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

  • Ms. Ross was great!

    First and foremost, I want to thank Carla Ross for helping me get the opportunity I was looking for. I was looking for a good job back in my home town and she definitely delivered. She was so nice and professional, and she made the process so fast and easy. I also love the fact she checked on me after I got hired.   Shareef Phillips Ms. Ross was great!
  • James was a true professional! 

    From to the first time we spoke, he knew the right questions to ask to help me refine my presentation.  He kept me informed every step of the way of my interview process and followed up after my employment started.  He deserves all my thanks.
    Jeremy Slade
    James was a true professional!
  • Working with David at Patrice and Associates was an excellent experience!

    David is super professional and really took a lot of time to talk with me, get to know what my needs are and match me with the best possible position. I always received speedy replies to any questions I had, and he was always accessible and accommodating to me throughout the process. I highly recommend working with this group for your needs, and would happily work with them in the future should I ever look for new opportunities. Thank you, Johnny Morgan Working with David at Patrice and Associates was an excellent experience!
  • Margo was fantastic!

    Throughout the process, she was able to get and keep me prepared and ready to answer any questions or curveballs that came my way.  I was better prepared during this interview process than I have ever been before.  A normally stressful process was made less so thanks to Margo.  She was the one that initially brought the opportunity to my attention and was there every step of the way to ensure I was successful.
    Thank you,
    Adam Saia
    Margo was fantastic!
  • I would like to say thank you for this great opportunity and helping me with the next mile stone on my career path.

    At first when I received the email I was uncertain that this would work. Upon talking to Michelle I discovered that not only was she really nice, but also quite resourceful. I started the process on a Tuesday and literally one week later I was offered a job on the spot, thanks to all of her assistance. We talked and I was able to be open with her.  She was able to put me in the mindset of my now area manager to go over what to say and do, and what to leave out during the interview. We went over resumes and she showed me how to improve mine so that I stood out. Overall if I ever had to do this again I would gladly work with Michelle but I’m secure in my career path.  Thanks again to Patrice and Associates, and Michelle! Keyona Ellis