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The Art of Settling for Less than Expected

You are well into your search and have not been able to secure the type of role sought.  Therefore you are now considering a role that’s less than what you expect.  Here’s is some advice from fellow candidates who have faced this decision.

I have discussed this topic several times at networking meetings and with fellow candidates.  In each discussion we landed around two scenarios causing you to look at a lower role: Your Financial State or Your Emotional State.  The general consensus from people who have faced this choice was as follows:

If your financial state requires it:

Go ahead and take a lower role, but remember it’s only a temporary situation.  Keep applying for new roles and don’t stop networking, though you’ll have to likely keep your meetings to early morning coffees and lunches.

Try to get a role where you’ll do well, thus allowing you to build goodwill among your new colleagues which will be useful for future references and who knows what might happen within that firm.

Build a home budget to assist in determining the amount of cash you’ll need each month.  I used one during my own job transition – either you can manage it or worry about it.

Another alternative strategy to a lower role is finding a couple of part-time gigs, thus keeping the title.  You will network to find a part-time role is no different than full-time.  The way to ensure the part-time role will extend into the foreseeable future is that the role is addressing a permanent need, not a project.

If your emotional state or home situation requires it:

You are better off not networking, then to continue to network when you feel burned out or lack a positive attitude because there is too much pressure within your home to get reemployed.  If you are networking poorly, it’s not likely you will land a role and the damage to your reputation is difficult to reverse.  It’s a better choice to stop.

Go ahead and accept the position only when you can absolutely ace the job and exceed expectations.

Here’s why this is important for you to stay within one or two levels below what you held previously held and within your area of experience.

If you stray too far, you may experience what several of my colleagues did.  They found themselves not performing well due to being unmotivated from being in such a low level or lack of understanding of industry/company to do the job.  Within the year, they also found themselves back on the street with a hole in their resume and no references from the position.  Granted it was a mistake they only made once, but it was a whopper.

The upside for you is that by taking a role where you kick some _________ (insert your own word here), your psyche gets reenergized and puts you back into a state where you look much more attractive to a prospective firm.

If you are in a good emotional and financial state, then their advice was to set a deadline for yourself for when you’ll expand your search into lower roles, to allow yourself to be in control of the decisions.  Here’s something to help pitch yourself while still in search “Arguments for Hiring Someone in Transition – Skills You Will Not Find on a Resume”

Good advice from fellow candidates who have faced this tough decision.

Good luck today!

Mark Richards

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