“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.
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.