Would you, no matter how desperate your situation maybe refuse to take a job because in your mind it is beneath you? In other words are you a job snob?
This is the latest buzz word being batted around to describe UK’s unemployed youth, namely unemployed graduates. Graduates who would prefer to remain on benefits until a job they feel they are most qualified for appears.
Many of you would be cheering and supporting these actions, how these graduates did not study for 3-4 years for a degree only to take a job that is in no way related to their career path or even requires a degree.
Let’s suspend time for a moment and play devil’s advocate here, yes I know this could result in me being mauled but there are two sides to this coin.
With an already saturated benefits system that is consistently scrutinised and criticised for not adequately supporting those who need benefits, there are those who can and should work but for various reason (in their view justifiable) choose not to. One group of people are the increasing number of unemployed youth. This group can be broken down further into graduates, non graduates, location, sector, industry etc. This one group contains lots of subgroups who are struggling to find suitable employment.
What defines suitable employment to one person may not necessarily be the same to another. A person who has bills to pay, has dependents may take whatever and however many jobs they need to make ends meet. Whereas someone who themselves can survive on benefits yet are still able to maintain an adequate lifestyle and have access to additional support (savings, family) have the luxury to be picky. Unfair, yes but then how does said person explain the gaps on their CV? Are you willing to sit in an interview and say that you had opportunities to work but turned them down as you felt they would be a waste of your time? Time you felt would be better spent looking for a job more suited? Though able bodied you chose to remain on benefits because when you do start working in your dream job you can pay your debt to society? How do you think a potential employer is going to read into this kind of approach?
Some skills can only be taught and learnt by getting out there. Working in a stock room may not be where a marketing graduate thought they would end up. This may not be how you envisioned the start of your career but remember there is more than one path; it’s time to be open minded about things. Some employers are losing faith in the quality of today’s degrees, as well as a solid education they also want to see some initiative and ideally transferable skills. Instead of just looking at the stock room job as it stands think about how you could turn it into a stepping stone. Find out if the company has a marketing department, what do you need to do to get noticed in that department, network.
I’ve discussed some of the reasons for taking a job that you are over qualified for. What about the reasons for staying on benefits until you find a job you are better suited and qualified for.
True to some it makes sense to put all your efforts into finding the right job instead of wasting time in an unsuitable role. A job that isn’t going to benefit you in the long run, a job that will reduce the amount of time you could be spending improving your skills and sending off your CV to potential employers of companies you would like to work for. The question is how long are you willing to keep doing this? For example, you have been following this plan of action for 12 months and still nothing; then what do you do? Do you retrain, take a job that is unrelated to your studies and area of expertise?
Upon leaving university many moons ago, I worked both a full time and a weekend job for at least a year, this was back when the employment market was not in its current state. In that time I met some of the most determined and inspirational people. They weren’t graduates and both jobs were not in the industry I had studied for yet these people had experience and knowledge that only came with time. My friends had similar work ethics, some traveled far in order to work. One friend’s first job as a trainee journalist was £12,000 pa. With the increase in the cost of living the salary for a trainee journalist has improved. The trainee still has to prove themselves, show they are worth being kept on after probation. If you think the life of a journalist is like Lois Lane in Superman then you are in for a shock.
Sometimes it’s better to grit your teeth and get stuck in, see what type of person you really are. Are you the type of person who will work to make things happen or wait till something falls out of the sky into your lap?
You can also find this article on www.jobserve.com.