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6 Things You Can Get From a Not-Quite-Dream Job.

Whether you’re a recent grad, career changer, or in transition due to downsizing, at some point in your life, you’ll probably have to take a job that’s, well, less than ideal. Instead of spending your hours daydreaming about your future corner office, though, it’s essential to make every working moment count. Even seemingly insignificant jobs can be worth much more than the income they generate along the way.

Source: Corbis Images.
Source: Corbis Images.

So, if you’re contemplating working part-time, helping out at your dad’s firm, or taking the first paying position you were offered “just to pay the bills,” make sure that your gig does at least one of the following:

1. Helps You Develop a Skill for the Future
Think about what skills you might need to have for your dream job down the line, and look for jobs that let you build that experience. Getting and keeping a job shouldn’t be about the daily benefits – the friends, the perks etc, but more about how it fits into your career big picture.
There are several skills to learn on a job, from soft skills to technical skills – for example, being with people can help you improve your public speaking and people skills.

2. Provides Direction for Your Career
It’s pretty easy to build up a career in your mind—or be attracted to certain alluring industries like travel or entertainment—only to find that once you’re working in that field, the day-to-day reality isn’t as glamorous or exciting as it once seemed.

So, let your somewhat undesirable job fine-tune your career compass and reveal the types of gigs you do or don’t want. Think you want to own a restaurant? Forego an office job and spend a year or two serving customers to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. If you let your job show you what you really want in a career, you can make adjustments to change course, or continue full speed ahead. Hard as it might seem, knowing you’re on the right path and gaining valuable experience in the process matters more.

3. Leads You to Your Ultimate Destination
Despite the measly (or nonexistent) paycheck, internships are a worthwhile investment of your time because they often lead to further opportunities and valuable contacts. And sometimes, it’s helpful to think of a just-to-pay-the-bills job in the same way.

Whatever job you find yourself doing, enter in on it with an open mind and hunger for knowledge, take more risks and develop new skills and talents.

4. Gives Your Body or Brain a Rest
Life is all about balance, so try taking a job that’s the total opposite of your dream job in order to exercise a different part of your mind or body. For example, if you’re a dancer or artist, an office job will allow you to rest by using the other half of your brain, so you can eventually return to your craft refreshed and inspired. It might not make sense at the start and there’s understandably a feeling of inadequacy always lurking somewhere but that in itself stretches you beyond your comfort zone and ultimately increases your creativity. Your body needs a break from time to time and you can easily do that by shifting your focus on something new entirely.

Read Also: 7 Solid Tips to Survive a Horrible Boss.

5. Polishes Your People Skills
No (wo)man is an island, so no matter where you end up working, you’ll have to deal with people—co-workers, bosses, subordinates, clients, and vendors. People are people, so the more interactions you have, the more you will learn about adapting to different personality types, management styles, cultural differences, and interoffice politics. Be observant and learn to adjust to every situation, and your people skills will be in tip-top shape by the time your reach your dream career.

It’s also worth mentioning that every person you meet is a potential door to a new opportunity—personally or professionally, recruiters hire humans not robots. Build good bridges even in that just-for-now job, because you never know how they’ll weave into the larger picture of your life.

Read Also : 14 Telling Signs You Love Your Job.

6. Lets You Make Your Own Way
With the fast-paced technological wonders of the modern world, it’s easy to forget that there’s a time and place for everything. But lucky for you, we’re living in an extraordinary time, with new job titles and industries being created every day. Can’t find your dream job? You can invent it!

Social media for example is not a career but you can earn a huge cut helping companies run their social media accounts. It’s that easy! Look out for new problems you can solve and pitch yourself to potential (employers) clients.

Taking the “necessary” job isn’t always easy, but remember that, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant a job seems now, it might eventually lead you to your dream career in some way. If you make a commitment to be true to yourself and your goals, you’ll be able to look at every opportunity through the right lens—and make the most of it for your future.

Originally published on The daily Muse

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell