In my job search advice post for Purple Clover, I share strategies for assessing how long to hold out for your dream job:
One of my clients was in a miserable work environment. Company culture was more competitive than collaborative. Senior management was a revolving door, and initiatives would change with each management shift. But my client was the main breadwinner in her family of four so while she dreamed of something better, she knew that she couldn’t leave unless she could match her salary and her security (she was in a top role in her department). At the same time, she felt she couldn’t hold on that much longer in her environment. If you’re faced with the tradeoff between holding out for a dream job or taking what comes, here are three considerations:
Run the numbers
How much cash do you have to cover you day-to-day needs? Sometimes you can’t hold out, and that’s okay. Take an interim job, ideally a temp or project job so it’s interim for both parties. Even if you take a less-than-ideal permanent job, don’t think of it as settling for less. You are making the best decision in your current circumstances. Focus on doing a great job, thereby expanding your network and collecting great references, and improve the job by growing your responsibilities to match more of what you want, or if that’s not possible, keep looking for that dream job. In the meantime, you’ve shored up your cash position, given yourself some structure in your work day and created some momentum for your career from hereon.
Read more tips at Purple Clover: Dreaming of a Dream Job.