“Should you accept a job you don’t want?”

To most people, the answer is probably pretty straight forward: “If you don’t have a job, you accept whatever comes to your doorstep!”  And to the majority, I don’t blame you for reducing the rationale of answering that question to a one step statement.  The fact of the matter is however, that a person should consider a variety of factors before simply saying “yes” to any employer who waves a job offer in his/her face.

I recognize that in these difficult economic times, it seems that while jobs seem to be available to apply to, job offers simply are harder to come by.  You might think that I’m crazy, but let’s not take my word alone shall we?  Our second opinions for today’s post comes from “Should you accept a job you don’t want” by Sonia Acosta.

#1. The Pigeon Hole

I get it.  You don’t have a job.  Any job seems lucrative at this point.  But hang on there, the question I pose to you is this: “Do you have a dream job that you’re trying to get?”  If you have no idea right now, feel free to move on to the next points.  But if you are, think about the fact that more and more positions these days are asking for X years of experience in the field of interest.  If you get pigeon holed in a dead end career with no chance of transition, what chance do you think you’ll have of ever getting your dream job at age 30 and 7 years of experience in a career you don’t give a shit about?

The Exception: If the job you’re taking (e.g., Customer Service Representative) can help you leapfrog into other positions due to networking and semi-relevant tasks to the field you want, then by all means, take the job.

#2.  Burning Bridges

Acosta brings up a great point here regarding the fact that you don’t want to burn bridges.  As she states, companies invest a lot of money in bringing new employees up to speed (e.g., training and other employees’ time) and are looking for at least a two year commitment.   If you think you’re going to leaving within a few months, I’d reconsider taking the job since it would just end up being a bad mark on your record.   Plus, employers talk to each other more than we’re aware of, imagine if your the hiring manager for your dream job knew the company you left abruptly.   Bad karma.

The Exception: It’s true.  Sometimes we do end up in a position where we’ve only been at a job for a short period of time and we miraculously are offered our dream job.  In that case, while it isn’t the most ideal situation, you have to leave and pursue your goals.  It’s your life after all.  No one is going to give you any brownie points for giving up your dream so some people wouldn’t be mildly offended.

#3. Affordability

Why did I wait till the last point to deal with the one everyone is probably protesting about when I say to not take any job even if your jobless?  The answer is because it’s just not as simple as “needing money.”   Acosta brings up the point that if the job is extremely intensive and your entire life is thrown out of balance because the 40 hour job actually requires 60 hours and pays you on a salary basis with no bonus potential, it might not be worth it.  There are many factors that come into play when accepting a job, and you have to weigh all the variables when making your decision.  After all, why accept a job to support a life that you don’t find is worth living?

The Exception: If you have a family that your supporting (and particularly kids), you absolutely must take whatever job comes your way.  I don’t care if your dream job is being a computer technician and all that’s available to you is a job where you stare at oranges to ensure that the juice comes from concentration.  Your duty is to your family.  (I’m not proposing that you give up on your dream, but you’ll need to take a different route than the one I’m suggesting in this post.  More on this at another time).

Fact of the matter is that there is no clear cut answer to whether you should take a job (unless you are the bread winner for your family, to which I reiterate that you take whatever comes your way).  Although it may be tough to stomach turning down a job, try and remember the big picture and the long term effects that come with rash or poor decisions made out of desperation.

If anyone would like me to help weigh in on a decision like the one we discussed today (or any others for that matter), feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email and I’d be more than happy to help out.

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11 responses to ““Should you accept a job you don’t want?””

  1. Stephanie says :

    I really enjoyed your post! I think it’s really hard to pick a path – especially when you are unsure of what positions will be beneficial for you in your future, or if you simply aren’t being offered any jobs.

    It’s difficult to be unemployed, as you said, but it’s more than just a monetary issue. Being unemployed is damaging to your self-esteem. I read an article a couple of weeks ago that said the only thing that causes more grief than unemployment is losing a spouse. That’s pretty powerful. Also, the longer you are unemployed the less likely you are to find a position. It’s really a catch-22.

    • BreakingNorms says :

      Hmm… you do address a couple points that I think are very important. The emotional drain of being unemployed is certainly something I did not give enough credit to. I will be sure to address this in the near future. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Eric H says :

    Maybe the question is how will you know that you will be happy in your dream job? No offense to anybody’s dream job, but I believe to some respect that dream jobs are meant to stay as so-called ‘dream’ jobs. Until you actually try that job through maybe an internship or through some kind of experience, how will you really know that you would be happy doing that job? Many people say and believe their dream job is to become a lawyer or doctor, but how many of them have tried it and know that they would be happy doing that everyday of their life?

    As you know, I personally used to want to do engineering because I thought it would be cool to invent and build stuff. Technically you could say it would be a dream job for me to get paid well to build/invent cool stuff like Thomas Edison and Tesla. But I tried stuff like InvenTeam and tried building a laser harp and I realized it wasn’t something I wanted to do everyday.

    We’re always told to treasure the present and enjoy where we are and everything around us. We all ‘know’ this, but following it is always a different story. Shoot, I realized recently that not too long ago I was in the 4th grade wanting to be in middle school and then I was in the 7th grade wanting to be in high school and then I was wishing to be in college and the other day I was wishing I had a job and a house and everything. In the end, I realize that only by going through sh*t at the moment will I stop wishing to skip ahead to the future where the same thoughts repeat over and over. Of course, that’s why I’m here instead of studying for my exams.

    -eric

  3. BreakingNorms says :

    You bring up an excellent opposing view. I would say that it’s not necessarily that “dream jobs” are supposed to be “dream jobs.” I think when it comes to defining a “dream job,” one could define it either as a lofty view of what one thinks they will become (e.g., as you pointed out, doctor, lawyer, etc) or a job that would make someone deliriously happy.

    As you point out, it’s really hard to say whether or not your “dream job” will be something you actually enjoy doing 40 hours a week for the rest of your life. But that’s why I would pose that it’s important you discover your passion before determining/searching for your so called dream job. At least if you know what your’e passionate about, finding a dream career is easier. After all, most people dream of being a doctor or lawyer because it makes a lot of money, not because it’s something they’re necessarily passionate about.

    And to your point about being in the present, you are absolutely correct. People need to start living in the now, the present, this moment. Otherwise, life will pass us by so quickly we won’t even realize it until it’s too late.

    Thanks for a really insightful comment. Hope to see more comments from you in future posts!

  4. Jo-z Schwartz says :

    This post really resonates with me. I’m current living the subject of this post. It’s tough to hold out for meaningful employment, passing up other opportunities to make a living—especially with the holidays right around the corner.

    Another good post, dude. I really liked the line, “… why accept a job to support a life that you don’t find is worth living?” It reminded me why I’m holding out.

  5. Karl Khatib says :

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

  6. Laveta Delonge says :

    I genuinely appreciate your piece of work, Great post.

  7. Karissa Lenze says :

    Thank you so much for giving my family an update on this theme on your site. Please be aware that if a brand new post appears or in the event any adjustments occur to the current article, I would consider reading more and finding out how to make good using of those tactics you reveal. Thanks for your efforts and consideration of people by making this web site available.

    • BreakingNorms says :

      Your welcome! You should check out some of my posts of being a fighter and having a proper vision or goal in mind when trying to move forward. I look forward to hearing more from you!

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