Any job is better than no job
Most of the developed world is in the middle of a deep recession and so getting a job is tough for everyone, particularly graduates just joining the jobs market. They often have sky high ideas of how much they want to earn or with to do something they want to do or will enjoy rather than just taking any old job. But in this climate should graduates be turning down job offers?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
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Some workplace skills that are valued by employers can only be learned by practical experience.
'First of all, many of the young people entering the job market have a great many workplace-related skills to learn — from when to show up and when to leave, to how to dress and present themselves, to how to approach a job, to knowing how to work with others, to setting and working toward goals incrementally. These involve deeper values that cannot be taught theoretically. And although there may be some rude awakenings in the workplace, on-the-job learning is likely the fastest and most indelible way to acquire the values and skills and work ethic that will carry them to their ultimate goals.'
(Hara Estroff Marano, http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/is-any-job-better-than-no-job/)
Work is also likely to lead to more work. Most jobs these days require at least some prior experience.
Some of the menial work suggested, such as cleaning and bar work, is genuinely dead-end work.
This also assumes that the work encourages good work practices. Many low end jobs involve some kind of illegal or unethical conduct such as unsafe work conditions, making low quality products or offers of help with benefit fraud.
Skills such as sweeping floors and wiping windows will only give you experience for a job in the world of menial work. So as pointed out above they are dead end jobs. It's better to settle for an unpaid internship that gives you useful experience than to go for a job that will leave one mired in mediocrity.
2. An active member of a community
It's a middle class indulgence to be able to entertain the thought of turning down a job. We often have the resource (whether financial, familial or educational) to hold out for a job that we think suits our talent and our 'hard work' and will benefit us personally, but I would argue that carrying out any job, whilst not fulfilling your personal dreams, can still have great meaning for the wider community. I think that Western society could benefit from realigning their idea or what work is and should be - shifting from an individualistic to a communal vision.
Being part of the workforce can mean being part of community - a small yet valuable piece in a much larger eco-system - and for that reason, people should consider taking up any job offer. People avoid certain jobs for many reasons: some are considered 'menial', others don't meet expectations for enjoyment or fulfilment, many won't give them a leg-up in the career ladder, and still more won't earn them enough money for the type of lifestyle they aspire to. And in the modern world, most of us seek a job that expresses who we are to the wider world.
I would argue that if we reconstruct our view of what 'work' is, seek to actively change conditions in the workplace, and collectively reasess our negative judgements of certain jobs (collecting rubbish or being a checkout operator for example), we can actually be content and even happy in any job. Taking on a job shouldn't be about developing skills that can be used in the next one, or making enough money to 'live' in the hours outside 9 to 5.
A job should be about forming relationships with people, and feeling fulfilled as a human being. People need contact with other human beings in order to thrive (some who share our views, and others who challenge us), and I would argue that these people can be found in any workplace. People also need to feel that their life is self-determined: that they have control over the tasks they do and the way they do them, are recognised for their efforts, and are valued within and without their work community for the contribution they make (it is in this aspect that most workplaces need to change in order to allow us to feel 'human' again!).
It is a very narrow view of work, and indeed what it means to *live*, when one feels justified in describing certain jobs as 'dead-end': there is no such thing. We should all be wary of judging those who collect our rubbish, clean our houses, and scan our groceries - for it is these types of jobs that underpin the Western lifestyle we all value so much.
Yet you do not have to to have a job to be making a contribution to the community. There are many voluntary positions that are equally contibutions to society (such as running debatewise!) but which are not 'jobs' in that they provide full time wages. It is a problem with the capitalist system that everything has to revolve around selling things in order to be considered to be useful to society.
Don't be lazy
Every "no" point i've read relates to people fussing about doing a dead-end job for low pay. suck it up! If the bills need to be paid, they need to be paid! It might suck that you just graduated college and are handed into such a low job, but if its all you can do right now, then do it! Its better than nothing. It shows employers that you are dedicated into working regardless of the work. If i were an employer and i had to choose from 2 different recent graduates, identical to one another and one had a job, the other didnt, i dont care what the job was, he'd clearly have it over the other guy because it shows his dedication to 'want to do something'. This Dead-end job, remember, is not signing your life away, its to wait until you find something in your field. Dont rely on other people to pay your bills because you put yourself higher than a dead end job, because that person had a dead-end job once too! Stop being selfish and go make your own money!
Can leave you financially worse off.
Taking council tax into account and assuming you are eligible for a reasonable amount of benefits, a job on minimum wage is probably not going to be as much money as full benefits unless you work very long hours.
On the other end of the spectrum, students from families that can financially support them for a while would be advised to put off finding employment in order to look for a better paid job. Taking any job only works for those actually in financial trouble.
People being paid wages aren't self-sufficient, they're just dependent on an employer rather than the Government. You don't have to be paid to benefit society, you can volunteer. Many voluntary jobs help far more people than paid jobs that could just have been created to keep people in employment. Presuming you care about your role as a cog in a machine.
Can enhance you financially in a better way.
Not only is the individual feeling the gratification of self-sufficiency, this independence from state-sponsored welfare results in an immediate benefit to its society as a whole when the individual is engaged in a productive manner toward not only the local community, but the nation as a whole.
A menial job is exhausting and takes up long hours if you want to make enough money to live on. It can also be demoralizing,unrewarding,demeaning and positively unbearable.
watch Charlie Chaplin's 'modern times' a satire on Ford's assembly line. People need an aberration, a break from the mean to work/achieve/enjoy anything.
For a student looking for work that will last them out until they find a better job, they need to consider whether the job isn't taking up all the time they need to spend looking for the better job.
Other practical considerations that would make someone turn down a job apply to students, such as whether the job is too far away to travel and whether they can really do the job.
A menial job means a difference between a squirrel on a stick or a decent chicken in the pot.
Especially, for a college student trying to hold down a job, they'll learn responsibility in a short notice (something that is lacking in some youths).
Idle hands equate to looking for trouble(are the devil's...).
Effects on morale.
People need their dreams. A graduate coming straight from University will feel elated at their achievement, hopeful about the future and will have been bombarded with advertisements about the high-flying graduate careers available to them. To then ask them to do any old job will make them feel less enthusiastic, degraded as a person, if they are financially motivated in studying, will wonder why they took the degree.
Students will also find it difficult to adjust to life outside University. They will not want to be thrust straight into an atmosphere where there is little intellectual stimulation and good thinking, which is often the case in menial jobs, especially when the job is not physically close to the University. They need to have a period of time to gradually phase between their University and work life.
Counter: Landing a job that is temporary/menial/in-the-gutter leads to high stress levels, not only due to the fact that you want to get out of the temp-menial job the moment you get in and therefore are constantly stressed about finding a job you like during your few free hours:very taxing. You also are in constant fear of being let go given how you know you're dispensable because anyone can do these jobs.
Work, in itself as a meaningful activity with a clear goal and a visible end result, is often very satisfying, even if it is just cleaning or filing. Unemployment can cause people even more depression than the least satisfying jobs, simply because of the feeling of worthlessness and the long periods of idleness.
Landing a job in a recession also leaves people with a feeling of extra success - 'Second, landing a job in what is now a very competitive marketplace at almost all levels is also confidence-building. It breeds the belief that one can indeed find a job, so it automatically thwarts the development of fear, cynicism and other attitudes that can take ugly root in this job climate and inhibit a job search — and breed depression a well.' (Hara Estroff Marano - http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/is-any-job-better-than-no-job/)
Some jobs genuinely need higher qualifications.
If the job you are aiming for is one that you know is very highly skilled and requires specialist knowledge and where you won't be accepted without very specific qualifications, such as high-end medical and scientific careers, there is no use distracting yourself doing jobs that eat into your time that you need to study and prepare. The qualifications needed for these careers will be specifically tailored to them, as most students taking the course will be going for the same jobs, so they will include vocational training.
Qualification is not a sole factor in selecting or holding down a job.
If the job you are aiming for is not available, often times many other jobs' experience set can be tailored to meet the career goal.
Selecting a job that meets satisfaction level is the most important criteria.
Doing nothing does nothing for your resume.
Students are not all just looking for ways to earn a higher wage. Learning should be a goal in itself. Students should go into postgraduate study because they enjoy their subject and want to learn more about it, for the joy of intellectual stimulation or for their pride in academic achievement. They should not be seen as failures or scroungers if they don't make money out of it and don't land a job straight away. Why aren't people with good jobs but less education made to feel like failures for wasting their life accumulating money when they could be furthering themselves as human beings? Why is the work put into a PhD, which will hopefully be available on the market as a useful academic paper for someone in the same field, less important than the equivalent amount of dedication put into a job? At least a PhD student couldn't be replaced by a machine.
We live in a largely capitalist/materialist world where being a breadwinner is everything. There are paramount problems in the world. A paper has long-run/term benefits that will be reaped first and foremost by the richest among us.
In the meanwhile making money is important so that the intelligentsia's dreams are realized as soon as possible. Where does funding come from? Who is going to test your research?
And who knows machines could possibly replace P.H.Ds in the future.
What do you think?