Should I Take a Job for the Experience?

smiling female distribution worker wearing a hardhat and safety vest

Everyone needs to pay their dues. You can’t make a career overnight… it’s a long, painstaking process. In other words, you can’t expect to step directly into your dream job. Instead, you need to take jobs that give you experience and develop your professional prospects over time.   

Still, this dynamic leads to an important question: should you take a job solely for experience? Can you completely ignore present-day considerations and focus entirely on building your resume for the future?  

There’s certainly a long-term benefit to gaining experience. One study showed that more than 9 out of 10 (91%) of employers want applicants to have work experience. Clearly, having the right line items on your resume will make you more attractive in the job market.  

The quest for experience requires some thought, however. Yes, choosing the correct positions now will set you up for the future. But that doesn’t mean you should grab at just any experience. You need to be judicious about which jobs to take.   

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you decide to take a job for experience:  

Know What Job You Want (Eventually)  

So, you’ve decided to take a job just to gain experience. That means you view this position as a stepping stone. Well, now it’s time to ask yourself: a stepping stone to what?  

If you’re accepting this job offer as part of a long-term strategy, you need to be confident in that process. You need to know what you are building for. Before locking into the position, have an endpoint in mind and know how this opportunity makes your dream job more likely.  

Understand the Market  

Step One: conceiving a dream job and weighing your current job offer based on that ultimate goal. 

Step Two: taking outside factors into account.  

Is this job the best I can find? Is the experience I’ll gain really in demand? Are there better ways to gain that experience?  

All these questions should factor into your decision. You need to know the market dynamics surrounding the experience you plan to gain. Also, keep in mind how those factors apply to the specific job you are considering. Only with this information can you make an intelligent judgment.  

Target Specific Experience   

Not all experience is created equally. Some skills have a higher market value than others. As a result, you need to review the particular experience you might gain. Meanwhile, you should consider the current opportunity in light of your previous work history. You don’t want to double up on the experience you already have.  

In other words, target specific growth situations. Focus on highly marketable skills you don’t already have. Make sure the experience you earn will help you grab that next rung on the professional ladder.  

Keep Looking (Even If You Take the Job)  

You’ve weighed all the conditions and decided to take a job for the sole purpose of gaining experience. Now what? Well, saying “yes” to that particular employer is just the first step.   

By definition, you’re engaged in a longer-term process. This opportunity is meant to get you from Point A to Point Z in your career. It should be a rest stop on your journey. Don’t let it become your permanent home.  

Once you take the job, keep your long-term plan in mind. Stay tuned into the market and keep looking for that next step up. Gather the experience you took the job to achieve. Then, look for your next big move. 

Let LaborMAX Find You a Light Industrial job to Expand Your Skills 

Building a career takes a long-term plan and the ability to find the right opportunities. By teaming up with a top-flight recruiter, like LaborMAX, you can find the perfect position to fuel your professional development.  

Contact LaborMAX Staffing today to learn more.