When I first got my internship with Freedom Credit Union, I had no idea what to expect. I had never worked in an office before at all, and certainly never for a financial institution. So I wasn’t sure what to do when my boss’s boss, the VP of the company, told me to apply for an open position – Membership Development Representative.
I had been out with the person currently in that position during my internship before. We visited a few employee orientations that were in our SEGs (select employee groups). I enjoyed talking to people and informing them on what Freedom had to offer – it was definitely a nice change of pace from sitting in my cubicle all afternoon.
But this internship has definitely taught me one thing – this is not what I want to do for a living. I learned a lot, sure, and I’m not putting down the credit union – it was a great place to work. It just wasn’t for me.
But this is a job! A full-time job! With benefits! I called my parents and of course, they immediately told me to apply. “There’s a reason that she wanted you to apply,” they said. “You should just take it. It’s a job. It’s money. You need a job. You can quit later.”
Pretty much everyone sounded like that: take the job, and when you find something better – quit.
But I felt wrong doing that. These were people that were kind to me, guided me, gave me an internship, and checked in on me to make sure everything was okay. It felt cheap to apply for a job, potentially get it, and then brush it off in a few months when something better came along. On top of all of that, I didn’t want to be stuck at a job that didn’t fit me, just to be able to say I “have a job.” I decided to take the high road and talk to my boss and tell her exactly what I was thinking: that I was applying for internships at agencies, because that felt like the right fit for me, although I was flattered that she would even want me to apply.
She completely understood and was even grateful that I was honest with her. She told me that after I was done applying to all of my internships, the job would still be open, if something didn’t work out.
Sure, I turned down a decent salary and good benefits. Do I regret it? No. I want to be sure that wherever I end up, whatever I’m making… it feels like me.