How much can you compromise in choosing a job? Should you make any significant compromises at all in a matter that has such a major impact on your quality of life? Job candidates are liable to make compromises in response to compelling circumstances at a certain point in time, e.g. the jobseeker has beenlooking for work for a long time (because he was unwilling to compromise) and now what matters to him is not staying unemployed for long.
A mutual relationship of give and take forms the basis of the ties between every workplace and its employees. The employer expects every worker to apply his skills and abilities and to devote his time and energy to the job, and in exchange pledges to meet the worker’s needs.
But this fundamental relationship can be very difficult to implement.
The organization’s needs and expectations – and certainly the employees’ – are a complex weave, for people differ from one another and have varying needs. Even the same worker’s needs may vary at different points in time.
Even if the organization’s leaders have a genuine desire to meet their workers’ needs, in many cases the latter will not always receive their due. Many employees make compromises in terms of their needs and expectations at their place of work. These compromises are made both when they take the job, knowing in advance many expectations will not be met, and when they decide to stay at a place where high expectations were met with disappointment.
The first section of this survey focuses on facing a dilemma: the awareness the place of work under consideration does not meet a substantial portion of the jobseeker’s expectations and a willingness to accept that only some expectations will be met, based on the realization the situation may improve or else the worker is destined to face ongoing frustration.
To what extent can we compromise when choosing a job, and should any significant compromises be made in a matter of such importance that has a significant impact on our quality of life?
Of course there is no singular answer to the question. The answer depends on a range of factors, including the job candidate’s personality, worldview, financial situation, social status, ambition to advance and develop, areas of interest and marital status.
Conversations Jobnet staff members held with jobseekers yielded varying responses. Here is a sample of those in favor of compromise:
Yehudit holds a BA in political science and public communications. She lives in Tel Aviv and works at an advertising agency:
“Compromise is worthwhile. You don’t know where this job will take you. Maybe you’ll meet the person who will pave the way for the career you’ve dreamed of, maybe you’ll make important contacts, maybe you’ll learn new skills, maybe you’ll discover a different field of work interests you more, and most important of all, you’ll acquire experience (and as everyone knows, without experience, nobody will even look at your resume).
For example, I went to work in contents writing for Internet sites – which is not exactly my line of work – in order to gain experience in writing and to draw closer to the field of Internet advertising. Eventually I was promoted to the marketing department.
“When I moved to my present job I had to take a 500-shekel pay cut in order to do the kind of work I always wanted to do – using my newly acquired experience – in the field of advertising.”
Ophir, a third-year student in industrial engineering and management, lives in Bruchim:
“Today’s job market is an employers’ market. Just to get a job as a bank teller you need a college degree and a million people pounce on every job opening. Those who don’t compromise will go on being unemployed. Those who are not too picky might not be happy with their work, but at least they’ll have a job.
“Every ‘good job’ requires prior experience. To get a ‘good job’ you have to acquire experience and if you don’t compromise you’ll never have experience. Of course in many cases financial necessity will invariably compel us to compromise and work at any place that agrees to hire us.”
Eitan, who has a BA in public communications and political science, lives in Shalavim:“I don’t have to wait for `the job of a lifetime.’ If I find respectable work with decent pay and I don’t suffer on the job, it’s worth it to start working, even just to be in the job market. Otherwise you get used to being unemployed and that’s dangerous. It’s better to keep working even if it’s not a dream job. You can always quit and move on to a different job.
“On the other hand it’s important not to give up your dreams. If you have a dream job you have to keep searching for it all the time.”
But there were also differing opinions:
Dikla, who has a BA in economics and business administration, lives in Petach Tikva:
“Never compromise. Wait until you find the job of your life. The moment you start to work at a job it’s really hard to get up and start looking again. It takes time and so people push off job-hunting all the time and get stuck at a frustrating job.”
Nirit, who has been job-hunting for ten months, has a BA in political science and public communications. She lives in Rechovot:
“The question depends on a lot of factors. How long have you been looking for work? What are you doing in the meantime – sitting at home uselessly or keeping busy doing temporary jobs or volunteer work? Are you looking for a job for the rest of your life or for a certain period of time?
“I, for one, don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t know what kind of work I want to do. It would be great if the perfect job for me fell down from Heaven, the kind of work I love and would want to do for the rest of my life. At the moment I’m looking for work – even something temporary. But I won’t settle for a student job (because of the pay and the inferior tasks) or a job far from home (more than one bus ride away). Although I really need a job I’m not willing to get up and out of the house for a job that doesn’t satisfy me in terms of salary, the type of work and the working environment. I would rather go out and volunteer and feel good about myself.
“On the other hand one has to be pragmatic. I am well aware it’s not easy to find work without compromising at all. Personally I have an option because my husband earns a good living. It’s a question of what is important to the person looking for work. If it’s making a living then it’ll mean a certain degree of compromise in finding a job. If money is not so pressing then you can get away with self-indulgence…”