Make More Money or Gain Experience | How to Make the Best Choice

A young specialist always faces the same question - should I take the money and go to a not very pleasant job or gain valuable experience, invest in myself, so to speak. Answering the question briefly, how to make the best choice, be led by money or gain experience, I would answer - to gain valuable experience. For a more detailed answer, I wrote this small post in which I will share my wholesale, my failures and, if I may say so, successes.

Zero Experience

Lack of experience is probably one of the global problems of humanity, along with global warming and ozone holes. Without relevant experience, you can't get a job, and without a job, you can't get experience. This vicious circle is relevant for absolutely all countries, for every corner of the planet.

Work Experince Meme

Work Experince Meme

No matter how great a resume and portfolio you have, most employers look at the line - work experience and see a figure there that is much less than their expectations. So, for example, after graduating from university, I wanted to get a job as a Data Analyst in a small startup. I collected my portfolio on Kaggle for about six months, I met all the requirements specified in the job advertisement, I passed the test task perfectly and talked to the project manager for an interview, but I was refused, because I have absolutely no work experience.

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I was terribly offended because of such injustice, I worked on this for six months, and everything turned out to be in vain. However, this experience was like a cold shower for me after a sauna. I immediately realized that without recommendations and work experience, I am nobody. It must have made me stronger in some way.


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At that time, there was another alternative for me. I would say, temporarily give up, gain experience in another, related specialty in the field of information security. I was invited to one information security audit company right after university - I was noticed at some scientific conference, and they were waiting for my graduation to make an offer. However, the fact is that over time, in this area, I was disappointed, I completely lost interest. At that moment, I was faced with a choice - to gain experience in a field where I am interested, where I want to develop, working for a pittance or even for free, or suffer a year or two at an unloved job, save money and look for a dream job, having the necessary experience.

My Choice

At that time, the situation allowed me to make such a choice. My parents worked, fully provided for the family, and I could afford to gain experience for some time by working practically for free, but doing what in the future will bring me the position that I want, moreover, for which I am ready (except for the experience).

Options Meme

Options Meme

I decided to wait with mountains of gold and thus invest in myself. Working as a Data Analyst without work experience is a fairly monotonous job. Now I will describe what I signed up for. I was engaged in data cleaning almost the entire working day, more precisely, preparing datasets for the work of more experienced specialists. I was also involved in the preparation, modeling of a data set for machine learning.

It sounds fashionable and beautiful, but in fact I prepared images for processing by the algorithm. I colored photographs of people, where each part of the body has its own color. Thus, through the datasets I compiled, artificial intelligence was trained. If to describe the choice I made in one sentence, then it was quite monotonous work. I was also pressured by the fact that, while doing a fairly monotonous job, I did not have enough funds from my monthly salary to move out from my parents. It was depressing, and it felt like I made the wrong choice.


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So I worked for about six months, until one fine day I got tired of doing monotonous work. I myself was already ready to become the one for whom these datasets are being prepared. This is how my conversation with the team lead took place, during which I was given to understand that a more experienced candidate had already come to the vacant position of a data specialist.

What's Next

I quit. The fact is that at the time of my employment in this company, the name of which I will not disclose, because I consider it unethical, it was clearly stipulated that as soon as I gain some official experience, as soon as I get acquainted with the activities of the company, I can apply for the position of junior data analyst. They deliberately forgot about this agreement, deliberately did not mention it, and I left. I went to where they took me with 6 months of experience, my bright portfolio as a Junior Data Analyst, where my diligence and work began to be appreciated.

Resume Meme

Resume Meme

Why did I choose to share this experience? The fact is that after some time I realized for myself that the data sphere, which I so aspired to, where I so wanted to work, that this is not mine. I burned out, always immersed in it and always doing it, I just lost my interest. It was sad and hard, because I preferred to gain experience by working, literally, for a hamburger, and it seemed that I was left with nothing, but this is not so!


Having made the choice in favor of a set of experience, I must say that I made this choice on my own. I myself was on fire with the idea, I was on fire with a career in the field of Data, but I’m glad that I understood this at 22. I’m glad that I didn’t go to endure and accumulate experience in an unloved job, because in this case, already with experience, I would get a job as Data Analyst and I would have been in for the same or even harder disappointment. However, in this case, I would have lost much more time and effort, I would have lost all motivation halfway through.

I made this choice for myself on my own and quickly, tore it off like a band-aid, and I don’t regret it a bit. I immediately realized that it was an illusion for me, what I really didn’t want to do, that in vain I romanticized what I had been preparing for so long. The purpose of this article was just to express one of the opinions about such a frequent question - to earn money or experience first. I hope that I expressed my position clearly. In no case do not take this opinion for granted, make up your own and learn from your own mistakes and do not waste your time.


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