Working a Survival Job

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Your unemployment benefits have run out and there aren’t anymore extensions going to be granted. Your savings are gone and the bills are starting to pile up. Now what? Should you take a survival job to tide you over until something else comes along? The main reason people take survival jobs is income. Sometimes it’s easier to find permanent work in your chosen field if you can show a potential employer that you are working somewhere doing something! So until the job as sales manager comes along here’s some advice to help.


  • Choose a survival job you enjoy: If you enjoy gardening, for example, see if the local gardening shop is hiring. If you’re working at something you hate, it will show in your work and your demeanor. If you feel it’s beneath you, then that will show up too. However, if you can add a new skill, it can actually add to your marketability. You’ve never worked up close with people before? Now’s your chance to sharpen those skills.


  • Make time to job search: Don’t work so many hours that you are too exhausted to look for other jobs in your field. Try to make your survival job on evenings and weekends so you can use your days for searching and interviews.


  • Personal pride: Most of us have a strong work ethic and even a basic job makes us feel worthwhile. It makes us feel proactive and inspires confidence by being back in the work force. Also a lot of potential employers have respect for workers who will work any job to support their family.


  • Healthcare: Some survival jobs have healthcare benefits, which would help if your family doesn’t have them. Some companies such as Starbucks, may offer benefits such as domestic partner coverage, adoption assistance, prescription drug coverage and stock options based on the plan you choose and the number of hours you work. Home Depot benefits could include medical coverage, short term disability insurance and dental plans.


  • Competition: Because of the economy, the competition for jobs, even survival jobs is stiff. You need to be prepared with a strong resume and a positive attitude. Be confident but not cocky. Your interviewer will be trying to figure out three things concerning who they hire: Are you capable of doing the job? How will you fit in with the other employees? Will you cause any upheaval or problems? You can answer these questions in a mature way that will counteract the idea that you could be overqualified.
Put your ego away and do the best job you can do at the survival job until the job you want comes along. After all, isn’t it better to be employed at something than not be employed at all?
Your input is always welcome!
By Linda Lee Ruzicka
Linda Lee Ruzicka lives in the mountains of Western PA , happily married and with her 8 cats and three dogs. She has been published in Twilight Times, Dark Krypt, Fables, Decending Darkness, Writing Village, June Cotner anthology, The Grit, Reminisce , the book, Haunted Encounters: Friends and Family. She is a Affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association She also does freelances work for Beyond and for Salesheads. More of her blogs can be found at Salesheads blog.

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