Tuesday, October 5, 2010

If you have a bad job, keep job hunting (but don't quit the job!)

In relation to my last post on making sure you always have some sort of job, even if it doesn't match your needs, I figured I ought to point out some of the pitfalls of working in a job that is beneath your abilities.

I have a friend who has a pretty bad job, and doesn't get enough hours to support himself. He has mostly quit job-hunting though, because at least he has a job. He's been stuck like this for quite some time. He did the right thing in taking the job, but then he forgot all about finding a better one!

Basically, if your job doesn't meet your needs and skills, you ought to be spending serious time job-hunting every week. As a corollary, if you are spending 80 hours a week at this pretty bad job, you aren't going to have the time or energy for real job hunting. Overtime at a bad job will just burn you out, and make you unable to get anything better. Cut back to a reasonable schedule any way you can, just to have the energy to find a better job.

I think you should only really quit the job if the only way of keeping the job is working lots of overtime for poor pay, since that means it's interfering with your search for the job you really need.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Get a job, any job

I've mentioned this before, but I figure people might be more likely to believe me if I find more people saying the same thing:

Why Hunting for a Great Job Will Hurt Your Career

Full-time job hunting can be a depressing, long-term experience. Even if you have to take a job far below your abilities (and perhaps way below your income requirements), you should always make sure you have some sort of job. Then you can spend your spare time looking for the perfect job.

  • You'll avoid gaps in your resume.
  • There may be quick promotion opportunities at the suboptimal job, if you perform well.
  • There are better networking opportunities interacting with people at a bad job than sitting at home sending e-mails.
  • When you take a job beneath your abilities, you really don't need to treat it like a long-term commitment. Don't feel guilty when a better job comes along.
  • Not having even a bad job can easily lead to depression and feelings of worthlessness, which makes it even harder to get a job.
  • It's possible to waste a lot of time on the Internet. Anyone trying to spend all day job hunting on the Internet is going to get bored and start visiting sites of lower and lower quality while surfing. At the end of the day, you'll have done 30 minutes of job hunting and 8 hours of web surfing. You might as well spend those 8 hours doing actual work instead - and getting paid.
Remember of course that being unemployed can also be a great time to get additional training - even an additional degree, if you have the means.