A “butt fumble” is under-employment and even the people who love you will not hesitate to ensure the blame is 100% yours.
You have to call your parents to let them know you are still under-employed, which is just as embarrassing as a butt fumble, even if you’re not a New York Jets quarterback. You point your parents to J.T. O’Donnell’s Linked In article and say “Hey look, my situation is the new normal.” In return, Dad shows his $80,000 investment in your college education only to show a diploma and a lousy resume your university’s career services helped you write. You’re an under-employed job seeker. Welcome to the new normal.
If you are moonlighting, or in a job you’re over-qualified for, you are under-employed.
If you keep reading, there are some ways to turn your plowshares into swords, or at least bring more value to your under-employed position. At worse, you won’t feel so bad about your parent watching you butt fumble.
The infamous “butt fumble” was caused by the quarterback running into the butt of his own lineman. It is one of the humiliating team errors of sports history in recent years. Nonetheless, it was on regular rotation on ESPN from December 2012 to August 2013 sealed the “butt fumble” legendary status. It is consistently voted the “Worst of the worst.” In your mind, you keep replaying the decisions that led to where you work. STOP replaying those scenarios and START planning new ways to change the game!
While you are trying to make sense of it all at your current job that brings you un-satisfaction, go ahead and bring value to your under-employment position:
- Change your mind, not the scenery. If you don’t unload the attitude, the inward focus, and the apathy, then no one else will work with you.
- Be the main source of encouragement. Whether you fume quietly at the success of others or oppressed the disgruntled beast, it is a symptom of knowing that you are currently under employed and perhaps, underserved. Now it’s time to start being the first to congratulate and become interest when others succeed. If you’re savvy enough find out what that person did to move to your next ideal place (assuming that is what you want).
- Start vocalizing your ambition to find a solution. You may not be the only one with a desire to fix things. Others may have insight that you don’t have.
- Become the primary resource to discovering the solution. Be the subject matter expert by learning the history, what has worked in the past, and what works now.
- Continue to sharpen your premium skill set. The one thing you don’t want is for your training to depreciate in value. In most cases, you will need to find value in your secondary skills (the under-employed job skill).
- Incessantly invest in education. If you graduated in 2012, yet have not found a job that mirrors you degree, and have taken a class since, it’s time. Even if it’s free and online, look for the value in good paid classes that would count for continuing education or certificates. Otherwise, you’re entering the “irrelevant zone.”
- Don’t be afraid of high profile projects. You may have a unique perspective no one has approached. At the same time, don’t shy away from the vase shattered in a thousand pieces. If you are able to make sense of a small piece of it you have made a case to continue and possibly shine.
- Accept criticism and praise similarly…with grace and humility. I’ve learned to thank people for their criticism the same as praise, but I don’t weigh them the same. Criticism can hurt but can be helpful, but if you fight it without understanding it could be overwhelming. Praise can be as damaging if people do not know you or the work you do, especially if you grasp it quicker than criticism. I tend to sort criticism and praise out equally, looking to accept or discount both.
There will be more on this subject as I know it will become a very hot topic. We are a culture that has ignored the under-employed. We naturally replay embarrassment and folly over and over if there is a victim. You’re not that victim. Instead, that replay should be showing the feature preview of your success.
Perhaps you are underemployed, and has read this and thought that I left some points out. Did you go from under-employed to gainfully employed? What did you do to change? Please share below.
About Mark Anthony Dyson
I am the "The Voice of Job Seekers!" I offer compassionate career and job search advice as I hack and re-imagine the job search process. You need to be "the prescription to an employer's job description." You must be solution-oriented and work in positions in companies where you are the remedy. Your job search must be a lifestyle, and your career must be in front of you constantly. You can no longer shed your aspirations at the change seasons. There are strengths you have that need constant use and development. Be sure you sign up to download my E-Book, "421 Modern Job Search Tips 2021!" You can find my career advice and work in media outlets such as Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Glassdoor, and many other outlets.