A recent UK study found that more people reported feeling satisfied with their jobs during the recession than before it—pretty strong evidence that, for most folks, any job is better than none at all.
That doesn't mean that jumping into a less than ideal situation just to get a paycheck is going to lead to happiness—just short-term gratitude. Even if you have to do that to keep the bills paid, it's worth giving some thought about what it is you'd like to do. Consider whether what you were doing before the layoff is where you see yourself one, five or even ten years from now. We've all heard about the legions of laid-off bankers and execs considering teaching as an alternative career, but even if your ambitions stretch to something more esoteric or entrepreneurial, there's no reason not to at least investigate it at this point.
Opportunities to get a better deal
Raises are more or less off the table for many workers this year, and in the current political climate it doesn't make sense to pin too much hope on the arrival of a fat bonus check either. That doesn't mean there's nothing left on the table for a high-performing, valued employee to shoot for, however; extra vacation days, the opportunity to work from home, or even a juicy new title can all serve as alternative bargaining chips to cold hard cash in negotiations. Just make sure you're as firmly situated in the "irreplaceable" bracket as you think you are before marching in to the boardroom or executive suite with a list of demands.
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Phil Stott is a staff writer at Vault.com in New York. Originally from Scotland, he has also lived and worked in Japan, South Korea and Eastern Europe. He holds an MA in English Literature and Modern History, and a Masters in Research in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Dundee.
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