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At What Point Do I Take “Any” Job?

tug of warThis is a common question for those who are unemployed and there are other variations of it:

  • When do I start looking for other jobs?
  • How to I implement a Plan B (Plan C or Plan D)?
  • Will it hurt my career to take any job?

The answer to these questions is as individual as you are.  The answer is almost always: It depends on your needs.

The Tough Questions

Can I ask a question though?  What if there wasn’t any unemployment?  What if, the day you left your job you had $0 to live on?  What would you do?  Would there be a different sense of urgency?  Would your priorities change? Honestly, what would you do?

Being in job search erodes self-confidence.  The longer you are out of work, the harder it is to believe in yourself.  And by the way, the harder it is for others to believe in you.  Everyone knows that the last two years have been tough for job seekers and yet we see companies that declare “No Unemployed Need Apply”.  How cruel, you say.  Well, the EEOC is looking into it, never fear (hear the sarcasm?)!

Are the Under-Employed Winners or Losers

I am writing this after having read “Any Hope for the Unemployed 99ers” written a couple of months ago by Brent Peterson (Interview Angel).  We feel sorry for the 99ers.  But who is feeling sorry for the huge number of people who have taken “any” job- the underemployed?   It is estimated that somewhere between 17-20% of the workforce is “underemployed” (The Christian Science Monitor summarizes the BLS data well here). Who’s advocating for them? Well, maybe they don’t need advocates.  Maybe they are the true winners.  They have been lucky enough to secure some type of employment.  Who knows, maybe they are happier than the 99ers.

Now that your blood is boiling (mine too!), over the injustice, the lack of “good paying jobs”, the discrimination, the bureaucracy, what’s to be done?

The New Reality

What I think the last few years have taught me, and I hope others, is to realize and believe that putting all our eggs in one employer basket is so incredibly risky.  We can’t count on a single employer to provide us with a “good job”.  Sure, some are out there.  But we can’t count on it.  We are responsible for our own financial well being.  That includes looking at career management in a new way:

  • Creating multiple income streams
  • Networking all the time
  • Developing and managing a strong personal brand (reputation management)
  • Being pro-active
  • Thinking outside of the traditional employment box
  • Welcoming contract work or project-based work
  • Open to the opportunities of temporary relocation
  • Living well below our means

Wishing things could go back to the way they used to be probably isn’t going to make it happen.  What will it take for you to accept this new way of thinking? If only for a short time.

I don’t think we can hope that Obama or any other President or politician can fix this problem, at least right now.  So can we all buy into the new reality of instability?  What other choice do we have?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eric Derby April 4, 2011, 10:57 am


    In my opinion you left out one of the most important points: Make yourself invaluable!

    Any person that works hard to make themselves the best at getting the job done will find many benefits.

    1) They are the least likely to get laid off
    2) They will get a reputation and people will seek them out when there are new jobs available
    3) They are unemployed for 1/4 to 1/3 of the time of the average worker
    4) Recruiters love to work with people like this
    5) They get more promotions and raises

    And I do not mean to imply that this is an easy thing to do.

    Take for example Hannah who is often writing, posting, and tweeting at 4:30 AM! She works hard, but is well known for what she does!


    • Hannah Morgan April 4, 2011, 4:49 pm

      Make yourself invaluable isn’t easy, but you are correct, it is one of the most important things to do!
      Your 5 points are also valid!
      Thanks for your comment, addition and praise!
      When we talk about “value add” I absolutely think of you!

  • Kristi Enigl April 25, 2011, 1:21 pm

    Great article about the new world we live in today. Thanks for spelling it out…multiple income streams are so important as we move forward. I retweeted this article..thanks Hannah and Eric!

    • Hannah Morgan April 26, 2011, 5:34 am

      Glad to share this info and thank you for tweeting it!

  • Danielle Powers August 10, 2011, 10:11 am

    There is an important word in your title, “Do I Take Any Job.” Guess what that word is, job. If we can push people to understand that they are not doing themselves any harm by working or volunteering and getting themselves out there.

    Just like a job it takes commitment. Is it easy for you to write at 4:30am every day, no. Should everyone be a writer, no. The point is that there are several hours in your day that you need to WAKE UP and start living and contributing, even if it is not financially.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Hannah Morgan August 11, 2011, 4:44 am


      JOB = work = money. That’s it in a nutshell. Sure, it would be great if we could go back and climb the corporate ladder, but you know what? Very few people are able to climb given the limitations of corporations. So I guess we have to reprogram how we look at this. Making money is the name of the game. If that can be done doing something meaningful, all the better.

      Wake up and start living and contributing is THE best reminder. Thank YOU!