Many job seekers are stuck in a crappy situation right now. Unemployment benefits are running out, the job market is still unstable, and Instagram feeds are full of #stufftobuynow while funds are, well, maybe not quite the same as they were in December, 2019.
During a search you may find yourself at a crossroads of accepting a “stopgap opportunity.” Maybe it’s hustling at a Starbucks or managing a showroom while your true desire is designing the furniture, not greeting those who browse it. Deciding to take the interim job in order to pay your bills to see you through this perilous time can certainly feel helpless, like you’re giving in without much of a choice. Being kind to yourself while taking control of the decision to choose the interlude along your path is important for your mental and physical well-being. Here’s how you can navigate this decision from a position of power despite a situation which can typically make someone feel helpless.
Empower your Decision
Create a Google doc or simply open up your notebook and create three columns:
- Professional Development
- Personal Development
- Stopgap Benefits
During your conversations and journey exploring this transitional opportunity, fill each column with your thoughts:
Professional: Does the opportunity allow you to learn new software? What about connections–you will have the chance to make new connections along your hustle?
Personal: Crawling the walls doesn’t always help you structure your day. When the hours blur together, this stopgap job can help carve out specific times and days of focused activity to devote to resuming your search. Does this opportunity provide you with a way to schedule in search time?
Stopgap: What type of relief will this solution provide? This can be a real no-brainer and perhaps the most immediate need for taking on this opportunity. Mortgage, the holidays, car payments…these obligations must be met and sometimes a stopgap is the perfect solution.
You Get to Chose
Referring to these buckets during your decision making process will help you feel in control. You’re CHOOSING this step because one, two, or maybe even all three buckets contain rational thoughts, findings, and discoveries to make a sound decision. Feeling like you’re making a choice versus being forced into something automatically swings the pendulum back to you; oftentimes unplanned career pivots emote feelings of helplessness. Making the list empowers you to make your decision based out of fact and reasoning, not helplessness.
Want some help to get going? Grab a free, 15-Min call during the month of December to jump start your New Year decision making. I’d love to help–and am always happy to be a second set of ears. You’ve got the ability to stand strong in your decision…and do what’s best for YOU.