You may have grand plans for your future and your career, but in a world where job prospects for young people are pretty bleak – especially those without a formal higher education – getting a so-called dead-end job may be all that’s available to you at this time. Dead-end jobs tend to be those low-paying jobs, the ones with no promise of moving up in the company, or those in which you do repetitive tasks day in and day out.
See also: 5 Most Difficult Jobs in the World
Yes, they’re far from ideal, but you don’t have to resign yourself to days full of anguish and miserable thinking. Instead, here’s how to put a positive spin on that dead-end job.
1. You don’t have to take your work home with you
If you’re in a low-wage, low-responsibility job, chances are you’re not inundated with loads of extra work that you have to take home after you’ve clocked out for the day. Guess what? That’s not the case for many of the professionals who have the “good” jobs. Attorneys, teachers, journalists, doctors and business owners often head home for the day with a pile of work to finish before starting the next day, so be thankful you get to enjoy your off time more than they do.
2. You can be using your off time to get ahead
Because those professionals are so inundated with work after the work day is done, they often find it difficult to find the time to work on career advancement. That’s not the case for you. Whether it’s volunteering at a non-profit that relates to your dream job, taking a night class, or working slowly but surely on a business idea of your own, your dead-end job will (hopefully) leave your mind free to wander and to explore your options for getting ahead.
3. You’re getting paid to do something
With scarily-low employment rates among young people, the fact that you have a job at all is a pretty big deal. Plenty of people who haven’t studied at university - and even many who have—find it really, really challenging to find any sort of work at all. Since you have a job, you have something to build on, and something to ensure that your CV isn’t completely filled with fluff about the sports you played and the child-minding jobs you held way back when.
4. You have the opportunity to save – at least a little
What’s more, you’re earning a paycheck, and that means you have the opportunity to save. Even if it’s a single pound a week, putting something in the bank that you save for a rainy day can give you the motivation to keep going to that dead-end job, knowing that you’re making at least some investment in your future.
5. You’ll have a good idea about what you don’t want to do
If nothing else, working that dead-end job can be a great character-builder, helping you realise what it is you don’t want to do in life. Filled with the memories of those boring days doing meaningless tasks or dealing with terrible customers can make you work harder at night school, give you impetus to skip out on social activities in favor of working on your business, or just generally remind you that better days lie ahead.
That dead-end job is never ideal – but then again, it doesn’t have to bring the mental anguish that you’re letting it bring right now.