Don’t be too proud to take a job below your current level
This was advice that I gave to a friend of mine. To be fair, he wasn’t offended at all. He just laughed his ass off. If I mentioned this anywhere online I get so much abuse that I wonder what’s up with people.
Most people take this advice too personally. They assume I’m calling them shit instead of the job. If not that, I get comments that say it’s ok for me because I probably have a great, well-paid job.
In fact, I don’t.
I’ve also done more than my fair share of shit jobs over the years. I’ve always felt that it’s better to have some money in my pocket than no money at all.
Stacking shelves, picking fruit, and picking potatoes in the mud
I once stacked shelves at a supermarket. I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it wasn’t a shit job, but it was certainly shit pay.
I once picked fruit in torrential rain just to turn $30. It was brutal. But I had $30 extra in my pocket. I could survive a little longer.
I’m not a morning person at all. These days I rarely get up before 10 am. I still managed to get up at 5 am and cycle 20 km to a back-breaking job picking potatoes from the mud. Yes, it really was back-breaking. Yes, it really was muddy — it rained.
I did it with 3 mates. We got 40 km of free cycling exercise every day, some money in our pockets, and loads of fun. Doing back-breaking work in the mud makes you want to either laugh or cry. We decided to laugh. We laughed at our misfortune. One thing was certain — life could only get better from there.
There were plenty of other shit jobs over the years.
My friend missed out on a possible $120,000
So, let’s get back to my friend. Why did he laugh? Didn’t he know I was serious? Yes, he knew I was. But shit jobs were beneath him. He wouldn’t lower his dignity that much.
He had his standards to live up to. He would only take a professional job at the same level or higher as his last job. After all, who wants to slide backward in life? Not my friend.
Hang on a minute. A shit job would be an improvement for him, not a backward step. He’s been unemployed for almost 3 years while waiting for his dream job to show up.
But he doesn’t see t that way.
Even a job paying $10 an hour would earn him over $20,000 a year. I’m pretty sure he could easily get a job paying $15-$20 an hour.
This means that in the last three years he could already have earned anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000. I’d say it would be nearer the latter. And who knows where one of those jobs would have led to? Maybe starting back at the bottom would have led an employer to see his work ethic and offer him a better position.
OK, let’s scrap the last part. He doesn’t have any work ethic. That’s why he’s unemployed and has earned $0 instead of $120,000. He’s letting himself down badly.
I’m not sure how he’ll explain a massive gap in his resume to any prospective employer.
What about you?
But what about anyone that’s reading this that is currently unemployed? Why not consider taking a shit job?
Low pay beats no pay any day of the week.
You can always quit when your ideal job turns up.
Don’t be too proud to take any job. I’ve had plenty of them. They suck, but they are what they are. They give you money, some independence, and some hope for the future. They also keep you busy and can stop you from sliding into a pit of depression, as happens to many unemployed people. See these jobs as a stepping stone to better things not a destination.
Life has its ups and downs for all of us. Taking a shit job is one of the downs. An up will surely follow.