“Bad reason to take job”
One of the worst reasons to take a job is because of how it will look on your resume. Yet it’s one of the biggest concerns people have when deciding whether or not to make a move–during good or bad economic times.
How a move will look to potential future employers should not be on your mind–now or in the future. That is unless, your goal is to have a career based on what others think your life should be like.
But if your goal is to have a career and a life the way you want it, how a job “will look on your resume” is not relevant. Here’s why.
The assumption most people make is that a career should follow a certain path–like a consistent, upward movement with appropriate promotions.
The truth is, many careers look nothing like that. For one thing, starting at the low end of the totem pole and working your way up is not the only way to grow a career. You may like being in a staff role where you apply your particular knowledge or technical expertise. You may have no interest in moving to a higher level.
You may want to use your skills in another position or industry that isn’t at a higher level. Lateral moves aren’t necessarily bad moves. And even if you were in management, you may not want to be there anymore.
Also, how a particular move “is going to look” is anybody’s guess. No one can say what employers will think, as if they are a collective unit of like-minded beings. Each employer will have his or her own set of biases. If you try to decide your career path based on what all those unknown employers think, you’ll never please anyone–especially yourself.
Today, many people are groping with “how things will look,” because they feel the need to lower their expectations, apply for positions they feel overqualified for and take what they consider a step-down–just to have work. This may be taking a job, as opposed to making a career move.
But if this is what you need to do, then do it because it’s what you need to do. Are you going to not work at a job with a lesser title and perhaps a lower salary because of how it might look in the future?
Likewise, when economic times improve and your choices broaden, are you going to take a job because of how it might look? Let’s hope not. If you want to make a career move, apply the criteria that matters when it comes to having a satisfying career: The position matches your skills and aspirations and the company’s values are in alignment with yours. As a result, the job lets you have the life and career you want, not the one that “will look good on your resume.” You owe this to yourself.