With nearly 15 million Americans out of work, there is a lot of competition for just about all job postings. Those job seekers who want to learn and develop, are ambitious and have a clear vision of where they want to be in the next three to five years may find that a bottom-rung job may be their leg up the ladder. Even in those so-called “dead-end” jobs, you will learn something and develop some new skills, that is, if you don’t carry around a load of resentment.
If you do get hired for a bottom-rung job, you will need to learn how to do your job. Be open and curious. Ask questions and even offer suggestions. You can learn new skills that can have benefit later on as you move up the ladder. Show that you are motivated and willing to be a leader.
Always work hard and never be satisfied with “good enough.” Developing a good work ethic will be the best skill that you will ever learn. If you can show your high work-ethic in a bottom-rung job, you will be noticed and the discipline will help you cultivate key management traits that will always be useful.
Perfect your people skills. Practice listening more than talking, work at rolling with the punches, being flexible, and collaborating and cooperating will show that you are a good team player. Everyone that you meet and all situations that you are a part of are opportunities for you to learn and develop new skills. Maintain good relationships with all of your peers and higher-ups so that they will be part of your network and references for later.
There is no upside to unemployment. Learn to appreciate the goodness of work itself and what a job can teach you. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.