The most bewildering new job can be the old one —that front office welcome desk or highway hamburger stand you swore you’d never circle back to.
Tough times have a way of kicking ambitious young upstarts back to a re-entry level job at Square One, Inc.
What quicker way to nab rent, or relearn the tedium of a past existence?
Still, though career counsellors concede how that déjà vu can be disorienting, it need not be devastating.
“When you go back to a previously held job, you can feel stuck, like, ‘I can’t seem to get out of here,’” says Barbara Frankel, a New York City-based Career Coach.
“But you have to put your feelings aside.”
Start by emotionally investing yourself in the all-too-familiar drab right from Day One.
“Rather than saying to yourself, ‘I’m better than this,’ have pride in a job well done,” says Maggie Mistal, host of Making a Living on Sirius Radio. “That’s a lost art. You get something from it, even if the job itself doesn’t have much power or status in it.”
That said, settling into a pre-worn desk chair doesn’t mean settling for it. If you don’t rethink your long-term choices, you could trap yourself in a career loop.
“You have to know what your end goal is,” Frankel emphasizes.
Once you’ve set some ambitions down, go for it — even if that requires moonlighting interning or studying on precious off hours.
“Stay career relevant by taking classes, networking, and continuing to job search in your field,” Mistal encourages.
“You might also want to start a side business that does showcase your expertise.”
For strivers stuck in a career loop — re-rehearsing rote motions from a drab past life — there’s no side hustle quite like freelancing, she says.
“Having freelance work on your résumé will look better than a backwards career move,” she says