The Job Seeker dilemma is when or if to take a less than ideal job.
Do you want to hold out for the "perfect job". Maybe you've reached the point of asking, "will taking this job at Wal-Mart hurt my career?" If you have been out of work for any length of time, I am pretty sure you are sick and tired of it. You may be wondering "should I hold out" or "Should I sell out"? Before you throw in the towel and take just any job, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Have you been specific about what you are looking for?
In other words, what is the specific job function you've been looking for? Can you name it? Have you been communicating this clearly and confidently to people you know? Do your written materials (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile) support your qualifications and interest in this kind of work? If you've been telling people you are want a new job, period, I'm pretty sure that isn't specific enough for them to be able to help you, nor want to help you.
2. Are you qualified? Is it a realistic option?
If you are a new grad with little work experience, it is pretty doubtful you'll be able to obtain a management or higher level job right off the bat. You usually have to put in the time, really! If you lack certain skills, the degree or certification, this could be more of an obstacle than you think. If you have had interviews and you've been told more than once "You lack XYZ software skills", that's a pretty good sign you are not qualified. Be honest with yourself and assess feedback you've received from interviews and meetings with industry insiders.
3. Have you exhausted all your options?
Have you looked at EVERY company that hires for that job in your area? Have you looked for this job in other cities?
If you've been honest in answering these questions and you still believe you've done everything, then you have a choice. Should you take a job?
- What skills will the job develop?
- What types of people will you meet?
- What special projects or talents might you be able to work on?
- When will you find time to continue to look for the "better job"?
You are not signing a lifetime contract with your next employer and job hopping once or twice isn't such a bad thing today.
When/if you take that job, find ways to make a difference every day. Look for opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. Consider this a form of education. By all means, don't be resentful, negative, or give an air of superiority. Be grateful to have been given a chance.
Having a job, any job, is better than not working. Most employers feel that way.
Who would you rather hire? An Oprah Junkie or a Wal Mart Greeter?