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

  • Corina was wonderful to work with.

    She was very persistent and even convinced me to take the second interview, after I had accepted another offer. It was well worth it to me. I am very excited to get started in this new position. Brian Willis Corina was wonderful to work with.
  • Corina helped me find a new position in my chosen field.

    The process was efficient, enjoyable and achieved the outcome I was looking for. I'm thankful I was able to work with Corina through this process, and would recommend her to anyone. Brad Stoffel Corina helped me find a new position in my chosen field.
  • Matthew Lopez gave me a top-notch professional customer service experience.

    Not one time through the whole process of getting me on board with a potential work opportunity did he fail to follow up and deliver. When the first company didn't work out, he followed up immediately with another opportunity. In addition, Matt helped me through each step of the process of interviews and on job evaluations. He is persistent, consistent, well spoken, and he really took time out of his day to follow up, coach, motivate, and lead me in the right direction. His work anniversary has just come and he deserves every ounce of success and happiness because I can tell that he loves what he does and he makes sure that he delivers the best customer service experience. Richard Ford   Matthew Lopez gave me a top-notch professional customer service experience.
  • Matt is focused and understanding in what I was looking for and spent time with me and my references to ensure I was able to land something that I was looking for. Damien Coughlin Matt is focused and understanding
  • Milton is an amazing mentor and coach.

    I really can’t thank him enough for his genius care and advice. He gave me confidence by giving me tips and talking points for my interviews and by reminding me to stay true to myself because I have the talent and drive to snag any opportunity that comes my way.

    I am extremely grateful for you Milton! Thank you for believing in me.

    Michael Raney

    Milton is an amazing mentor and coach