If I can’t get the job I want, should I just get any job?

Don't write off your 'filler' job, it could lead to great things

In reality, A job is much better than NO job

This may sound desperate and defeatist, but it doesn’t have to be. As the class of 2011 prepares to graduate, many will understandably be worried about their next steps. The reality is that in hard times, a job as opposed to the ideal job is infinitely preferable to no job at all. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t strive for your dream job – just don’t write off other options in the meantime.

‘Take a job – any job – or failing that, volunteer’, advises Regina Moran of Fujitsu Ireland. As CEO of Fujistu’s Irish operations, and Chair of ICT at IBEC, when she gives advice it’s worth listening. In her view there are five key skills that graduates should possess: teamwork, the ability to problem-solve, leadership, the ability to communicate and collaboration skills. None of these are the exclusive property of one particular sector or profession – all can be honed via all manner of ‘filler’ or temporary roles, or volunteer placements.

What’s more, assuming that your ‘filler’ job is stimulating enough, then it can be regarded as a positive addition to your CV. It can help to augment your competencies and develop a professional reputation while refining your people skills, arming you with interesting anecdotes to trot out in interviews, and a whole range of work experience.

That said, a ‘basic’ job or internship in your chosen industry is more likely to yield returns than a job that’s completely unrelated to your degree. You can start building on your specific, relevant knowledge, developing your professional network, and you will be in a better position to take advantage of opportunities within your sector that could lead you to where you want to be. However, satisfying work in an unrelated discipline shouldn’t be dismissed. There are plenty of transferable skills (it might sound clichéd, but it’s true) to be gained from most jobs, no matter how short-term or temporary, that will help you develop into a rounded, versatile professional.

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