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It’s a Dirty Job, But…
by Deborah Millhouse

I recently read a wonderful article in Inc. Magazine on the dilemma of hiring for a position no one wants to take. It made me start thinking, If it truly is a job that nobody wants, what would my advice be for a person who can’t seem to find a job? Should they apply anyway?

As the article states, it is a job, after all. When you don’t have one, you want one, and many times don’t care what that job entails, as long as its description includes a steady paycheck. Many people feel the tired resignation of an arranged marriage with jobs like this: “Well, I guess I can learn to love it.” You do not, however, want to take a job that will not help you – and which in fact may hinder you – in getting the job or career you really want. Moving backwards or downwards by taking a job for which you are overqualified or in which you are uninterested will ultimately hurt your work ethic, your drive for success and your résumé.

There are also those who say, “Well, I’ll just take the job for now, and if I don’t like it, I’ll quit.” Many times, however, those are the same people who stay in the same position for years because they feel obligated to remain at that job, having taken it in the first place. The fact of the matter is that, in the end, you are your only agent in the working world. You have to be willing to tell yourself that, in any situation, you are not a slave. You are a free agent in a rapidly changing job market. You have to have the confidence to look out for yourself, because there will always be situations in which no one else will do it for you.

So as you continue your job search, remember that your career should be more than just a job. It should be something you love to do. Don’t be passive in your search, only checking and for jobs that companies post. Make a list of places where or industries in which you want to work. Call those companies and ask specifically about job openings they have or may have in the short future. Let them know you want to do the work required. The rest will take care of itself.

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