Unemployed? Any Job is Better Than No Job

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I’m not a full-time blogger. I’d love to be, but for now, I write at night and on the weekends. I currently work a day job as a recruiter for a national staffing company. Some might call it a career. I spend my days on the phone talking to prospective and past consultants, looking at…

I’m not a full-time blogger. I’d love to be, but for now, I write at night and on the weekends. I currently work a day job as a recruiter for a national staffing company.

Some might call it a career. I spend my days on the phone talking to prospective and past consultants, looking at resumes, and getting lots and lots of e-mail.

It is from this unique position that I get to see a small section of the economy – who is hiring and firing in our area. I speak to both employed and unemployed individuals every day.

Some people are looking for a career change. Others are looking for a paycheck. The job market is also changing, with a big increase in freelance and part-time jobs.

Depending on your situation, you may be better off taking a job to keep your skills fresh and continue earning revenue.


Unemployed? Take Any Job!

I’ve been recruiting for three years now and it never ceases to amaze me to hear the responses we get from some unemployed individuals that we call regarding open positions.

When you call these people you can hear the TV on in the background. I imagine them sitting in their underwear eating Cheetos. “Nah, that’s not for me”, they say. I sigh and hang up the phone.

There is a multitude of reasons to not turn down a potential job opportunity.

Unemployment Will Run Out. For starters, you are unemployed. You shouldn’t turn down anything. Those unemployment benefit checks will not last forever.

Taking a Job Avoids a Huge Gap on Your Resume. For those in the professional workforce having a big gap on your resume doesn’t look good to prospective employers. In the past, having a six-month gap would be a very bad sign. Times were good. Why couldn’t you get a job?

Employers are a little more understanding these days with the recession we are all living through. Nonetheless, the smaller the gap on your resume the better. Get back into the workforce as soon as possible and avoid a huge gap on your resume.

A Potential Job Isn’t Guaranteed to Work Out. Just because a recruiter or human resource representative is calling you doesn’t mean you’ve got the job. You still have to interview and compete with other candidates. Holding out for the “right job” doesn’t guarantee you will be selected to interview for that job.

Your Emergency Fund Won’t Last Forever. If you’ve been reading Cash Money Life for some time you’ve picked up on the idea that you need an emergency fund. If you lose your job you can rely on unemployment and your emergency fund. But your emergency fund will run out eventually.

If I lost my job I would be willing to take just about anything to help pay my monthly expenses and stretch out my emergency fund. If this meant working at a home improvement store for $10 per hour I would do it (and work 80 hours per week!).

If it meant joining a landscaping crew and working out in the heat I would do it. You should have the same mentality.

You Can’t Recover Lost Income. This is the biggest reason of all you should never turn down a potential job. The income you are missing out on today by being unemployed can never be recovered. Ever.

The Changing Job Force: The Rise of Temps, Freelancers, and Adjuncts

The recent recession has changed the make-up of the workforce. Since the recession, there has been a rise in temp jobs, freelancing jobs, and adjunct professor jobs.

If you are looking for a job, it’s a good idea to consider the realities of the new job market.

Employers Look for Less Expensive Workers

Employers are looking for ways to cut costs, and less expensive workers are in demand right now. As a result, there has been a recent increase in recession jobs: freelance jobs, temp jobs, and even adjunct faculty positions.

Each type of job has its own benefits for employers, but probably the big one is this: Employers don’t have to provide benefits for freelancers, temporary workers, and adjunct faculty. That represents huge savings.

Other savings, such as reductions in overhead costs such as office space, might also be realized.

For regular employees, this can be a problem. Jobs come with less security, and you might find yourself let go in favor of someone who can do your job — even remotely — at a lower cost to your employer.

While not all jobs are in danger this way, some jobs could be. It might be time to review your skills and figure out how you can be of value in the new economy.

How You Can Benefit from New Job Trends

With employers on the lookout for less expensive employees, this might be your chance to find a little work or to develop a side hustle for a little extra income. One industry that is really exploding right now is freelance work online.

Technology has made it possible for many people to work from home, and the rise of the Internet has created whole new career fields. As a freelancer, you can provide your services on a time schedule that works for you. In some cases, it is possible to take your freelancing side hustle full time.

Some popular side-hustles that have the potential to produce solid income are Lyft and VIPKids (a premium tutoring service that allows tutors to teach English from the comfort of their own homes).

If you have been laid off, and have had trouble finding a job, you might sign up for temp work. Temp agencies put you on the payroll, and, while you don’t usually get benefits, you will get regular pay.

If you have a specific skill or don’t mind doing certain types of work, you can find long-term temporary positions. My brother has had luck finding decent paying positions as a temp, including positions that last weeks — or even months.

Companies still need workers to do jobs, and being willing temp means you can fill that need. Of course, the big downside is the loss of benefits, which can be devastating. Even if you are making a little bit more per hour, you might miss the fact that the benefits made things like health care a little more affordable.

One of the bummers, from a more personal standpoint, though, has been the trend toward more adjuncts. My husband is making it work for him, teaching classes as an adjunct at two different universities.

The upside is that he might be able to turn one of the positions into a tenure-track position if the university decides that it has the budget for a “full time” professor next year. Plus, it’s a good teaching experience for someone who didn’t have much previous experience.

In the end, opportunities are what you make of them. There are opportunities to work out there, but the changing demands of the job market may mean that you have to change your expectations.

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About Kevin Mulligan

Kevin is a debt reduction champion with a passion for teaching people how to budget and build wealth for retirement. He’s building a personal finance freelance writing career and has written for RothIRA.com, Good Financial Cents, Moolanomy, and many others.

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  1. Marianne says

    To play Devil’s advocate, this article explains that taking just “any job” can be detrimental to your career as future employers can look unfavorably on these stop gap jobs.
    It’s also important to know that you should never take freelance gigs while on unemployment because when you report it, unemployment will end because you will then be considered self employed. Of course you can always not report that income, but that is not right or legal.

  2. NB says

    Although the post have some good points, I disagree with what was written. The workforce has changed dramatically; back in the day if you were laid off taking a temp or part time job to fill in the gap until your dream full time position opened wasn’t a big deal because it didn’t take long to bounce back.
    Now if you get laid off, the only jobs available are part time/ temporary low wage with no benefits, and you are pretty much stuck there permanently. The cost of living is constantly going up, the pay that you get from taking any ol job doesn’t cover all the bills, plus there are no more pension or benefit packages, so you are screwed either way.

    As someone mentioned when you take any job, employers use that to their ability, control,manipulate and abuse employees who are desperate for a paycheck or desperate to keep their paycheck. I know people who worked at a company for 25-30 years, the company always did shady and corrupt things (embezzlement, bribery, hiding malpractice cases, etc) anyone with decent morals and standards would have left the company, but no. They stayed with the company because they needed the money to pay bills and the company paid well.

    Now it’s the end of 2016, years of corruption caught up with the company and they had to file chapter 13 and the downsizing and lay offs began. The people that I mentioned are now afraid of losing their job that they dedicated 25+ years to, they don’t know anything else other than their job at this company. The corrupt company which they should have known was going to go under eventually, but because they were to desperate and concerned about paying bills they were blinded by the real issues at hand. They are 25 years older, society changed and any job they take now will not offer them the benefits, the salary or the work schedule that they are accustomed to. The economy changed in the 25 years they worked at this company, many of them bought homes within that time frame, their homes are nowhere near being paid off, why? because many of them took out a second mortgage to upgrade the house or to pay for their children’s college education, etc?

    There is a saying “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”, employment can be included under that. You have to value yourself more than you value a paycheck. What good is it doing you to take a job you don’t like and will have to do until your dying day?What good is it to keep a job at a organization that is corrupt and your morals is questioned? The life of a workaholic is no life at all, the life of a desperate worker is no life at all.

  3. Lila says

    No one has mentioned anything about non-competes. A non-compete is weighing heavily on my decision to take a lowball offer just to have something coming in. Unfortunately, any industry experience I gain will be unusable and if I leave, I will have to leave my industry, entirely. In this case, it may be better to hold out for something better (without knowing whether “better” will ever come).

    • Ryan Guina says

      Lila, be sure to read the non-compete clause and research it. Many companies use these, however, some state laws supersede the non-complete contract. It’s a good idea to get a copy of the con-compete and have an attorney review it to let you know how this will impact you going forward. Remember, many companies can afford to have lawyers at every step of the employment process. It’s up to the employees to be informed before signing documents.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Dan, while it might be an option for some people, military service is not for everyone. I say this as a military veteran and current member of the Air National Guard. Serving in the military is a personal decision and due to the commitment and potential impact of serving in the military, it’s not a decision to take lightly. The military also has strict accession requirements and not everyone who is interested or willing to serve will be eligible. This includes health and fitness requirements, age limitations, education and testing standards, and much more. So yes, I would encourage anyone who is interested in military service to take a deeper look at joining the military. But it’s not for everyone.

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