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Don’t Be a Job Snob: Why You Need to Learn How to Deal With a Bad Job Today

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/6/2012

Do you have a socialite’s attitude toward menial labor? Are dirty jobs out of the question? Do you have a list of bad jobs that you will not take, no matter what? If this is you, then you are a job snob. This attitude will come back to haunt you professionally!

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    Who Is a Job Snob?

    “Construction clock A rather revealing look into the world of the job snob comes from the United Kingdom. AOL Money tells the tales of graduates who refuse to take “crap jobs." These positions have several common traits:

    • The worst jobs pay very little -- in some cases barely more than a resident could expect to receive from public assistance.
    • There was little or no on-the-job training or cross-training; boredom is virtually guaranteed.
    • The employer does not offer advancement opportunities for workers in these positions; they are the ultimate dead-end jobs.

    In some cases it may be a solitary aspect of the job description that chafes against the job seeker’s sensibilities. Does a position make it onto your list of bad jobs because it asks you to make coffee, scrub a bathroom, clean a break room, run errands or answer the phone? Do not chuckle! There are plenty of otherwise interesting jobs that have these quirky line items in their list of expectations.

    The freshly-minted graduate may turn up a nose at these tasks and hope for something more important, better paid and with a fast track to promotion -- but he does so to his long-term detriment.

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    What Are the Worst Jobs?

    According to Nationwide Insurance, the list of bad jobs would be topped by fast food work. Fox News highlighted in 2007 the outrage that the insurance company’s Super Bowl ad sparked, when Kevin Federline dreamed of being a rap music star but snapped back to the reality of working the fry cooker at the local fast food restaurant.

    Granted, there is little glamour to be had at the fast food joint, but offended workers were right in pointing out that they work hard and do what is needed to earn an honest living. Workers highlighted that the job is oft-maligned but truly calls for a lot in the way of cleanliness and customer service.

    Nationwide backpedaled in the wake of the offense its ad caused. The insurer stated that the commercial was supposed to be a funny but serious reminder to “prepare for sudden changes." Perhaps; nevertheless, it revealed both the job snob in people as well as the frequently forgotten or overlooked skills that even one of the (supposedly) worst jobs offers to those willing -- and mature enough -- to take them on.

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    Why a Bad Job Might Be Just What You Need!

    Learn how to deal with a bad job today, and you may have a shot at plenty of the more desirable positions tomorrow. Conversely, turn up your nose at any number of menial or dirty jobs today, and find that plenty of employers will turn you down for consideration tomorrow.

    How come?

    • Networking opportunities. The fry cook next to you might become the sales team leader at another business in a couple of years. Prove yourself to be an integral team player today in front of coworkers and management, and she will remember you in a few years when you are applying for work. Her recommendation to the hiring manager may get you a chance at a lucrative sales position that you might not otherwise have received.
    • Soft skill development. It does not matter if you work as a dishwasher, janitor or errand runner for a law firm; even though all of these jobs seemingly do not offer a fast track to the corner office and company car, they do provide opportunities for learning soft skills. Communicating with coworkers, relating to customers, responding to management, handling pressure and voicing assent or dissent constructively do not come natural to most workers. It is a learning process of trial and error. Even the worst jobs on record provide opportunities for soft skill development.
    • Work history creation. Have you ever tried to apply for a loan without a credit history? The cost of the loan product will be substantially higher -- if it is offered to you at all -- than it would be for someone with an established and verifiable credit history. The same holds true for a job hunter. If a hiring bank manager seeks to fill the position of teller, will she choose the college graduate who -- in the two years since graduation -- has been unemployed while looking for a career position? Will she give the job to the college graduate who has worked for two years as an overnight stocking clerk in the local paper warehouse, where he learned the fine points of accountability, punctuality and work ethic? The odds are good that the applicant with an established work history will do better in this situation.
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    If you are still not convinced that learning how to deal with a bad job is actually in your best interest, consider the occasionally maligned but frequently lucrative driving job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines that “chauffeurs often have a good deal of success as owner-drivers and many companies begin as individually owned and operated businesses." The less than desirable job to take today may be a training ground for future entrepreneurship.

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