Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Underemployed? How to Find a Job You Deserve

You’ve worked hard and you have the degree to prove it. Yet the job you finally found out of college isn’t the career starter you hoped for. It sounds like you might be underemployed and you’re not alone. A recent survey discussed by the BBC showed the number of underemployed graduates has nearly doubled to 10,000 in the last five years. Closer to home, 1.5 million degree-holders under 25 are having a hard time finding good jobs. Of that number, nearly half were underemployed. If you’re in the underemployed boat, you have a lot of shipmates.

So how do you abandon ship? Most underemployed graduates took their job in order to nab a steady paycheck while they continued to look for the job of their dreams. The only problem is this dream job hasn’t materialized and it’s often easy to get complacent in the here and now. You’ve worked too hard and invested too much to give up on career success.

Here are some tips for leaving your paycheck job and starting your real career:

Become a Jet Setter
You’ve been looking in your career field for great positions but you’ve had no luck. This doesn’t mean there are no positions to be had anywhere. It just means there might not be any positions in your hometown. Maybe it’s time to open up the search and look in far-flung destinations. This is your career, after all, so it’s no time to be a couch potato!

Applying for positions outside your geographical area shows just how committed you are to finding a great job. The tools on the Internet make it easier than ever before to find and apply for these great positions. Even international jobs can be a great opportunity for the right motivated job hunter. Using, you can have a great interview with companies all over the world without having to pack your bag.

Volunteer and Intern
You’ve graduated and you’re currently underemployed in an industry which has nothing to do with what you went to school for. You’re applying for jobs, but all of these positions want you to have some relevant work experience. What are you to do? Volunteering or interning could be the answer. Neither of these actions are going to nab you big bucks, and in fact you’ll most likely be giving away your time and energy for free.

So why do it? There are several reasons. If you intern or volunteer in your industry you’ll be developing relevant work skills you can list on a resume or job application. Now you have more experience and your resume has a better chance of avoiding the weeding out process.

Interning or volunteering will also give you a good opportunity to network with those in your chosen field. These people might be willing to give you a job down the line, or at least know of someone else who’s hiring. Use this time to build up your skills and your networks, instead of just languishing at a job you hate.

Develop Your Online Portfolio
One of the first things recruiters and hiring managers do in our new digital age is look up prospective applicants in search engines. They’ll be looking at your Internet footprint. This includes everything from your Facebook page, to your blog posts and social media profiles.

Make these searches work for you, instead of against you. If you develop a well-rounded, professional online presence, then recruiters will be impressed by what they see. Clean up your online space so it’s something you want to show off, not hide. In this digitally-driven age, a good online portfolio is more powerful than an empty Internet search.

Never Give Up
It’s easy to get discouraged in the job hunt and just throw in the towel. After all, you do have a job, even if it’s one far below your skill level. Why keeping looking when so many other people don’t even have a paycheck coming in? Never stop trying to find yourself the best possible position. It’s your career and no one else can make it happen but you. With online video technology making it easier to find opportunities in far-flung locales, you don’t even have the excuse of a weak job market in your town. Keep at it and eventually you’ll find a job that actually inspires you, uses your skills and that you deserve!

What are some ways you plan to find the job you deserve? Share in the comments!

Image Courtesy of CenterforCollegeAffordability.

Spark Hire Team