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Unemployed and concerned about that gap in your resume?

If you are unemployed and are concerned about the gap in your resume, you should first know that you are not alone. This is a common concern for people who are unemployed.

Have you heard of the term “survival job”. These are generally lower paid and low end job. A survival job usually is needed for financial reasons. This phrase has been around for a long time, but is becoming much more common given the long amount of time that people are unemployed. After someone goes through their savings they literally need something, whatever it is, to pay the bills.

A survival job can be a way to boost your confidence and give you a sense of purpose. It will help you pay your bills and get you out of the house everyday. It also can help you fill that gap in your resume. The cons of course is that it will take some time away from your job search and that it is a lower paying job. Things will most likely still be very tight. It is unlikely that a survival job would help you get your foot in the door to a higher paying job, although that does occasionally happen.

I found a great article about survival jobs from US News: “Can’t Find Work? Get a ‘Survival Job’“. They give some great examples of what survival jobs look like.

One word of caution: I was speaking with one of our group career coaching clients and he was telling me about a friend of his who is a manager in a big company. They look for employees who are strongly motivated by money. It’s mostly a sales job. He told me that in conversations with his friend about survival jobs, his friend had told him when they see resumes with past jobs that aren’t aligned with being motivated by money, they don’t give that person an interview. When he asked his friend what that meant he gave an example of a woman who had worked in a social workers office and then for a non-profit organization. Although this might have been her dream job, her resume did not reflect a desire to make money (in his eyes) and it went in the no interview pile.

Survival jobs can be great to help you fill those gaps in your resume, however if you feel that it would have a negative impact on you  and your career goals it might be best to leave those off. Every case is different and there are always other circumstances that come to play. The bottom line is that you have to pay your bills. A survival job might be the answer for at least right now.

Here’s to having a career you love!
Hallie Crawford
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