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.

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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • David Hotovy was amazing in every way possible. 

    First off, I would like to say Thank you for all the support and help landing a spot for me.  We kept in contact everyday whether we were talking about family or work.  Even after the prospected new job kept us hanging, after we thought we landed it, he was there to make sure my mind was still right.  I actually want to work with him and the company now lol.  He stayed focused on finding me a spot and telling me that I have everything companies need.  To his Boss as well, to going to bat for me. I feel I made a new friend.  I don't know if there is anymore that I can say, I would love to do more for the company so your whole team is recognized.  I deal with businesses and customers a lot and this was by far the best customer experience I've ever had!  I thought I was the best!! If there is anything I can do for David and your company let me know.
    Cheers,
    Steven King
    David Hotovy was amazing in every way possible
  • Colleen Casey went above and beyond. 

    Colleen Casey of Patrice & Associates helped me obtain a Payroll position.  She helped build my confidence and mentored me through the interview process.  In my past career searches I have worked with other career agencies and never experienced the service I received working with Colleen.  She became my mentor with building up my confidence and how to go about interviewing for the company I have accepted my current position.  I would recommend the company, but would definitely tell anyone to contact Colleen if they are looking for a new position in the future.

    Thank you,

    Dorinda Sperry

    Colleen Casey went above and beyond
  • Corina Mack was wonderful to work with. 

    She was easy to speak with during the interview process and gave helpful tips. She was diligent with her follow-ups and very responsive to my calls/emails.  I would absolutely work with Corina again!
    Thank you!
    Amanda
    Corina Mack was wonderful to work with
  • Darryl is my Coach Angel. I'm very thankful to have been reached out to for this job.  At the same time I received the call I was just listening to something and then I received the call from Darryl and things were answered.  I'm even receiving more money than my last management job ( WOW ).  Thanks again, you all changed the game for me.           Sincerely, RASHEDA KEITH Darryl is my Coach Angel
  • Corina Mack was amazing!  

    She communicated well throughout the interview process and understood my goals and expectations of the job position.  She did a great job of connecting me to what the company was looking for in the VP of Operations position.  This gave me ability to be well prepared for my interviews.   Not only would I recommend Corina, but planning on using her in my new role to continue to staff accordingly.
    Thank you,
    Pete Hodges
    Corina Mack was amazing!