Is any job you have a good job? Strictly speaking, at times it’s better to be underemployed than unemployed. With a job at least you have income and some security, and you can learn professional skills in many jobs- even if it isn’t your dream job. However, the answer to this question lies in a balance of knowing your personal needs and your future goals, and then seeking and accepting jobs in a fashion which reflects those. Just earlier Spark Hire discussed how to choose good side jobs, so let’s tackle the other question of whether any old job is a good job to have.
Let’s take a few examples first:
Job Seeker Q majored in Communications and is looking for his first job. His dream job is to work as a sports broadcaster on a national television network. He’s completed an internship at a local radio station where he read sports stats on the air. Q is an average job seeker. He’s posted his resume on Spark Hire, is connected to professionals from his internship on LinkedIn, and scans the Sunday newspaper for job postings as part of his job search. He’s sent his resume and cover letter to a number of news stations around the area and called their Human Resources department to ask about positions. It seems that while the stations are hiring, they’re looking for someone with 2–4 years of experience in the industry, and they won’t consider job seekers with less.
Q is discouraged in his job search. Where does he go for the experience? What kind of job can he take that will help him move forward? While he might take a job in the mail room at the news station, he probably would not accept a position as a manager at the local Recreation League. Though the jobs both pertain to his dream job, they may not lead down the same career path, and with a clear one in mind, he wouldn’t take just any job.
Now take Job Seeker K, who has a general idea of where she’d like to be in five years. Unlike Q, she hasn’t applied to jobs within a specific industry. Instead, she’s letting her job search be driven by the availability of openings. She’s also searching the Sunday paper and has posted her resume on Spark Hire. In addition, she’s applied at a temp agency for clerical positions. When a position as a copywriter for the local news station becomes available, she applies and follows up. When the temp agency calls her with a front desk job at a factory that creates parts for self-assembled furniture, she applies. For this job seeker, yes, any job is a good job. She is focusing more on income and experience, whereas Q is focused on the end goal of a spot on national television. Both career paths are feasible and admirable; but different focus and different drive causes these individuals to answer the question differently.
The long and short is this: it is admirable to have clear career goals and a dream job, and to steer toward that horizon. However, when there are bills to be paid and food to be bought to fill your fridge, any job can be good job, within reason. Never discount the myriad of skills you can learn and develop, the networking you can accomplish, and the opportunities which you may not have known existed before you took the job that seemed at first glance like “any job.”
How would you answer this question? Is any job a good job to you? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by AG Gilmore