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Katrina Williams
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Freelance Transcriptionist at Rev

It can feel very degrading taking a position that you feel overqualified for, but it's important to think of everything in the long-term. Short-term expectations will have you turning down job offers and avoiding calls from potential employers, and maybe even ducking by them on the street if you happen to be unlucky and shop at the same store as them. But I think you should always think of the "menial" job you're performing as a means to an end. You do hear the over-hyped success stories of people landing their sparkle dream job sparkle right out of school or right after leaving another job, but for normal people who have to deal with our (terrible) local job economies and a fickle job market, it's just not that easy.

So the most important thing isn't that you're mopping floors, flipping burgers or stocking shelves, it's that you're 1) getting paid, 2) gaining valuable experience you can then wax poetic over on your resume, and 3) working towards a goal. Nearly every position out there has an opportunity for upward mobility in some form or fashion, and every job you take, "menial" or not, is (or should be) preparing you for something you might face in a future career setting. I mean working at Walmart as a lowly sales associate earning the bare minimum of minimum wage, while not glamorous or fun, did give me crucial customer service experience and retail knowledge that I've drawn on even when I didn't have a real, 9-to-5 job. Learning how to really talk to people and compromise made me a great seller on eBay and I used the money from doing that to take classes and pay the rent. Working at Walmart also gave me more confidence in my abilities as a worker. I went from being incredibly shy and awkward around customers to being really comfortable and friendly with even complete strangers (only in the stores and on the clock though, cuz 'stranger danger' is still a thing).

Not only that, but with the right words and perspective, you can make nearly any position sound incredibly good on a resume or cover letter. You should never underestimate how incredibly useful a well-crafted resume can be to you during a job search. Even with my admittedly paltry experience, I spruced up my resume as well as I could, asked friends and family to look it over if they had a minute, and hammered at it until I was comfortable sending it out to employers. Only to be rejected. Numerous times. Until I made even more changes and now I've been extended employment offers by more than one company. And right now I have about a dozen different versions of my resume and three different types that I choose from depending on the job description/job title that emphasize different aspects of my career experience. Buuuuut that's probably going overboard tbh. Just having a stellar resume that accentuates your strengths should be enough. And anything that deserves doing deserves doing right, so try not to skip on editing and updates and generally just making sure your resume looks nice enough to take a second glance at.

The point I want to make though (in the most long-winded way possible) is that you should always use every position to its absolute fullest, despite how ill-suited you think you might be for it or it for you. Even if it is literally numbing your poor brain doing it. Focus instead on your long-term resolutions for success and a solid career and remember to always work toward that. That demeaning job you can't wait to get away from is just one little stepping stone on the path to a better, more fulfilling job, but you have to walk the path, bumpy as it may be, before you can reach your final destination.

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almost 7 years ago
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James Wayne
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My resume is up to date and many employers have stated that they are basically looking for a one trick pony and I quote, regardless of how much experience you have and skills, if you haven't done this job before I wont look at it. So, I good resume and cover is useless to these so-called experienced managers???

5y
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James Wayne
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Many employers have informed me that they have no record of my resume, even though I may have applied 2-3 times. Not a good sign.

5y
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Great Advice

7y
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In addition to all that every job you work can be used as a resume builder. Plus the more jobs that you leave on good terms the more employers who will speak highly of you when a future employer calls them for a recommendation.

7y
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