Lame jobs are bet­ter than no jobs

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As un­em­ploy­ment be­comes a lead­ing cause for fi­nan­cial con­cern among a ma­jor­ity of house­holds, fresh grad­u­ates in­creas­ingly pre­fer lame jobs over no jobs at all.

Odd or lame jobs can of­fer a full gamut of op­por­tu­ni­ties for fresh en­trants. Un­for­tu­nately, in Pak­istan the area of odd jobs is not well de­signed to be treated or ac­cepted ap­pro­pri­ately. In­ter­est­ingly, with en­ter­prises tak­ing a unique shift in work mode, there is no scarcity of jobs, but the of­fered po­si­tions are at times too lame for the new grad­u­ate who is pas­sion­ate about a ca­reer ahead.

But, as job of­fers be­come more fre­quent, it raises a ques­tion for the can­di­date: should the sub- op­ti­mal of­fer be taken, or should he hold out for some­thing bet­ter? Also, the me­dian start­ing salary in such cases is found be­low ac­cept­abil­ity.

In the West, there are plenty of jobs for el­der care and babysit­ting too. While there is no trend of such jobs in Pak­istan,, the job­less youth find it hard to ac­cept lame jobs, par­tic­u­larly af­ter ac­quir­ing a de­gree.

But ac­cord­ing to ca­reer ex­perts, fresh grad­u­ates should start work­ing as soon as pos­si­ble, no mat­ter how un­favourable the job mar­ket is. As one ex­pert ex­plains, “All you can re­ally ask of your­self in a first job - sub­op­ti­mal or oth­er­wise - is the op­por­tu­nity to learn trans­ferrable skills.”

This sim­ply im­plies that lame jobs are not any­more re­garded as lame in the mod­ern mar­ket sce­nario. Says the ca­reer ex­pert, “If you’re wait­ress­ing, learn how you can in­crease your tabs. If you’re tu­tor­ing, you can gain know- how on cus­tomer re­la­tions and bring­ing in new prospects. If you’re in an of­fice job - even if not in your pre­ferred field or com­pany - you can sur­vey what other types of jobs seem in­ter­est­ing to you, and par­tic­i­pate in vol­un­teer ini­tia­tives your com­pany might spon­sor to meet new peo­ple. You can par­tic­i­pate in con­fer­ences and net­work with peo­ple who can help you find job leads in the fu­ture.”

In­ter­est­ingly, lame jobs do not lower the pro­file of the can­di­date but in­di­cate a level of ini­tia­tive po­ten­tial. Like the western grad­u­ates, there should be a sim­i­lar cul­ture in Pak­istan, where still study­ing or fresh grad­u­ates should be ready to take up a chal­lenge in a way they have never been chal­lenged in a class­room.

Par­tic­u­larly, in dis­ap­point­ing job hunt­ing cir­cum­stances, lame jobs help in pro­vid­ing a grace pe­riod. This is be­cause any pe­riod longer than six months of job­less­ness is ques­tioned by the em­ployer that ‘ why the can­di­date did not take any­thing?’

Thus, there can be few sug­ges­tions for the job­less youth about which ar­eas can be pur­sued. Stock work in the lo­cal con­ve­nience stores can be a good op­tion, while this may seem to be a more hard labour type of odd job, it is ac­tu­ally a great way to get some ex­er­cise, in­ter­act with peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, and keep one­self free from bore­dom at home.

News­pa­per de­liv­ery routes are an­other great way to make money while un­em­ployed. In many cases, pa­per de­liv­ery routes re­quire that you carry auto in­sur­ance and work dur­ing the late hours or early morn­ing hours, but it will def­i­nitely leave some ex­tra cash in hand. And, fi­nally, liv­ing in or near a ru­ral area may help in con­tact­ing lo­cal farm­ers and agri­cul­ture work­ers about sea­sonal odd jobs. Do­ing jobs like har­vest­ing of veg­eta­bles, can help in earn­ing some cash as a day labourer and also gives the ex­er­cise and ex­po­sure to the out­doors that may even pre­vent men­tal health com­pli­ca­tions.

While un­em­ployed, con­sid­er­ing odd jobs is a great way to earn some money and opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties to get in­volved in new ca­reers and ex­pose to new peo­ple and new en­vi­ron­ments. The cor­po­rate sec­tor of Pak­istan should be ac­cept­ing to­wards lame job back­grounds.

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