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Heading back to square one

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.

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 an entry-level job at Square One, Inc. What quicker way to nab rent or relearn the tedium of a past existence?

Still, though career counselors concede how that deja 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,’” New York City-based career coach Barbara Frankel says. “But you have to put your feelings aside.”

Start by emotionally investing yourself in the all-too-familiar drab right from the second day one.

“Rather than saying to yourself, ‘I’m better than this,’ have pride in a job well done,” Sirius Radio’s “Making a Living” host Maggie Maggie Mistal offers. “You get something from it, even if the job itself doesn’t have much status in it.”

But, settling into a pre-worn desk chair doesn’t mean settling for it. If you don’t rethink your 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 who are 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.

 
 
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