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Alison Doyle

Underemployment: Are You Underemployed?

By September 19, 2012

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Unemployment isn't the only job market issue that's been in the news lately. In addition to the millions American workers who are unemployed, there are millions more people who are considered underemployed. That includes people working part-time who would prefer full-time employment, people working at lower-level jobs than they are qualified for or earning less than they should be, due to the lack of available jobs.

What can you do if you're underemployed? First of all, if you have a part-time job and are seeking full-time employment, use the hours when you're not at work on your job search. Continue to outreach to contacts, apply for jobs, and work at your job search. Be sure that you're covering all the job searching basics and applying for all available opportunities.

When you're not working at the level of job you're qualified for, also continue to job search and to connect with contacts who can help you bolster your career. Given the job market, hiring managers will understand if your resume doesn't reflect your qualifications. Remember, too, that you can network online after work, evenings, and weekends, if you're in a job where you don't have much flexibility.

Regardless of the circumstances, what's most important, if you're underemployed, is not to give up. Keep plugging away at your job search, so you're ready when the job market picks up and a better opportunity comes along.

More: Unemployment | Underemployment

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September 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm
(1) Roberto says:

Alison: I’m a Mexican engineer looking for opportunities in Alberta. Thank you for your brief but encouraging advice. I was almost giving me up after months and months of research.

September 26, 2012 at 11:37 am
(2) Frank says:

Hi Allison, I am a young engineer at an upcoming company with a Bsc Honours in Computer Science and feel am being over-used and underpaid by my Bosses.I am still on attachment even after graduating and the pay is to little to support myself.I live in a country (Zambia) where jobs are rare.I usually feel like giving up but your advice has given me some sort of comfort and hope for the future.

July 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm
(3) Rob says:

I can agree with some of this article. Why would any employer care about a (first generation college student/grad) broadcast-communications graduate that only has internship experience? This career field has become so competitive, it blindsided me! And you can’t find full-time openings. Freelancing isn’t what I had in mind for a career. So, if you can’t get experience in a competitive field, then what? You start thinking about what else you’re good at. Employers don’t help, they just run ads, expect all the experience you need and they hardly recruit the right people at times. So, you’re on your own. It’s more tough than it was before the job market took a nose dive. $9.50 an hour is what I make now and it bleeds. The job market looks for skills I didn’t obtain in college and the ugly cycle continues — lackluster wages with weekend work including holidays.

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