Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Should You Take a "Filler" Job While You Wait to Land Something Better?

This week I have talked to two people who accepted what they referred to as filler jobs while they looked for a solid job in their career field. It just so happens that both of these people expressed regret at their decision.

You have probably heard people say that it is easier to find a job when you have a job. This may just be more than a cliche. Let's evaluate the positives and negatives of taking a filler job.


  • Of course, the biggest positive is the regular paycheck that comes your way. Only you know how much money you need to pay the bills. If the filler job helps you do that, it will alleviate some of your desperation that is certain to come across in your interviews.
  • When you are employed, you are naturally out talking to professionals. You can network with vendors, suppliers, customers, clients, and possibly even competitors. This will increase your referral network and may just lead to other opportunities.
  • Having a job - no matter the job - will help boost your confidence that may be waning during unemployment. You will gain the confidence in knowing how to be successful in landing a job and can carry yourself with pride knowing that an employer valued you enough to make you an offer.
  • You may find an opportunity to move forward with that filler company. By nature, filler jobs are jobs for which we are overqualified. Your employer may see you excelling and offer you additional opportunities within the company.


  • You will have less time to dedicate to active job searching. Be sure to plan and prioritize your job search efforts so that you can continue to pursue your goal of landing a job in your career field.
  • You may get comfortable and get stuck in a rut. One of the people I mentioned took a filler job and found herself in the same place 9 years later. Don't lose sight of your end goal.
  • Those filler jobs may just cost you more money than being unemployed. Another job seeker took a job in outside sales and was paying more in gas and car maintenance than he was making in the sales position. Do the math before accepting the job and make sure it is the right move for you.

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