Acco's first crossroad - should I keep walking? *Involved*

I didn’t know where else to put this, so if it’s inappropriate Mods, then so be it.

It all boils down to What should I do??? Here’s the dilemma:

My family (who I miss) is in Cleveland.
My friends and girlfriend (who I really miss) are in Columbus.
And my job and I, are in Louisville. :frowning:

I’m a 23 y.o. college grad. I moved from Columbus to Louisville in March to take a PR job I thought I’d love. Well, now I hate the job and do not make enough money to validate being away from my girlfriend and friends. Sadly, I’ve been unable (and slightly unwilling) to “set up shop” in Louisville. I miss Columbus too much.

Unfortunately, it would take me just under forever to save up enough to move to Columbus and do my job searching from there.
Now, I’m more than willing to quit the job, but the prospects of finding full-time employment in Columbus is daunting when working a full-time job in Louisville, which is a solid 3+ hour drive from Columbus; not to mention I only have 2 personal days to interview with.

So here are the options I can see:

I can forget about my girlfriend and friends in Columbus and “set up shop” in Louisville, doing a job I hate. (painful)

I can quit the job, move to Columbus, patch together part time jobs and live like a pauper, but get to be with my girlfriend and friends. (painful… this is why I left in the first place!)

I can quit the job, and move back home to Cleveland. Then, look for a job from Cleveland in Columbus (2 hr. drive). (Better, but submitting to defeat and moving home may destroy my morale, pride, and financial situation)

Or, continue to look for a job in Columbus from Louisville while working a job I hate, cut off from my friends, girlfriend and family. (This has been what I’m doing but it is VERY hard to find a job in a town 3+ hours away, while working 40+ hours/wk, and I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels sometimes…)

Not to mention there are many struggles going on in my head such as:
The benefit of having a job in Louisville while looking for a job in Columbus vs. being unemployed in Columbus, but able to search more freely, or

The faultering of the economy and job market vs. my willingness to change career paths

Alright, that’s the nuts and bolts of it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I hardly ever put my neck out like this, but I know there are many dopers out there who have the wisdom to help me reason through this.

I’m not looking for sympathy as much as a fresh perspective, and “take it from me” advice. Thanks beforehand for the insight.


How much experience do you have? You may have to tough it out a little longer to get enough experience to get another job.

Can you get another job in Louisville that you don’t hate? If you get a job you enjoy, you’ll be able to make new friends and build a good life for yourself.

Can you get a part time job in Louisville so have more time to go job hunting in Columbus?

Also, you can look for jobs now. Any employer interested in hiring you will understand that you have a job. They’ll try and schedule you interview with that in mind. You have 2 personal days, that’s 16 hours. Can you take off work some day at 2 o’clock and drive to Columbus for an interview? If they let you work through lunch, you’ll only be taking two hours off that day. So you’ll have 14 hours of personal time left.

Do you have to take your vacation time in a lump? If you schedule an interview on a Friday, can you take a vacation day and tell people you’re having “a long weekend.” (You don’t want them to know you’re job hunting.)

Over the years I’ve had many interviews scheduled at odd times. I’ve had interviews after 5, when I got off. I once had an interview on a Saturday. The prospective employers were interested in me, and knew I couldn’t come in during my work hours.

A last note, it’s better to have a job when you are interviewing. Employers like that. If you quit and move home, it will be a little harder to get a job. But of course, that may be offset by other advantages.

I hope this rambling helps. Good luck.

Keep your current job. It is true that employers like people that already have jobs. You’ve heard the saying that when you have a job you could get any job you want but once out of work you couldn’t pay to find a job.
Have your friends and girlfriend put out feelers for you such as keeping a check on the newspapers, etc. Send out resumes to all the places you think you’d like to work. If they want to interview you bad enough they’ll make the time, like on a Saturday. You never know, if you find the right job they may pay your moving expenses for you. My company does.
It may take some time. Don’t get impatient.

First, a little perspective from a 41-year-old very settled man. You’re 23; you’ll live. Yes, it’ll be unpleasant, but you’ll live through this and you’ll look back on your post and smile at your attitude back then.

Second, there’s nothing wrong with moving home if you need to if you are truly welcome to stay. Not every move needs to be in a forward direction, and if it’ll be easier to job-hunt five days a week from Cleveland than two in Louisville, you may want to look into it.

Third, all of these options depends upon the state of the job market in those cities. You’ll know more about that than I will, so that may color your decision too.

Fourth, do you want to limit your options to these three? Have you thought about traveling elsewhere, see something of the country, try other jobs? You’re young, energetic and it’s perfectly acceptable these days to not have to proceed along a single job track. In my time, I took a journalism degree into producing computer games, driving a bread truck, and back into newspaper work. There was a period of 10 years between the time I graduated and the time I started working for a newspaper.

Of course, now that I’m married, have kids, bought a home, I’m settled. Looking back, I wished I had moved around more (even joined the Navy, but that’s a long thread we’ll not go into now).

My best guess, however, if you are truly committed to options 1-3, would be to stay put for now. The economy’s contracting, and jobs may be a little harder to find. But that depends entirely on how bad your job is, and only you can answer that.

Some other possibilities:

  1. Try to do phone interviews first. This can weed out a lot of undesirable possibilities from the start. You could do a phone interview at lunch. A former coworker did hers from a conference room at the office. She made the call instead of vice-versa.

  2. Everyone I know does their job interviews during work hours. Of course, we’re talking local jobs without the extended drive, but I don’t know anyone who has done an interview after hours or on weekends. It doesn’t affect the perception from the other company either.

  3. Put your resume on one of the job sites and wait until you hear something.

Can your girlfriend find work in Louisville? If not, can your girlfriend handle the long-distance relationship?

If you can’t get a job closer to her, then you both should try and be patient and keep the status quo for now - with the economy being so slow. I think you should both see this as a test, and try your best to “tough it out” for it will pay off one day for the best for both of you.

Good luck!

  • Jinx