Should You Take up a Survival Job? A Fresh Perspective

When you consider the number of articles online about whether or not you should take up a survival job, there are many of those online. Now, we could reference those, but we thought it would be best to give you a fresh perspective on the matter. The truth is, a lot of people lost their jobs across the world when the pandemic first hit. Even two years after the fact, the situation still looks challenging for many.

A lot of people are still out of work, some might have seen benefits running out or might not have qualified in the first place due to the limitations imposed by the pandemic. You might find yourself a part of this crowd and are wondering whether or not you should take up a survival job. Not to worry, we are here to answer these questions and give you a fresh perspective on the matter.

Understanding What a Survival Job Is

Before we get into whether or not you should take up a survival job, let’s define it. Most of the time, it is seen as any paid position that you can take up temporarily. This can include being a bartender at a local pub, a barista at a coffee shop, or even a substitute teacher.

When all is said and done, it is a job that gets the bills paid and isn’t really something people consider for their long-term career development. Hence the name, ‘survival jobs’. With that in mind, there are certain things you need to consider when deciding if this is a path you should walk down.

Considering the Benefits of a Survival Job

The first and most obvious benefit of a survival job is income. It defines the very nature of such a job. There is no way around the fact that money needs to be earned, especially when times are hard. Next in line is the experience that comes with that job. In a country like Canada, there is something called the ‘Canadian work experience’ that employers look for. So, if you plan on furthering your career and want to climb that ladder, you will need that work experience.

Benefits of taking up a survival job

Not to mention the wide array of skills that you can learn that might benefit you down the road. Another benefit is recognition. Now, we aren’t saying that you will win a prize for landing a temp job, but the fact is, employers appreciate the effort. When a potential employer looks at your resume and sees that you did whatever it took to keep your skills sharp, keep the lights on and powered through one of the toughest times in recent history, they will see that as a positive.

Lastly, landing a survival job can go from a way to pay the bills, to an opportunity to get your foot into the door of your dream career. Sometimes all it takes is an entry-level position to get you through that door and explore other, more long-term opportunities.

Will the Survival Job Allow You to Continue the Job Search?

It’s a given that survival jobs are at the very least, minimum wage jobs. They allow you to get by. With this being the case, you might have to get more than one survival job to make ends meet if you’re in a tight spot. Assuming that this is the case, you won’t have much time to spend searching for the job you want.

Now, we aren’t saying that it will be impossible, but it does present a challenge. Scheduling interviews, getting time to prepare, and just making yourself available in general can be a hurdle.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King Jr., American Minister

Meeting Potential Employers While Working a Survival Job

The simple answer is: why not?  Yes, that is more of a question than a statement but still. The fact of the matter is, when you’re working a survival job, you never know who you’re going to meet. If you’re working at a supermarket as a cashier and you impress the manager, they might give you more preference when a better position opens up. Let’s say you’re driving a Lyft or Uber and one of your passengers just so happens to be someone you could consider as a potential future employer.

In the previous point, we mentioned how survival jobs don’t allow much time for planning and attending job interviews. However, the same isn’t true for the people you meet and make an impression on during your work hours. With that said, there is a potential opportunity there, so don’t discount it just yet!

Explaining the Detour from Your Career

This will likely cross your mind when you’re considering taking up a survival job. For the most part, when we consider a general situation, employers frown upon career deviations. Consistency is key. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. The pandemic was a big deal. Quite literally, the whole world was affected in some way, shape or form.

When an employer sees that career deviation on your resume, there is a fair chance that they will understand. You had to do what you needed to to make ends meet. This also reflects characteristics like persistence, work ethic, dedication and so on. These are things employers actively look for in candidates who they hire.

So, there you have it, these are just some of the things that you might want to consider when choosing a survival job in Canada. It will never be a perfect estimate as to where you might land, but if you’re in a position where money is tight and work is slow, a survival job is a step in the right direction.

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