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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Making the Best of a Transition Job

By November 20, 2012

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At some point in your life you may find yourself working at a "transition job." This is a job you've taken just to pay the bills. It's not your ideal job, isn't the kind of work you've trained for and you know you'd leave in an instant if something better came along. For example, think of the person who has a degree in advertising but is working as a receptionist at an ad agency or the aspiring fashion designer who is working as a sales clerk in a clothing store.

I was talking to someone employed in such a position. She was looking forward to working a few hours at a different job as a favor to someone. This temporary job was more in line with her education and experience and she was hoping it would turn into a full time position. While she isn't particularly happy at her "transition job," she doesn't hate it either. First of all, she's employed. Although the pay isn't great, she can pay her rent and buy food. She's also met some great people, she said, including the employer she is helping out and whom she hopes will hire her.

If you are offered a job that isn't quite what you had in mind you may be wondering whether to take it. There are several things to consider. First of all, do you need to start earning money immediately? Will your schedule allow you to continue your search for a more appropriate job, for example one that better utilizes your skills? Are there skills or knowledge you can pick up in this job? The aspiring fashion designer who is working in retail sales can use his job to learn what customers like and don't like about different designs. Will you have the opportunity to network your way to a new job? Take for example the receptionist who wants to be an advertising executive. She will get to know the higher-ups at the agency and learn about new job opportunities.

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