Should I just take any job while I’m waiting for the right job?
There’s no doubt this is a tricky question but like any tricky question, the answer depends on you and your personal circumstances.
If you have financial obligations or you have people (like children) who depend on you, your position will be different to someone who has no financial commitments and is living at home with their parents.
As the old saying goes, “needs must” – so if you have to take a job that's at a different grade or industry, or doesn’t meet your expectations about where you’d like to be in your career but it pays the bills, then that’s your answer - go straight to point 4 below!
If there’s no immediate, urgent financial imperative to take a job, then your approach might be different. Here are some things to consider.
1. Remove the fear from your decision-making. Fear sounds like this: “If I say no, what if nothing else comes along?” Or “What if this is as good as it gets?”.
It can be hard to set fear aside, especially if you’ve been conscientious, hard-working, loyal, and committed to doing the best job possible.
2. Be clear-minded about why you want the job. Your initial reaction might be “Yay, they want me” – however it’s vital to shift quickly to “But do I want this?” Winning a job offer can be flattering to the ego, but might not work in your best interest over time.
3. Know your goal. Ask yourself “Does this role get me the outcome I want? Will it move me closer to what I truly want?” It’s important to understand where you’re going in the medium term – you’re the only one who knows what this looks like. If you’re looking to grow your career, base your decision on what will help you achieve your goal.
4. Recognise it for what it is – a job. It’s not a lifelong commitment! It’s okay if it’s not your dream job right now – you can learn from all jobs and there’ll be skills you can transfer.
If you want to build up your bank balance while you’re waiting for something more suitable to come along, that makes every bit of sense. Just make sure you allocate a bit of time and energy into looking for that ‘more suitable’ role. Stay connected with your network, and keep looking for something that will inspire you.
At Project Displaced, we’ve heard of many situations where highly qualified people – including pilots, project managers, business specialists – have taken on work like reception, hospital porters, and other warehousing. Does that change their goals? No, they still have their skills and experience, but they also have bills to pay, a roof to keep over their head, and their children fed. And they have their ears open for other new opportunities that might lead them closer to their goal.
All jobs, like all relationships, ebb and flow constantly. Good times and difficult times, opportunities and times where you’re treading water. A job might be good for the short term, but not for the long term. So it’s important to keep a clear head and make a decision based on what is right for you right now – while keeping your eyes and mind open.
While Covid has brought many of us to our knees, it’s not the end of your opportunities – and this is true no matter what age you are.
Most of all, know you can count on us at Project Displaced to help you through these times. Check out how we can support you.