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  1. Hi there, After contemplating graduate school for many years, with much consideration for my area of study, I finally decided that I would like to pursue a Master's in American Studies. I plan to apply to graduate school in two years. My question is whether to stay at my current place of employment or move onto a more intellectually challenging position that will most likely pay me less. Current Position Pros: a highly prestigious academic institute that could potentially bolster my CV friendships with faculty, and staff world-class speakers and programming that I sometimes have access to solid compensation and matching pension lively discussions on diversity and inclusion Cons: the position itself is considered entry level - which I didn't know when I accepted it I also thought I would gain grant writing experience in the role but there doesn't seem to be any possibility for that development my responsibilities are pretty menial and incredibly boring an incredible amount of office drama and low morale among staff little opportunities for professional growth Before I was absolutely sure about the course of study I wanted to pursue, I became interested in Foundation Relations, which I am still interested in. Thus far, I've taken a course in grant writing and work on a friend's Board of Directors as a grant writer. After recently becoming more frustrated in my current role, I began applying for positions directly related to grant writing and am starting to hear back from a few. However, on average, they pay about 20% less than my current position. I imagine that it will be a similar story for other positions I come upon given that my current organization has the privilege to compensate us fairly well. I don't want to make any fast and hard decisions but I also don't want to miss out on potential opportunities. Should I make the leap into one of these roles that would provide some intellectual stimulation and also help me maintain my writing skills? Or should I continue building connections at the job I am at now? Other ideas are to look for research jobs or to use the experience at one of these other organizations to move into a position at a better organization. That's also a lot of jumping around prior to graduate school. I'd appreciate any thoughts you'd like to share. Thanks!
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