There are most certainly jobs available right now. Just not the ones you want. For the next year, things don't look like they are going to get any better.
The NYTimes had an interesting article on how the numbers of job losses over the past year may have been incorrectly estimated. This all goes to prove that we are certainly not out of the woods yet.
Some of the worst hit by the job losses over the past year are mid to senior level managers…those making $60K+ a year. It is also this group of people who are ill-prepared to seek employment. They have not had to search in a while. A large number of them also are 50+ years of age. Their values, dreams and goals did not include looking for work at this point in their lives.
I still contend their are jobs out there. However, I do realize that they may not pay what the mid to senior level managers used to make.
If one job isn't enough to pay the bills, then take two!
Or, you could continue to collect your entitled unemployment insurance.
Being employed is 100 times better than not being employed. And it doesn't really matter what you are employed doing. It just feels good to have someplace to go and something to do.
Take a job or two, just for the next year. You can still pursue jobs in your chosen career, it just requires more effort.
No, this will not necessarily hurt your career. We are in unprecedented times and most, if not all, HR and Hiring Managers understand that. If you can speak to what you learned and the accomplishments you had during your "off employment" term and how you benefited from the experience, you should be fine!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.