Difficult job choice (paid v unpaid)

Kai123Kai123 Member Posts: 364 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello forum.

I have potentially two great opportunists coming my way, which unfortunately mean making a very difficult decision.

I had to leave my internship today because they could not let me have an early Wednesday for my CCNA course (9 months long, once a week and on a Saturday once a month, lots of live labs etc so its an extremely good course).

A recruiter has put me first in line for a Tech Support role at the recruiting agency itself, dealing with clients via RA all over Europe. They have said they would keep my CCNA in mind, and want a role for someone for the long-term (long term career development was mentioned), so I would get some networking experience but not as much as the other opportunity.

I just got off the phone from a HR employee about an internship at a NOC, and are very interested because a 9 month internship coincides with gaining the CCNA, but this role would be on a govt internship scheme which works out to €9k a year, while the less Network role will be around 23k or more.

€23k for not much networking experience or €9k (welfare) for working in a NOC, and potentially a higher income after a year.

I've been unemployed for 2 years before my last internship, and literally living hand-to-mouth. The idea of living like this for 9 months would be a massive struggle, then I know I can take the other opportunity and earn an actual wage (it would literally be like winning the lottery for me).

I am getting a serious headache evening thinking about it.


  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,882 Mod
    What a predicament. How's the market over there? If you take the 23k position, do you think it would be fairly easy to move on to something more in line with your goals a year or two down the road?
  • tkerbertkerber Member Posts: 223
    At this early on in your career I wouldn't be too focused on finding a role that matches exactly what you want to do. Get your hands dirty, get some experience, but last of all--take care of yourself. Once you've got your CCNA and have some experience backing it up, then it's time to be picky. I would say, get yourself out of debt and take that extra money to not only live a better life but pursue certs and education outside of work.

    Best of luck!
  • Kai123Kai123 Member Posts: 364 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am starting to think the paid position will be better. I would be able to live again, and also start saving for more courses very easily.

    I have a few contacts at the NOC and they know I really want to work with them. Now that they phoned me, I'm going to feel/look really stupid turning down an internship.

    They said internship, but it might be a paid one (I doubt it though). I will find out Wednesday after I meet the NOC Team Leader.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    You won't look stupid if you simply explain to them that you can't afford an unpaid or low-paying internship at this point in time. Thank them for the opportunity, then let them know you're working on your CCNA and would like to be 1st in line for consideration in the future when a higher paid entry-level position opens up.

    Then after explaining that to them, you should take the paid job.
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  • aftereffectoraftereffector Member Posts: 525
    What DoubleNNs said ^^

    Experience is great. Food, shelter, and clothing are more great. I'd go with the living wage...
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
  • CyberfiSecurityCyberfiSecurity Member Posts: 184
    I would recommend you with the ~ $30,000.00 job; I know it is tech support, but you will gain experience from dealing with various technology. Sometimes, learning how to please the customers important as well. That is why is ITIL certification is there for reason. An internship in a resume does not rating the same as real work experience. Spend your own study and explore about CCNA on your own time. There are plenty of free resources for IT studies such as YouTube videos. Get a solid CCNA book, and look up YouTube video for labs. Virtual labs are cheap by using PacketTracer or GNS3. There is no need to work for cheap to compensate with a CCNA course.
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  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would take the higher paying of the two roles.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
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