Accepting a job below your skill level can be severely penalising, says a study, because of the perception that someone who does this is less committed or less competent.
To make ends meet in the short term, many workers may accept part-time positions and seek work from temporary agencies or take jobs below their skill level.
The study showed that some of such employment situations could be penalising when applying for jobs in the future.
“We’ve learned a lot about how unemployment affects workers’ future employment opportunities,” said David Pedulla from The University of Texas’s population research centre in the US. “Even though millions of workers are employed in part-time positions — through temporary agencies and at jobs below their skill level — less attention has been paid to how these types of employment situations influence workers’ future hiring outcomes,” Pedulla added. Researchers conducted a survey of 903 hiring decision-makers in the US on their perceptions of applicants with each type of employment history and the likelihood that they would recommend someone be interviewed, given his or her work history. The results indicated that men in part-time positions were penalised for appearing less committed and men employed below their skill level were also penalised for appearing less committed and less competent. Women employed below their skill level were penalised for appearing less competent, but not less committed. “Men who are in part-time positions, as well as men and women who are in jobs below their skill level, face real challenges in the labour market — challenges that deserve broader discussion and additional attention,” Pedulla stated.