Handling Job Offers Beneath Your Experience
As a career coach I often am asked “What should I do if I am offered a job that is beneath my experience and skills?” “Do I hold out because the job market is improving or do I accept the job offer and get back to work?”
There are pros and cons to accepting a job at a lower level of responsibility and income. Hiring authorities understand that this has been a very difficult job market and many people accept a job to earn an income until they can find employment suitable to their experience and skills.
The negatives of under-employment are your current salary is lower, your level of responsibility is lower and this job will be listed on your resume. You also have less time to conduct a full time search if you are under-employed. The positives often outweigh the negatives and include: income, interaction with other people who are working, the ability to add to your professional and personal network and the ability to quickly move up the ranks based on your experience and skills.
Here are a couple of success stories of candidates who accepted positions that were beneath their level of experience:
- An unemployed electrician decided to drive a cab while job searching. He drove the cab for eight months before he was offered a job by one of his passengers, who just happened to own one of the largest construction companies in Florida.
- Another candidate decided to work at a coffee shop because she was bored and had been unemployed for over a year. She had a regular customer who ended up being the CEO of a major corporation located close to the coffee shop. After several conversations, he shared his business card and she is currently working as a VP of Marketing for one of their largest divisions. This opportunity was a step up for her from her prior Director of Marketing position including a raise in income. They didn’t even consider what she was earning at the coffee shop.
Many holiday positions turn to full time employment and temp and contract opportunities turn into full time careers. Jobs have also been created around individuals who accepted an entry level position, only to be noticed by executives who wanted to better utilize their talents. If you are financially solvent and conducting your job search 40 hours a week, under-employment may not be a good idea for you. If this does not describe your current situation, this is something you may want to consider.Back