Interim Jobs that Can Launch Your Career

It’s no secret that the sluggish economy and high unemployment rate has everyone scrambling for jobs. And unfortunately, the biggest demographic hit are the 18- to 25-year-olds, which means finding a job right out of college is going to take some time. But since landlords still expect the rent on time and people still have to eat (at least occasionally) young college graduates will probably have to get interim jobs before they officially launch their careers.

Okay, fine. So we all agree as college-educated folks we’re going to have to be underemployed for a while. However, that doesn’t mean you have to take an interim job that isn’t interesting or, more importantly, doesn’t advance your career. True, working as a barista is a quick fix, but will it help you find a career-oriented job? And yes, you can always work as an intern, however, internships in this economy are typically unpaid, which isn’t an option for most people.

So the key to getting an interim job is to find one that is intellectually stimulating, allows you to meet people who can help further your career, and at the same time looks respectable on a resume (even if the pay is low). Sound impossible? Not really. Here are five positions that hit the mark as worthwhile interim jobs.

Museum Tour Guide

The people who work at and go to museums are typically those of a more intellectual crowd. Therefore, most museum jobs (info desk, assistant, gift shop clerk) put you among interesting people even though these jobs don’t typically pay well. However, being a museum tour guide allows you to interact with the high caliber of people who find it rewarding to visit museums. Think about it: basically you’re paid to network all day. And at the very least you can practice your elevator pitch.

Receptionist at a Veterinarian’s Office

People love to talk about their pets, and if you’re their vet’s receptionist then they have to talk to you first when they come it. Most vet visits are usually for benign things like check-ups, routine shots, teeth-cleanings, etc. So to strike up a conversation in the waiting room with someone who’s waiting for the doctor is not uncommon or out-of-line. And if you happen to mention that you just graduated from Penn State with a degree in International Business who knows where the conversation might lead? However, you do want to be sensitive to someone coming in for more serious issues. It’s bad form to talk about your situation when a pet owner is facing potentially heartbreaking news.

Social Media Consultant

You would not believe how many people today still don’t know how to navigate Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and a host of other social media outlets. Yet, they own businesses that need someone to maintain their social media presence. That’s where you come in. Starting your own little side business of blogging, posting, and tweeting for clients could be mildly lucrative AND it gives you great insight into the businesses your post for. However, this is a case where you need to be proactive. If you know of a business that has a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account, but you notice they hardly ever post or tweet, approach them with an offer to take over these duties on a contract basis. You’ll be surprised how receptive they are to your offer.

Assistant to an Events Planner

Any event from a wedding to an annual stockholder meeting to a company holiday party is a cornucopia of logistics. The details are horrendous and thus event planners can always us some extra help. Again, this job opportunity allows you to interact with people (in terms of clients) that you may never otherwise have access to. Plus, it spotlights exactly how responsible and thorough you can be in hectic situations. And you’ll undoubtedly get free meals, which is a huge benefit since at this point a can of pork and beans probably seems expensive.

Research Assistant

Usually reserved for graduate students, when you get right down to it, why should they have all the fun? If you know of someone doing research, offer to be their research assistant (for a fee, of course). Don’t know anyone like that? How about authors (you can even offer to transcribe pages from dictation), law offices (you don’t have to have a law degree), university professors and medical doctors (funded by research grants), and contractors (putting together bids). If you put your mind to it, there are more people out there doing research than you think!

The moral of the story is this: If you have to work below your earning potential anyway, why not pick something that can actually help launch your career? And it doesn’t hurt if it’s fun and interesting. No one says paying your dues as to hurt all the way around.

Do you know of an interim job that can lead to bigger and better career options? If so, let us know in a comment. We’d love to hear about it.

This entry was posted in Careers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
  • Free Resume Builder

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image