Deciding to take a low paying job in order to pay the bills and generate some type of income is a difficult choice. While the benefits of being able to take care of your basic necessities can far outweigh the risks of losing time and momentum in your job search, it still can be hard to know which way to go. But, knowing the risks you face, there are ways that you can find “survival jobs” that can actually help you on the path to finding the right job. If done with some forethought, you can even manage to find an opportunity that will give you great experience and even challenge you in many ways.
Sometimes making the best of a bad situation is your only choice. Putting your ego aside and trying to excel at whatever job you can find while waiting for a better opportunity is the only way that makes sense. The key is to look for ways to do that without becoming bitter, depressed and feeling defeated. Here are some of the ways that you can take a “survival job” without losing steam on your job search:
- Expand your skill sets – Look for jobs where you can learn new skills that will add to your ability to market yourself. For example, if you were a sales manager or a marketing executive, taking a job as a retail clerk of customer service agent can teach you some valuable lessons that you can use in your next job. It also makes it easier to explain why you chose to work in a lower paid position at your next interview.
- Work with your hobbies – There is no point doing something that makes you miserable if you can help it. Think about finding a job doing something that relates to your hobbies and interests. Even if you were a corporate CEO before being laid off, if you are an avid skier, look for jobs in a ski shop. Or, if you love literature, think about working for a local bookseller. By maximizing on your hobbies, you can find a job that will be interesting to you. The bonus here is that in an interview, you can use your current job as a way to share a little about yourself and your hobbies.
- Consider the company – Taking an entry-level job at a company that has positions close to your specialties can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Once you are a company employee, you will have access to information about upcoming job opportunities and you might even be able to get a recommendation from you supervisor.
- Ditch the ego – No matter what type of job you have to take, you need to figure out how to put your ego to bed so that you can do the best work possible for your new employer. It is hard to not have a chip on your shoulder and have a bad attitude when you really don't want to work there. Find a way to enjoy what you do, however humble.
- Don't think it will be easy – Just because it is a “survival job” for you, doesn't mean that you won't have to work hard to get and keep it. Employers don't owe you anything and no matter what your last job was, they aren't going to hire you if you have a bad attitude. Even lower paid jobs have stiff competition and many employers aren't keen on hiring people they know aren't planning to stay. So, be sure to bring your best effort to the application and interviewing process.
- Keep trying to find the job you want – Don't look at the new job as a setback or as defeat. Think of it as an adventure and still keep trying to find the job you really want. It can be easy to fall into a depression and give up hope on your job search. Do whatever it takes to not let this happen.
The old saying is that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. But, it can be hard to do when it feels like you are getting a whole bunch of really sour lemons. Nevertheless, by thinking outside of the box a little, you can find temporary jobs that can keep you challenged, teach you some new skills and even make your more marketable.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.
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