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A little more than a year ago I was introduced to a friend who worked as a QMHP, a position that until then, I didn't even know existed. Being a server at the time, not only would it mean training in the field I love but a significant pay raise. After applying to all of the county's in the area over the next year I had a few close calls but was ultimately rejected; except for the last one where they were very interested and were on the verge of hiring me until the position closed due to funding issues. About 3 months ago I get a job at the family business and I'm finally getting settled. My pay is more than I would have made as a server or QMHP and by living at home I should be able to save about 20k in the next year. A few days ago a receive a call saying that the position was open again and would like to meet for one final interview in which they basically hand me the position. However the office is a little more than an hour away so I would have to move closer (and pay rent) there is also a modest pay cut which would diminish if not extinguish my ability to save a significant amount of money. Additionally the job is full time and the more pages I go through on this forum, the more I wonder if I would be better served by looking at a position in a lab, or maybe its possible to hold a full time job and volunteer at a lab as well? (anyone have advice or experience with this?). I would like to persue a Phd in counseling psychology so both aspects are important, I just don't know which if either is more important. Any advice anyone has on any aspect of this would be greatly appreciated.

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