Career Downgrades

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Career Downgrades

One of the greatest fears of my job seeker clients is that they will “settle”. Settling could mean taking a job for less pay, at a lower professional level, or doing something they don’t enjoy. However job searches have been the longest we have seen in decades, job seekers are running out of severance, unemployment benefits, savings and time… what should be considered when looking at a career downgrade?

It’s a good idea when…….

1. It helps you get your foot into a new industry?

Some industries are incestuous and draw talent from within the industry. The Medical Device Industry is an example of this. So taking a job that allows you to get into a new industry would be a good reason to consider a down grade

2. The job helps you get your foot into a desired company?

There are some companies in town that many people would like to work at but it is extremely difficult to get in. A career downgrade may make sense if you can get your foot in the door.

3. The job gives you a chance to learn a new skill or broadens your existing skill set?

Taking a lesser job that allows for an opportunity to learn something new like project management or six sigma can ultimately help strengthen your career path.

4. The job intentionally diversifies your experience

For clients that have been with the same company 15-20 years, considering a career downgrade to get experience with another company may be helpful because it demonstrates that they can adapt to a new way of doing things and a new culture.

5. You are a career changer

Starting off on a lower rung of the professional rung may be expected for people who entering a whole new career, as they gain experience they will climb quickly.

Things to be careful of …..

1. Resetting your self in the job market at a lower compensation level

If you take a job at a lesser salary, the next time you are transition you will be seen by the job market as someone at that compensation level. It makes it more difficult to get jobs at or above your original salary.

2. The employer may not see you in a larger capacity if you take a lower job

For example if you were previously a manager and you did a career downgrade to a non managerial job, your skills, talents and potential my not be recognized and you may become underutilized.

3. You may be viewed as overqualified or too expensive

Attempting to secure a job at a lower level is not easy because you may be viewed by the market as overqualified, too expensive and perspective employers fear you will leave if presented with an opportunity at your current level.

4. Accepting a job that will be difficult to explain on your resume in the event you are in transition again

When considering a career downgrade be prepared to explain it. Looking like you took a job out of desperation is often not attractive to future employers, it makes it seem like you are not plan fully managing your career.


About the Author:

Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 13 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. Karen couples seasoned counseling skills with a solid business acumen. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reaching that next point in their career.