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Should I apply for a job I don't want?

  1. Apr 16, 2015 #1
    My temporal agreement is coming to an end and there's an opening in Supply Chain for a bit higher pay grade. However, I'd like to work as a Project Engineer more but there're no openings.
    Should I apply for the job anyways just to gain some more experience in a hope to move up in the future?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2015 #2
    So the option is between a job and no job? I'd pick job :)
  4. Apr 16, 2015 #3
    It's always easier to find a job when you have a job :)
  5. Apr 16, 2015 #4


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    I agree with the others. When you don't have a job, it's very easy to get into a position where you have to take anything to meet your basic needs and responsibilities.

    When you have a job, you have the advantage of being able to position yourself for where you would eventually like to be so that you can take advantage of the good opportunities when they eventually come up. The con side of course is that pursing your non-ideal fit may come with obligations - such as a two-year committment or something.
  6. Apr 16, 2015 #5


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    Ask yourself if the available job is one you can do. If it is and especially if it is temporary, then take the job if offered.
  7. Apr 16, 2015 #6
    I asked myself what's stopping me from applying? Of course new colleagues and different line of work is stressful. Also, I don't think the manager likes me although at this point he will have to take someone in and I have an advantage of already working in the same company.
  8. Apr 18, 2015 #7
    Be grateful you have the luxury to pick & choose. To put food on my table & support my family, I'd take a job cleaning the drainage ditches in a poop factory.

    Now, having put your minor quandary into perspective...take the bigger more mature view of what would benefit your career. In the long term trajectory that will be your career, will taking this assignment plug a skills gap? Will it broaden your experience? Will it gain you new contacts outside your normal circle? Will it provide you another opportunity to gain credibility in the eyes of others moving up their respective ladders?

    One company for whom I worked did it like this. But I admit my personality is incompatible with this approach to life. Once "identified" as possible manager material (which included the mature thought of managing one's own career path), those select employees were put on a trajectory that made them go through multiple corporate functions. It may look like 2-3 year stints at each of Engineering, Operations, Sales, Marketing, Safety, Human Resources, and so on. They had to perform satisfactorily at all functions, and nothing was guaranteed. All those people in the upper realms of the career ladder had punched their tickets at each of those functions. This was sometimes good, sometimes bad. I had to suffer under a clueless person as our HR Manager who was simply punching their ticket there. But in other cases, I've met upper level managers who had spent time "in the trenches" and understood the challenges of many diverse functions, and how to pull them all together.
  9. Apr 18, 2015 #8
    Any job at this point would broaden my experience. It's just that nowadays industrial slavery working unpaid overtimes just to keep up with the daily tasks and maybe more to get that promotion is very common. I've been working like this for a year now and having no work/life balance makes me question my career path within the industry.
    Sorry for getting dark here but maybe this is just my post-graduation depression from being lost on what I really want to do. I don't want to be stuck at work and If I have to I at least want to have a goal to keep me motivated.
  10. Apr 18, 2015 #9


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    One thing to keep in mind is that it's common these days to grow up with the idea that "you can do anything you want" or that "you're only limited by your dreams." This gets reinforced over and over.

    And while its purpose is to encourage people to be more educated, to try new things and have them gravitate towards what they really want to do in spite of traditional or historical restrictions, it also comes with the consequence of making people feel guilty for not knowing what they really want to do.

    Sometimes you try something that you think you'll like and you get a hefty serving of reality forced down your throat. You can recover from this when you figure it out in high school or through a part-time job as an undergraduate in university. It's a lot more difficult to recover when you figure out that you're not happy with where you are but you've invested so many years of your life and taken on debt to get you there.

    It's even more difficult when a mid-course correction has dependents along for the ride.

    I don't know if this will help, but one thing that's important to remember is that there is not some golden job out there where you would be perfectly happy all the time. Every workplace has politics, difficult people to work with, or tasks that you would rather not do. We live in a world where the tools we have for convenience have also blurred the lines between home and work.

    What you can do though is make a point of spending time thinking about your direction. Weigh the pros and cons. Keep an eye out for decent opportunities. And if you don't come up with clear answers that's okay. Some of the most interesting people in the wold have no idea where they're headed. They're just hanging on and shouting "wheeee!"
  11. Apr 20, 2015 #10


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    To the OP:

    I concur with pretty much everything Choppy above states. I would also add that if you find that, overall, the negatives (whether it be the work environment, your fellow co-workers, lack of interesting projects, lack of opportunities for growth or development, or lack of work/life balance, etc.) outweigh the positives, then it is important for you to think about changing direction, whether that be keeping an eye out on new opportunities or even seeking a completely different career path.

    If you enjoy a good working relationship with your current manager, one possibility would be to have an opportunity to talk with him/her on such new opportunities (including the Supply Chain opportunity you mentioned earlier). Ask (in a tactful and positive way) about whether the Supply Chain job (or other openings) will provide you with the possible openings you would need to advance further to the goal you're looking for. Networking with others in your field is also important.

    Best of luck!
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