Career Advice

A Positive Perspective On Under-Employment

Job Reactor 19 December, 2019

You may have heard the term underemployed used frequently or you may have used it yourself. What exactly does this mean, and why is it considered such a bad thing? Let's look at this idea and try to find a positive perspective on underemployment. 

What is Underemployment?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines underemployment as the condition in which people in a labor force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with respect to their training or economic needs. 

When most people use this term they are referring to the state of being employed in a job that is beneath their training and qualifications. 

Why is Underemployment Thought of As a Bad Thing?

Underemployment is often considered a negative thing because it signals that the appropriate jobs are not available. If the jobs were available then qualified individuals would be holding those positions. Many people consider underemployment more of a reflection on the job market than on the individual person. 

A Positive Perspective on Underemployment

If you have found yourself in a state of underemployment you might be feeling very frustrated. You want to accomplish more but perhaps you feel trapped. It may help if you adjust your perspective. Rather than thinking of your state of underemployment as a negative thing, try to look at this as a learning experience. Even if you are not at your ideal job right now, you are still gaining skills that you can add to a resume. Think of this entire experience as a resume-building opportunity. Every task you do, every responsibility you have at your new job can be worded a certain way to look great on a resume. Make a game out of this each week. This can be especially helpful with tasks you do not want to do. At the end of the week work on updating your resume with your new skills. 

It is also helpful to remember that underemployment is not unemployment. Of the two, underemployment is definitely preferable. Keep your memories of unemployment fresh in your mind. This will help you feel gratitude for your current job, even if you do feel underemployed currently.