Is it really true that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job already?
Maybe, maybe not. I suspect the truth is that it SEEMS easier to find a job when you already have a job. Time distorts many things, and that applies to job hunting.
So should you get a Stop Gap Job?
The easy answer – totally your choice because the key thing to member here is that it doesn’t matter if you do or you don’t get a stop-gap job, the key is to understand yourself and how you will respond to being in a stop-gap role as opposed to how you will feel having no job to go to for a while.
For example, you may be the type of person who convinces themselves to take a stop-gap job and you will still be there in 4 years time. Hating it or enjoying it but trapped because you like the security…you won’t have used the stop-gap job as a stop-gap….more like a safety blanket.
So, before you think about to get a stop-gap job or not ask yourself these questions:
- Can you afford to not get a stop-gap job?
- What are you trying to achieve with a stop-gap job – is it to pay the bills, try something new, get another skill set, enter a company you want to work with at a lower level so that you can work your way up the ranks?
- How committed will you be to find a job once you already have one?
- What’s your long-term plan for your career?
- Would you be better using this time as a sabbatical and doing something totally different?
- Do you want to go back to school, learn new skills?
- What financial security do you have?
- Does the quality/type/nature of the stop-gap job add or detract from your CV?
All things to think about.
Being unemployed has no shame attached to it what so ever, certainly no employer will regard your unemployed state as anything other than a reflection on the economy, your industry, and let’s face it, they will be interviewing you because they are looking for someone like you!
However not all job seeker understand this on an emotional level. Therefore I would ask you to take the next point very seriously.
If your self-worth is attached to your role and your job, then not having a job can impact on your confidence, mental attitude and emotional well-being, ability to function and ability to muster the drive to get a job worth having. This is a vicious circle to be avoided at all costs.
So getting a stop-gap job may help you maintain your sense of worth and value in the economic environment, as long as it’s the right kind of job. Get too low a level stop-gap job and you may well find yourself in the same situation as outlined above – feelings of low self-worth.
Alternatively, have a project. Whether that is to learn a new skill, related or unrelated you can still demonstrate to a future employer that you used your time wisely, it may be to decorate the house, get fit, visit friends and family overseas, learn a new language. Whatever it is, it keeps you focussed, you get a sense of progress, contribution and learning. It may be as simple as helping out at a home, being a volunteer dog walker, volunteer conservationist…whatever fulfils your soul and makes you happy and contributes to maintaining a sense of purpose until the perfect job comes up.
However, getting a stop-gap job can be a blessing in disguise – you move in different circles, see things from a different point of view, increase your social mobility, build new networks, it can give your brain time to breathe, bring in enough cash so you can afford not to get stressed about the bills or eating into savings…and after all may lead to something entirely new, exciting, unplanned and a total joy….being open to new experiences is the key to growing, learning and building the best outcome with the opportunities available to you today…
Get a stop-gap job…don’t get a stop-gap job….only you know what’s best for you, only you know what you will do if you do get a stop-gap job, and only you will know what you will do if you don’t….
From an employers point a view – long stretches of time without focus/activity/reasons can be disconcerting to see on an applicants CV, and tough for the job seeker to explain, so if you do see a chance that you will be job seeking for a while then have something credible to explain what you got up to during that time and make sure it’s positive.
Having a stop-gap job is easier to explain than long gaps – HOWEVER – make sure your stop-gap job doesn’t completely derail your career plans and can be explained in such a way as it demonstrates your work ethic, need to be busy and contributing, self-sufficient and keen to learn new skills as opposed to ‘I got desperate’
Having a stop-gap job won’t stop you finding and securing your perfect job….
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