Take a leap or play it safe?

I’ve recently received an offer to join a rapidly growing commodity trading house in a different country. I would be trading energy there, which is something I’m quite interested in.

I also have an internship offer to join a firm’s structured products division in London, which is where I’m based, have my friends and would like to be in the long term.

I’m really conflicted on which offer to take up - on the one hand, I have a fantastic ‘adventure’ which could be awaiting me - I’m young and they’re paying for all relocation expenses. But on the other hand, my career as a trader in London could really take off as I leverage this offer.

I’ve been really looking forward to working in London, but this energy trading offer abroad would require me to move on quite short notice.

If someone with more experience could provide guidance as to which path to take, I would really appreciate it. The offer abroad pays a bit over twice as much as the internship, but I’m more interested in leveraging this experience for more money down the road. I’m also concerned about coming back to London - I have a lot of close relationships there which would be ‘cut short’. Any guidance on the career side of personal side would be great. Thanks!


Hey there! It sounds like you're in a bit of a pickle, but it's a good pickle to be in. You've got two great opportunities in front of you.

On one hand, you have the chance to join a rapidly growing commodity trading house in a different country. This could be a fantastic adventure, as you've said, and it's always exciting to experience a new culture and way of life. Plus, they're covering all relocation expenses, which is a big bonus.

On the other hand, you have an internship offer in London, where you're currently based and where you have a strong network of friends. This opportunity could potentially set you up for a successful career as a trader in London, which is something you've been looking forward to.

It's a tough decision, but here's my two cents. If you're young and unattached, this might be the perfect time to take a risk and go for the adventure. You'll learn a lot, not just about trading energy, but also about living and working in a different country. This could be invaluable experience that sets you apart in the future.

However, if your heart is set on building a career in London and you're worried about losing touch with your close relationships, it might be better to stay put. The internship might pay less now, but if it gives you the experience and connections you need to succeed in the long term, it could be worth it.

Remember, there's no right or wrong answer here. It's about what feels right for you. Good luck with your decision!

Sources: When to jump - Advice on switching jobs, careers, and fields, How can you take it?, Do I take the safe bet after grad?, Taking the plunge

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This is a key piece of info. The other commenter is correct in everything they say, this is the right time to take some risks.

If it were NYC, Singapore, Hong Kong, I would say no question take it. But Dubai is different. Everyone I know in Dubai says its a completely vapid, soulless place, especially the 21-30 year olds absolutely hate it because there is absoloutely nothing to do other than suck up to rich people and go to the beach. 

Consider the fact that you will likely spend half the week outisde the office. What do you want from that life?


My friend who grew up there was really trying to sell it to me but I suppose he would considering he has so many friends there. Do you think it would be easy to move back and get a job/internship in the event I don’t like it there?

Most Helpful

First off, let me say that at the end of the day, it's ultimately your decision. What I or anyone else says may help you frame the dilemma from different perspective, but should not be the final tipping point.

Generally speaking, the younger and earlier you are in your career, the more risks you can take without having it affect you too adversely. Also from my experience, some of the smaller, "up and coming" firms typically offer you more growth potential i.e. where many different hats, learn the entire business whereas in bigger, established places, you're typically siloed to few specific roles. The tradeoff is typically a shop can crash and burn whereas you have a bit of a safety net. From my general life experience, most people typically pick the "it's better to have tried and failed" over the "regret not giving it a shot at all and wondering what could've been". 

With purely the information you've given me, I think the non-traditional pathway seems like the better risk/reward payout. Even if you end up not liking it, I would suggest making the most if it and learn a lot while you can. Companies are not going to look down on you, especially this early on your career, if you have a "blip" for 1-2 years and decide to go somewhere else. You don't seem to care about the pay and more focused on long term, which I believe, is the correct mindset. Also with regards to relationships being "cut short", the way I see it - London will always be there in 2 or 10 years later. People are professional to understand enough you went with what you likely believed to be the best choice at the time. Just because you don't interact with them again in the short term future does not mean you're burning any bridges. It's not uncommon for people to reconnect on LinkedIn many years later should there be a mutual opportunity.

Again, I don't know all your background. I could see the "short notice" aspect being problematic. Perhaps, ignoring all the pros I've said about the abroad opportunity, the London gig is a better culture fit for you, I wouldn't know. Maybe you place a lot of weight on security, being closer proximity to friends, etc than the average person. To me, sounds like you've got two awesome offers and you can't go overly wrong with the either. Good luck. 

Disclaimer: This is coming from someone who went the "path less traveled" and ended up getting really lucky than I could have ever imagined, so my answer is biased. 

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"

Hi, thank you so much for the response. I feel as though I'm leaning more towards moving to Dubai, but it's just so frightening to take that leap and I'm concerned about eventually moving back from a career perspective. But like you correctly pointed out, I'm young and I truly believe the Dubai job will offer me more development opportunities at is such a small firm.

For context, a week ago I was ready to begin my career in London, and now a week later I've received this offer (which in all honesty I forgot I had applied to) and being told I would have to move country in 3 weeks. I suppose that is where the trepidation is coming from, but both my parents support the decision to move abroad. I suppose like you said I could always move back - either way I don't see myself staying there for more than 2 years, but I suppose that could change. Once again, thank you for the response as I face this crossroad.


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