Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Employer with Bad Rep Offers Good Opportunity

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I’ve heard from three of my friends who interned at this lab I have been offered a job at that they don’t treat their staff very well. But the program I applied to and was asked to join is one of the few in the country that fits in perfectly with my education and interests. It’s the kind of experience that could really work for me and advance my career.

How much should I consider my friends’ warnings when I decide whether or not to take the lab’s offer? --- NOT SURE WHICH WAY TO GO

DEAR NOT SURE WHICH WAY TO GO: If your friends’ only experience working at the lab was in the capacity of interns, they may have a fairly narrow view of life there.

If there aren’t any on-line ratings for the company that runs the lab, to get a wider view of working conditions, you might try reaching out to someone who either works there currently or has been there in the recent past in positions other than temporary interns.

Even if you hear less than glowing reviews, you need to keep in mind the high level of fit this job offers you and your career goals. It might be worth putting up with less than ideal conditions ─ provided your health, safety, or good name aren’t compromised ─ for at least long enough to gain experience that could pay off down the road.

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