Weathering the Dark Storm of Underemployment

Nancy Anderson
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Underemployment issues do more than just erode your financial ability to maintain your lifestyle. Working less than 40 hours per week can erode your confidence, destroy your self-esteem and turn your job search into a seemingly futile exercise to get back on your feet. Discover some ways to weather the storm of underemployment and come out better for it.

You Are Not Alone

If you have underemployment issues, you are not alone. A survey conducted by Payscale reveals as many as 46 percent of people feel as if they are underemployed. Of those respondents, 76 percent felt they were not optimizing their education or training properly. Rather than fit into the mold or narrow your opportunities, recognize that should be open to change, and be willing to examine the possibilities.

Take Action

During your spare time, engage in professional development opportunities or some type of training. Rather than view every class you take as merely book work, leverage your time there to make connections with individuals who can point you to a job or help boost your career. Your classmates, the instructor or someone from the company running the training may inform you about various opportunities. When you develop your career sooner rather than later, you give yourself an edge over others and get on top of industry trends, so you are ready to take on a new position.

Follow the ABC rule, which means "always be careering," for underemployment issues. Follow your interests to as many opportunities as you can find. Talk to people, get to know them, and find out if they know what's happening within your industry. Take advantage of training, networking and development as much as possible during periods of underemployment.

Turn Rejection Into Motivation

Rather than let rejection turn to anxiety and depression, learn from the rejection and turn it into motivation to solve underemployment issues. Take what you've gained and apply it to the next opportunity that comes your way. It's important to remain active after getting your rejection, so continue maintaining your household, and be sure to reach out to individuals within your network, update your online portfolio and enhance your professional social media presence.

Exude Mental Toughness

Wading through rejections and then moving on to the next job board or online application takes mental toughness. Waiting is the hard part, especially when you are uncertain of the outcome, but never quit. Eventually, your networking efforts and persistence will pay off, and you might even land your dream job.

Ask for Help

There's no harm in asking your friends for help if you're experiencing underemployment issues. Your closest friends and loved ones can help motivate you as you move through your job search. Your friends might also have connections that might lead to a job opportunity.

Underemployment issues don't have to ruin your career. Learn to balance your employment search with relaxation time while looking for new opportunities. Take some concerted steps to solve your problem and find a job worth your talents.

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