Workers who haven't been in a long-term job search find it hard to understand why people can't just "get a 'B' job."
"Why don't they go work at McDonald's or something?" is a frequent retort.
Why? Because they're not getting hired.
I've had countless job hunters tell me they've applied at the Walmarts, the Home Depots, the McDonald's of the world without success.
Some believe there's age discrimination. Others say they've been told they wouldn't be happy there, or they'd leave as soon as something better came along, or they couldn't be paid what they're worth.
To which applicants want to scream: "Let me judge that!"
But the fact remains that in this tight job market, the search for a "bridge" job is just as hard as the search for a "career" job like the one that was lost.
Given that sitting at home and fruitlessly sending out applications over the Internet is ineffective, here are some ideas for "bridge work." (Believe me, I understand that many job hunters have tried all of these.)
Volunteer: Even if there's no income, it gets you out to meet people and might expose you to a staff opportunity.
Substitute-teach: If you don't have teaching or advanced degrees, it will be tough to compete with experienced teachers, but there's decent per-diem pay if you're needed.
Become an independent contractor: If you have specific computer, accounting, advertising or marketing skills, businesses may hire you on contract. Let people know you're available.
Be a temp: Look for temporary help agencies that specialize in your field of experience. That maximizes your placement odds.
, Do odd jobs: With only basic physical ability, you can do yard work and housecleaning or provide house- or pet-sitting services. With more specific skills, you can do painting, handyman work, sewing, cooking, elder care or child care.
Go part-time: Full time, with benefits, is the goal, but part-time jobs (some of which do include benefits) buy the groceries. The reality of this job market is that employers are more likely to hire part-timers than full-timers.