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Seeking career advice on TB, because adulting is hard. (Warning: long post)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. I'm about to take a job I don't want.

    I was laid off from my last position at the very end of September. The reality is I was completely, utterly miserable there, so in a sense I still see being let-go as a blessing in disguise.

    However, my job search has absolutely not gone well the past several months. Despite my experience (three years+ in a sales/marketing gig in the Oil industry) and a B.S. in marketing I've had trouble finding work. At first I shot for some gigs that were perhaps higher than my station, but for the most part most of my searches & applications have been for entry-level gigs that still had areas for growth and still in the same field/industry. To my surprise, no bites. It's stuff that I'm absolutely qualified for, so to have so little callbacks is both devastating and confusing. Even had a HR professional do a run-over of my resume to make sure that it wasn't the problem. I did interview with a few places, only to be ultimately turned down. My unemployment has nearly dried out, so I had to significantly lower my standards even more. At this point, not working means bills won't be paid.

    I've been given a job offer to do onsite PC repairs for the local school district. The pay is actually not terrible, and only a slight pay decrease of what I was paid at my last position. But they straight up told me that there would be no room for advancement and very little room for pay raises.

    Given the pay, zero room for advancement, and not doing what I want to do with my career I really can't be at this place too long. But at this point I have little other choice - it's 1. Take this position or 2. Sell all of my gear and hope I can hold out another month or two hoping something else better comes along.

    How long would you stay at a position like that? Ideally, I want to work til I get myself back on my feet and go from there, however long that takes. My fear though is that transitioning back to the professional world will be even harder once I'm back on my feet, since it will have been even longer since I will have worked in an office environment. Anybody have any experience with this?

    I'm reminding myself even wildly successful people have had periods like this - even Tesla briefly worked as a ditchdigger when he ran out of money. Still can't help but feel like a failure though.

    Sorry for unloading like this, I know TB isn't a blog. But, I know we have a lot of working professionals here who might have been in my place once before and can offer some advice.
  2. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    In your situation I would take the PC repair job. Do it with enthusiasm & professionalism, while discreetly continuing the search for the thing you really want.

    Good luck to you!
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    No reason you can't still job search while at the new job. Take advantage of any and all learning opportunities and you'll get a rounder resume too. I'm in Houston also and have run into the same sort of thing, it could be you were just overqualified for the positions you were going after. Employers hate that because they assume (rightly or wrongly) that you will bail at the first sign of something more fitting with your experience. It's a catch 22 but employers are still in control, it's not a seller's market at all around here.
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    + 1

    A solid job is definitely better than no job.

    Might not be in the field you want to be right now, but being a Houstonian as well (and in this field as a profession), there is a lot of money to be made in the IT field in general. Never hurts to have that as a backup career path at all. The other upside is that there's a lot of variation in the types of IT jobs out there. I ended up with a non-profit company that pays me WONDERFULLY, has awesome hours/benefits, and I love the people I work with. Lot of hand-holding for users, but it gives me the capital and time to pursue my musical aspirations as well.

    Best of luck on your job search though!
  5. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Are you on LinkedIn? If not, you need to be.
  6. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000

    Add to the fact that explaining gaps in unemployment to a potential employer, despite how forthright you are, may not be a good thing.
  7. bloobass


    Jul 10, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    I was in a somewhat similar situation. Got laid off, had to take several entry level jobs, working for people who knew far less than I did. Went from a very nice salaried position with tons of flexibility and responsibility to punching a clock for barely over minimum wage. Very humbling. I worked those entry level jobs, moved from one to another to increase my pay and responsibility. Finally landed a position about 3/4 of my previous salary in my field (QA/QC) after about 29 months of searching and scraping by. I just got a promotion and upwards of a 15% raise. I've been here a shade over 2 years, so for me, it took about 41 months to get back where I was.
    My advice: do what you have to do to survive. Anybody that criticizes you for that has never been in your shoes. Work the PC repair job but don't give up getting back in your preferred field. Keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground. Something better will eventually come your way.
  8. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    Take the PC repair job - you gotta pay the bills. But don't let that be everything. Start trying to get some freelance work in your field on the side. Just little jobs, but it's networking, experience, and the word "consulting" on your resume to cover this time period.

    I did a bunch of "fix my PC" type jobs when starting out and later on between jobs. No shame in doing what you have to do, and you never know where the contacts you make will lead you to.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I vote you take the computer job, and plan on being there for a year. Keep your eyes open for options in your preferred field and work on making contacts, but I believe it's not in your favor to have a job on your resume where you jumped ship too quickly.
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000

    To add to that, I believe in using time to your benefit. In order to stay "fresh" in your field, if finances allow it, this may be a time to get some certifications, maybe think about an MBA, etc. That way, when it's time to hit the job market again in your field, you can show potential employers that you remained on top of your field while you took this detour.
  11. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    Working is always better than not working. Do what you gotta do and adapt as needed. Only the strong survive, brother. :bassist:
  12. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    For me, anything less than two years for one job on a resume is an eyebrow-raiser, but if it's a one-off I'm not worried.

    It's only if there's a pattern that I treat it as a negative. **** happens to everyone sometimes.
  13. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    Check your PM, OP.
  14. +1 everything above
  15. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    OP - take the PC repairing gig for the school while continuing your search. There is a funny little secret about being in the repair of arcane electrical products - even on your worst day it is hard for others to determine that.:D Seriously. It sounds to me like it would be fairly low pressure, everyone knows tracking issues with computers takes time, how much is anyone's guess. Boredom from the repitition could prove fatal. I used to do on-site PC maintenance for a large office....running maintenance on 25 machines was boooooooooooorrrrring!

    It is very common for people to work a job that isn't their first choice dream job, beats being broke. Sometimes you pick up some skills you would otherwise avoid gaining.:meh:
  16. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Dear JR,

    I read your post twice, and what I saw didn't look like a failure in any sense of the word! I would absolutely take the PC repair job while continuing to look for work in your chosen career field. Your responsibility at this juncture is to walk a very fine line: you absolutely MUST take the PC repair job seriously while at the same time you absolutely MUST continue your search for work in your chosen field. Both of these tasks are critical for obvious reasons. I think it's a lot easier to take the PC job seriously than it is to continue your search for other work though. You can become complacent once you get comfortable with a job.

    Also, start networking! Do informational interviews with anyone and everyone in your chosen career field. Find out as much you can about current hiring trends, and what those people are looking for in an employee. And while you're in those informational interviews, remember one thing: Ask for a job and you'll get advice. Ask for advice and you'll get a job!
  17. Thanks for the kind words of advice/support, everyone. I'm trying to make best of the situation. Work there til I get my feet back on the ground, and then figure out the next step. I need to view this is as a transitory experience, and this doesn't mean it's the end of my career. My lease is conveniently expiring next week, so I'm going to move back in with my parents for a month or two and recoup the bank account a little.

    While my background is sales/marketing, ultimately I want to get into finance operations. I'm currently looking into going back at school at night while I'm in this transitory period, either get my MBA or M.S. in Finance.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Hi Jake,

    I'm sorry to hear of the difficult time you are having with the job market. It took me 2 years after finishing my Master's to get a full time job. The next Glenmorangie is on me. Have you thought of applying for finance/accounting jobs with a major guitar manufacturer? IE Gibson, PRS, Schecter?
  19. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    nothing is going to work against you harder than being unemployed and worse yet, long term unemployed.

    Take the job.
  20. First port of call when you don't have a job is to get a job, don't be fussy, don't hold out, just get a job.

    When I knew my funding was running out, I looked for relevant work, but was also following avenues for working behind a bar and on doors.

    It's always said to be easier to find a job when you have a job, it's certainly less stressful. If you're worried about having a short term position listed on your CV/Resume, just be clear that it was a transitional position.