What words of advice would you give a Ph.D. graduate who is in a job beneath his/her
educational qualifications? A distant relative of mine has a son in his early 30s who has obtained a Ph.D. in Literature. He elected to be unemployed rather than to take a job beneath him;waiting for a commensurate job. However, after 4 years of being unemployed, it was suggested that he take a job in order to gain some type of work experience because he was informed by a counselor that it is better to be employed rather than unemployed as far as work history goes. He has a sales clerk job ; however, he hates the job which is evident in his bad attitude & abysmal work performance.
Be optimistic and have a plan B. Have faith and work various jobs until one in your field eventually comes along. It or they will keep your mind preoccupied as you also make some, money. It's best to build confidence working someplace as opposed to sitting around waiting and wasting time (with no money) away. By the way, a sales job can garner a person more money than a set salary so, it is best to be employed for all practical purposes.
The best advice for anyone with a job is to make yourself the "go to" resource for critical needs for the business. If he has a PhD in Literature, perhaps he should start working in a book store. Perhaps a rare book store. He could then become the "go to" resource on finding and obtaining rare books. Or recommending specific collections of books for people that want to develop a book collection.
It doesn't matter that one has a "degree" or not. The only way to be successful in life is to combine your two favorite things in the whole world in to some type of earnings. You cannot be successful at a job that you hate.
Volunteer. If he goes to the place he would like to work, then offers to help out for free as a volunteer or intern, then he will get the experience he needs for when a job opens up there (or somewhere else). It's a shame he picked a degree as limiting as literature, but I'm pretty sure a Ph.D. qualifies him to teach at a university. And I'm sure a university has plenty of volunteer positions.
As for working a job that is beneath him; welcome to the real world.
Try to keep a positive attitude while earning some cash flow. Learn as much as you can in this job and stop thinking you hate it. Stop thinking you hate this job! Get out of bed everyday glad you have a place to go to. Every new skill you learn, no matter how small you may think it is, can benefit you. With a Ph.D. in Literature he should look at the career options at publishing companies or newspaper companies, or even a book store. I am sure he is dealing with customers and if he has a hatred for this job that may come across to the customers. He should be grateful and keep a positive attitude and keep his eyes open for new opportunities and learn everything he can at this present position and to put forth the best effort that he can, where he is now!
You know my mother said the very same thing to me when I had a typist job (I had a B.A. in Sociology/History). She told me to use that job as a leverage. Boy, I HATED that job, thinking it BENEATH me. She indicated that +thinking --->opportunitie
I guess it is similar to turning lemons into lemonade. Your mother is wise and I hope your relative's son works everything out in his favor. Also, thanks for the vote! I love the votes. It brightened my evening!
Quite welcome indeed. People LEARN sooner or later.
No job is beneath him, but he has a moral debt to pay either to society or to his parents depending upon how his PhD was financed. He has such opportunities before him if he would only think more positively and creatively.
Unfortunately he has chosen to specialise academically in a less commercial subject and needs to think laterally about the skills and knowledge that he has gained. For example things like how to structure a thesis, presenting ideas, how to undertake research and analysis. There will be many other areas and when he has got a good list he then needs to think about how businesses and academic institutions could use such skills and knowledge: this will then lead him to look at potential roles. and careers. He has to make things happen, a job will not come to find him.
Teaching comes to mind as an obvious route but he could think about marketing (very different from sales) or maybe something like speech writing or working for a political paty or as a lobbyist. It's a pity that he has developed an atitude and I certainly like the suggestion of volunteering or charity work. This always looks good on a CV and certainly this experience opens the mind to understand how privileged we are as well as gaining general work skills and learning how to work with other people. Employers are looking for people with good attitude who are able to work in teams and are adaptable.
I sense your frustration and I hope that things improve soon.
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