Updated April 18, 2023
Get a Job After Being Underemployed – Finding a satisfactory job is the dream of every graduate. Individuals study hard, pass exams, hone skills and work hard to find work experience at some company or the other so that they may get a job with pay good enough to support their needs. But nowadays, competition has gone beyond the imagination of any individual. Even after being full of skills and competencies, one has to search here and there for a suitable job. The result has been some proportion of graduates are unemployed, and some proportion of graduates are underemployed.
Have a look at data on the US underemployment rate as depicted in the graph below;
U.S. underemployment rate from May 2015 to May 2016 (by month)
Being underemployed may affect an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health. The person may lose interest in his present job, criticize it and lose commitment to it. He may also get stressed because of not finding his aspired job and build up weak social relations with friends, family, and colleagues. A person hired at his aspired job has better physical and mental health than those underemployed. Let’s have a look at what underemployment is-
What is Underemployment?
Underemployed is an employment situation where an individual gets a job unsatisfactory enough according to his skills. It is a situation where the standard of the job is below the standards of an individual’s qualifications and skills. For instance- A software engineer may be getting a part-time job with much lower pay, despite desiring a full-time job, and a trained medical practitioner may have to work as a taxi driver. Being underemployed may happen due to unemployment, forcing individuals to work even when they don’t receive pay that suits their skills and academic qualifications.
Reasons for being underemployed
The main cause of unemployment may be the prevailing unemployment in a country. Lack of enough employment vacancies makes able individuals unemployed. Other reasons may be foreign companies’ reluctant acceptance of immigrants as an appropriate workforce. Due to this, even after holding an engineer’s or doctor’s degree, an individual may have to do menial work after arriving in a foreign country. The other reason may be the lack of experience in fresh graduates. Companies may prefer candidates with work experience in contrast to fresh graduates who lack any work experience.
As a result, these graduates either get an underemployed job or sit at home. Another reason for being underemployed can be low marketplace demand. For example, in India, there is less scope for study in the field of biochemistry than in foreign countries. As a result, biochemistry graduates may have to search hard for a suitable job or end up working for less pay in some private industries.
How to go for a bigger job?Image source: pixabay.com
List down your strengths
Many individuals list their former titles in the experience section of their resumes. They forget to list their individual skills, which their company benefited from. In what ways were they superior to others in the same job position? In order to get the attention of the recruiter, try to list those skills and talents which added value for the company. Reorganize your resume and specify your work experience, strengths, and accomplishments.
Go for anything that makes you learn
Grab any opportunities that teach you something new, which may help you grab jobs easily, even if you don’t get any pay or you have to pay for the training. These short-term opportunities may not pay you at present but would help you improve the “skills sections” of your resume.
Grab a job-No matter what it pays
Never quit any job because of the pay. It is better to work somewhere than sit at home, as working hones your skills and abilities. The time you may deplete in searching for jobs can be consumed by working at some place and continuously searching for a better fit. This helps you form connections, contacts, and networks and increases your chances of getting hired at a suitable job.
Give your best at your present job
Even if you feel you can be employed at a better place than where you are presently, never lose your patience. Give your 100 percent at your present job. For example-using, your abilities, you may complete the work twice earlier than your other colleagues. This will boost your level of motivation, and this may please your boss. You may get a promotion or other benefits like a recommendation letter.
Be ready for extra tasks
Always be ready for any projects you get from your employer. Your superiors may give you additional tasks than your colleagues because they know you are more competent. Never say no to these types of opportunities; you will always get experience from these projects. Moreover, your employer will be happy to see your engagement in extra tasks, opening doors for your pay increases.
Utilize social media channels
Use social media channels like LinkedIn to find your dream jobs. Specify what type of job you are looking for, Keep your profile updated, and build strong connections with people who can help you find one. Nowadays, many companies choose informal channels like Facebook groups, Twitter posts, etc., to search for employees for their organization. So getting in a link with them through building appropriate social media profiles is necessary.
Learn multiple skills
Sharpen your skills according to various career paths. Sometimes one type of career qualification doesn’t increase your chances of getting selected. In this competent globalized world, employers seek candidates with multiple abilities. For example, if you are a person in the commerce field, you can hone your skills in the computer and digital marketing field. This will increase your chances of getting selected in the selection process.
Apply for a job even when you lack some skills
Sometimes you may find a job attractive, but you may take a step back by carefully studying the job profile. It is advised to apply for any position you think you can work in, even if you lack some abilities. Sometimes companies select random skills of a candidate, and you never know when you will get selected. Also, the companies train some employees at work itself. So it is recommended to apply for multiple job positions.
Go for language learning and IT courses
In India and some other countries, there has been an increased demand for employers in the IT sector and employees fluent in multiple languages. Hence it is advised that whatever your field may be, try learning two or three languages efficiently. Also, if you are related to some technical field of study, pursue courses related to information technology.
Opt for your own business
If you think you can handle responsibilities and have a lot of skills, you can think of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business. Apply your abilities and competencies in your business and continuously look for ways to succeed.
Become an expert in your work
Try to become a master of one or a few tasks. Never try to become a Jack of all trades and Master of none because an employer can find many Jacks in the market who can work as you do, but it’s difficult to find someone who is an expert in a particular domain. Once you acquire expertise in a domain, be assured of getting a job worth it. Remember, Specialists glitter in a sea of generalists.
Set a deadline for yourself to achieve your goals
If you feel that you not have got the desired skill, then why wait? Get started today and set a deadline to achieve that expertise that can make you earn the job you have always desired. Work hard even if it demands time outside your working hours, dedicate your time, and take training. Do whatever you can to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Get yourself a Mentor to guide you
As you all know, performance coaching is one of the most important areas to grow. None of us is disciplined or perfect enough to move towards a correct path alone. We need someone experienced to judge our progress and push us harder toward our goals.
Come out of your Comfort Zone
The moment you decide that you have reached a comfortable position in your career, you will head toward being underemployed. Always try to challenge yourself with tasks out of your comfort zone because that will make you learn and hone your skills.
Accompany people who want to Emancipate Professionally
A man is known by the company he keeps. We all are well aware of this proverb. And it is also true that the company we are in also affects how we think or act. Be with people who think alike and want to emancipate professionally. Avoid the company of those with career-limiting mindsets and do not want to achieve anything big in life.
Take Calculated Risks
People always learn some of the greatest lessons from mistakes. So, don’t run away from doing mistakes. Instead, take challenges where you might make mistakes because that will give you an opportunity to learn a new professional lesson that might take you to greater heights.
Underemployment is a growing issue for students who invest time and money into education but need help finding jobs that match their qualifications. Equal pay with less skilled colleagues can lead to demotivation and stress, causing individuals to lose hope and disengage from their work.
We should understand that life is full of success and distress. It doesn’t always offer good things to those who deserve them. Hence instead of losing hope and sitting on your bed, you should always be looking for opportunities. Never get disheartened by seeing that you get the same pay as your colleagues. Instead, opt for getting additional tasks from your boss, which helps you grow and sharpen your abilities. Volunteer at different places, even when you don’t get paid. Opt for training and education in your free time to increase your chances of getting employment at a better place. Maintain good relations with your present boss as he may issue you a recommendation letter in the future and may help you get hired for your dream job.
Maintain good relationships and network with colleagues, superiors, friends, and family to find better job opportunities. Keep learning and improving your skills, embrace challenges, and don’t let mistakes hold you back. Big employers are also looking for experts who can add value to their organization, so keep striving for a better job.
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