviews required during work hours. I have unused sick days here but it seems dishonest to use those when I'm not really sick.

(ANS) IF YOU WANT TO BE TECHNICAL this has made you emotionally ill and you need this time to find a job in order to recover and feel better. But that's not the point. The time is coming to you and they haven't given you any reason to feel loyal to them. Employers expect employees to take all due vacation and sick time. So do it.


(Q.3) I'VE BEEN A NURSE MANY years and I can't physically do the work anymore and would like to move up to  administration, or at least to a desk job in the hospital. I can't take time out to go back to school for more degrees. Do you have any idea how to do this?

(ANS) NURSING IS ONE PROFESSION WHERE EDUCATION, knowledge, experience and skills offer continued professional advancement. But you must seek it out. Since you can't go back for a degree in the many different nursing fields, consider American Sentinel University, one of many that is accredited and offers advanced degrees online. . See for details.


(Q.4) I'VE HAD THE SAME GOOD JOB 20 years and think I should be saving for my kids' college and my eventual retirement. I have a 401K here, but I don't think that's going to cover it. Do you have some ideas of where to start?

(ANS) ONE RULE OF THUMB is to try and save 10 percent of every paycheck, although most financial advisers suggest more if possible. Casey Bond, a financial professional for more than a decade, notes that the exact number will depend upon many personal factors. How old are you? How much is in that 401K, and what exactly are you saving for-just those college bills and retirement, or more? Most advisers feel people aren't saving enough. Bond gives the example of a person in his mid-thirties saving for retirement that has $100,000 in the 401K. He needs to set aside money at a different rate than a 48-year-old who hopes to send a child to college and hasn't saved a dime. Consider you goals, Bond advises, then work backwards. In your case it probably will be more than 10 percent so there goes that next cruise.

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