While on unemployment, is it wise to take a low-paying job?
It depends on your options. Like, if you can manage your expenses without being employed, then you should wait for a job that pays you well. During the unemployment time, it is necessary to stay positive, continue hunting for jobs, and use your time wisely by upgrading your skills. Don’t just sit idle.
In my point of view, there is no harm in taking a low-paying job and taking less unemployment/stopping unemployment benefits, as opposed to staying on government support while you look for something as good or better than what you had before. Work is work, and being out of work can take a toll on you psychologically.
But you should not stop growing your skills and job hunting. I understand that once you’re employed again, that’ll consume a lot of your time, but for a secure future, you’ve got to make it work somehow.
In my opinion, landing a good job is the point where someone should be stepping their game up and working to improve themselves even more. Getting a job is a success, and once you get a hint of success, dig like crazy and get more. Even if it doesn’t get you a bonus or a better job right away, or anything like that, it provides more job security when someone hired you and you’re getting better and better compared to how you started.
I say this based on experience. I had a high-paying job and got to be one of the top employees, but I stagnated and eventually got laid off. Largely because I started at a decently high skill level but let myself be promoted without expanding my skillset or mindset. I was too good at selling people on how good I was, and couldn’t always match up to the heavy expectations. Eventually, I didn’t realize I was being promoted too quickly by incompetent management who were about to throw me out entirely as a way to fix their mistake. Now I don’t work for any company, so I never have to deal with the confusing work culture. I’m in that stronger situation because I worked on improving myself after that setback and explored new possibilities that used what I knew, but weren’t exactly the same thing. If I had just looked to work in a competing company instead, I’d never have reached financial freedom.
The low paying jobs that one usually takes to get rid of the ‘unemployed’ tag are also known as survival jobs. That may affect your candidature for a well-paying job for which you have been looking, but generally, it’s not that big of a deal. Many employers consider it a positive step on your part, and if you confidently explain it as such, it should be fine. I wouldn’t want to work for a business that had a problem with me working whatever job I could get during a tough time in the economy, as opposed to having no job.
Whatever you choose to do, just remember that a low-paying job is not forever. For anyone who is in a similar situation as yours, or is planning to quit a job or not satisfied with an ongoing job, and getting uneasy about relying on unemployment benefits, I have a useful post to share. My post: I’m Ready to Quit My Job YESTERDAY, How Do I Do It? discusses 3S for such a situation. Those 3Ss are: be Skilled, do Smart work, and stay Strong. If you get these three aspects handled, you are job-market-immune. You have the highest chance of getting a good job, or better yet, striking out on your own in freelance or online business.
In conclusion, you may take a low paying job if it has been a very long time since you were last employed. Keep working on your skills, and when it’s time, quit that low paying job in the proper manner and switch to something better. Another possibility is, if you are starting at a low amount today, who knows, the same job may become a high paying job.
Remember: “Skills pay the bills“. So never stop learning. Optimism is a way of DOING things, not a way of thinking about them.
Please feel free to leave me a reply if you have any questions.