…the ‘stop gap’ job

i’m  asked every day about the wisdom of taking a ‘stop gap’…’put food on the table’ type job..it is a very tough question..

on the one hand, folks need to eat…you can’t blame someone for doing what they have to do by taking a ‘get by’ job and continuing to look for a more professional job commensurate with what they had before…

here are some challenges with a ‘stop gap’ job…even if you can find one…

they get in the way of interviewing for a better job…can’t tell you how many times a candidate has said to me, “well can you change the time of that interview, tony…i  have to be at my ‘get by’ job then”…

interviews…good interviews are hard to come by…OK…but the last thing a candidate wants is to miss one because of a job they aren’t going to keep, but have to in order to put bread on the table..it is frustrating and…if it happens too often, most recruiters won’t run the risk of getting this candidate an interview, only to be told that the candidate “can’t make it” because of their ‘stop gap’ job… there are too many qualified candidates that are looking for a job on a full time basis..

another challenge is that candidates start comparing a good job opportunity with their ‘stop gap’ job…they’ll say things like..”well, i’m making almost that much now in this ‘stop gap’ job…so if i can’t get more than what i was making in my last real job, i’ll keep this one until i find exactly what i’m looking for…” or they get picky about the location of the better real job interview, or the kind or size of company or all kinds of other things that keep them from interviewing…

a ‘stop gap’ job often creates a “fear of success” mentality… it happens when the candidate sets their sights so high about the real job they want, they never can seem to find it, because they get unrealistic about what kind of jobs are really available and they become so comfortable with their ‘stop gap’ job they use it as a crutch…they are always going to try to find a “better” job that only exists in their imagination… they never really have to leave their ‘stop gap’ job because they can’t find what they really want in a new job…

‘stop gap’ jobs e-l-o-n-g-a-t-e into months …even years…it is hard to convince a hiring authority that you are serious about your career when you explain that you have had your ‘stop gap’ job for eighteen months r two years…

this happens a lot…it isn’t intentional…candidates take these kind of jobs with the intention of leaving for a real job…but time passes and all of a sudden they see that they have been on the job eighteen months or two years…now they really have a ‘gap’ in their professional resume…it is really hard to explain…and most hiring managers, forgetting how difficult this market is, won’t believe that the candidate was really trying to leave the ‘stop gap’ job… 

 one tip is to take a ‘stop gap’ job that allows a lot of daily time to interview….an early morning shift at Starbucks…an evening gig as a waitstaff person at a local restaurant…even a night shift janitorial job…anything that leaves you free during the day to search for a full time, professional job…

take a ‘stop gap’ job if you must…but be aware of the challenges

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