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

  • I would like to personally thank Ken for all his help in helping me to find a job. On June 1st I was released from my job of 11 years. I was unsure of what my next steps would be. I haven't been through an interview in years and I felt like I was unprepared. Ken took the time to help me step by step. He first gathered all my personal information and work history. He built a resume from all of that information and articulated my accomplishments in a way I never could have. He sent me tips on what to wear, questions to ask, and called after my interviews to see how it went. He gave me support and encouragement when I was at my absolute lowest. I couldn't have asked for a better recruiter! Thank you again Ken! Thanks, Again, KenGeneral Manager, Logan's Road House, Chattanooga TN
  • Ken Schreifels was a great help during the whole process from start to finish. He was with me every step of the way with tips and words of encouragement. If I had any questions or concerns, no matter what time of day it was, he was there to answer it. I would recommend Ken to anyone. Thank you, William  I Would Recommend Ken to Anyone Looking for a New JobGeneral Manager, Fuddruckers, New Jersey
  • David Israel was a pleasure to work with and was instrumental in helping me find an excellent career opportunity .

    David was extremely professional and took the time to really listen to where I was in my career and what I was looking for. As a result of the work he did to connect me with the right opportunity, I was able to obtain a great starting salary and great benefits as well. I would highly recommend David’s services to both job seekers and employers. Josh Axmacher David Israel was a pleasure to work with!
  • Tim was nothing but helpful from the start!

    I was originally contacted by Tim as a reference for someone who used to work for me. He must have recognized that I myself was a good fit, because within a few minutes the conversation turned to me applying for the job.  He was always pushing for me. He was there to help with everything, every step of the way, and was in constant communication. He played a massive role in me landing an amazing job with an even better company. I can't stress enough how awesome this guy was. Tim will coach you through the entire process and be your biggest advocate. He has a lifetime of experience and knows exactly what companies are looking for. A+, 10/10, two thumbs up, 5-stars. Thanks for everything Tim! Brock Kinley Tim was nothing but helpful from the start
  • Tim was very patient and thorough when going through the process of trying to find employment for me and my skills. I appreciate the time and effort he put in for me and I would recommend Tim Walker & Patrice and Associates to anyone looking for great opportunities. Carolyn Floyd Tim was very patient & thorough!