Given the current job market, some of us may find ourselves in a job that we’re overqualified for or one that’s not in our desired industry. As we keep job searching, we resort to jobs that are less stellar than what we had hoped for. When you’re in a job like this, it’s called underemployment. You may feel like being underemployed in a job is a complete waste of your time and that it’s a detour away from your actual career path. That may be true, but the good news is, if you change your attitude about your underemployment, you may be able to enjoy your job and be happy. There are things to be learned at any job, and the skills you learn at your current job- even if you are underemployed- can help you in the future.
Although you find yourself in underemployment, the job you have is still a job. Remind yourself that a lot of people today are still out of work. This is the first step to accepting your current role- even if you are underemployed. Any job, no matter what it is, will teach you about responsibility, leadership and teamwork. If you find this to be an easy job, then step up and bring new creative ideas to the table to make the job more challenging. Look for new ways to improve the way work is done. Being creative and thinking of new ways to improve shows great initiative and leadership. These skills will help you in your future jobs.
You should also remember that you never work alone in a job. Even though you find yourself in underemployment, it’s a great chance to work on your communication skills and create friendships with coworkers and bosses. At the very least, this is good networking. You can expand your network and chances are you probably aren’t the only underemployed person there. You may find others that have similar interests and career pursuits. You can then help each other to make the most of your current underemployment and plan on seeking a job you’re better qualified for together. Remember, two heads are always better than one. It doesn’t hurt to have a helping hand in the job search.
Plan your future and look for ways to turn this underemployment experience into one that will help you land the job you want in the future. Even though you are underemployed, it’s better to have a job on your resume rather than a huge gap of nothing. When you interview for future jobs, they’ll ask you about this current job you have. Come up with ways you can tailor this job experience to pursue the job you desire. Look for the skills that you used whether it was computer skills, communication skills or leadership skills.
Like Yahoo! states, remember to have a good, positive attitude throughout your underemployment. Being the enthusiastic person in any workplace is always a positive. You’ll enjoy your job more and it’ll make the job searching process less burdening. Learning to have a positive outlook is a good skill to learn that will help you in the future. You may have a bad boss or a bad work environment in the future, so learning to cope and make things better now while you’re underemployed will help prepare you for what may come in the future.
Are you currently underemployed and looking for ways out? Let us know about it in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by PatCastaldo