Have you ever been at a point where you’re ready to take any job out of desperation – regardless whether it’s the right fit?
There’s no doubt that job-hunting in this economy can be challenging and bills must be paid, however conducting a job search from a place of fear rather than strength doesn’t always add up to success or satisfaction in the workplace.
Casting Too Wide A Net
A number of coaching clients in “I’ll-take-any-job” mode have expressed an interest in applying for a variety jobs – some in completely different career tracks. One client proposed applying for a Marketing, Human Resources and Development position all within the same organization.
Strategy #1: Focus – I encourage you to take the time to evaluate the best career match for your core competencies and experience. Staying in your own career lane helps you focus your energy more efficiently and make the most of your job search.
Strategy #2: Empower Your Network –Your personal and professional contacts will have a much easier time helping you connect with job leads if you’re focused about the type of job you want. The more specific you can be with your network – the better.
Taking Menial Work
Some clients declare, “I’ll take anything!” – even if it’s low paying, and they’re considerably over-qualified.
Strategy #3: Weigh Pros and Cons – Before you reach for the barista apron or accept an hourly or clerical position for which you’re over-qualified, I urge you to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it’s truly worth your time. Keep in mind that time spent working a lower-paying/ more menial job is time that could be invested finding a higher paying job in your area of interest – paying you higher dividends in the long run. If you must go the menial job route, make sure you’ll have the time to keep on prospecting for a job in your wheelhouse.
Golden Handcuffs Syndrome
Some coaching clients have reported that, since they didn’t have a strong sense of what they wanted to do early in their careers, they took the first job that came along because “it paid well”, and because they were afraid nothing better would come their way. Due to their current lifestyle and responsibilities, many of these women are now wrestling with the “golden handcuffs” – feeling stuck in unfulfilling careers and scared to change for fear of losing financial security.
Strategy #4: Plan of Action – Developing a career action plan early on in your career—where you assess your talents and strengths, set goals for where you want to take those strengths, then figure out how to get there—makes it less likely that you’ll be tempted to “take just any job”.
You may decide to change careers more than once in your lifetime, so keep revising that career plan. The better you know yourself and what you want at the time you make each career move, the less likely you are to have regrets later.
Wherever you are in your career evolution, I encourage you to approach your search from a place of strength, rather than desperation. By basing your search on your talents and abilities, you increase your chances of landing a job where you can build a foundation of success.