In this time of economic uncertainty, more people than ever are looking for new employment. While your ultimate goal is to land your next AMAZING job, should you also consider looking at a ‘Bridge Job’?

Bridge Jobs can provide an interim stop after a forced transition, downsizing, or leaving an untenable situation. They can be exploratory roles or can facilitate staying with your current employer. Bridge Jobs are not ideal or dream roles, but jobs that serve a temporary purpose.

A Bridge Job gets you from here to the other side.

Like the name implies, a Bridge Job gets you from here to there but is not itself a destination.

I am not saying a Bridge Job is a free pass or a throw away job.  Like most jobs, you get out what you put in. It may seem less important to lean into a bridge job, but I would argue the opposite. You are always making impressions, and never know who might connect you to your next AMAZING job. Hard work also bolsters satisfaction and self-confidence, both of which may need a boost during your transition.

OK, so you plan to work hard and make good impressions, but what else might you get from your Bridge Job?

  1. Earning a living: The Bridge Job will help pay the bills while you invest in additional training/education. It will also allow you to maintain health insurance and tenure if within your same company.
  2. Learning new skills: Frequently, a Bridge Job is in an area of potential interest but at an entry level role. This gives you an opportunity to build prerequisite skills to qualify for your target role. Sometimes, it is in an entirely different field allowing you to try out a different business unit, function, or role. This change may help you discover a new passion, or it may reinforce your desire to get back into your chosen field.
  1. Meeting key people: Networking is one of the most important things to do while in a Bridge Job. You’ve heard stories of actors working as receptionists at entertainment companies or budding finance students working in the mail room at an investment firm. Leverage this position and time to aggressively network towards your target field. Networking in and of itself can help broaden your perspective, boost confidence, and renew energy for work.
  2. Detoxing from a prior bad fit role: Some bad fit roles are so draining and exhausting that you’re just not in the right mindset to immediately seek a dream role. People often need months to unwind and rebalance after an overly toxic job. It is better to ‘rehab’ in a Bridge Job; then with renewed energy and a clear head, go after what will really make you happy.

My Story:

I was excited about my third Director role at my company. The new job was promising; it offered learning, an opportunity to build a department, and an opportunity to change the way post-market research was done across the company. But after a couple years, my alignment with my boss was suffering. I was held responsible to execute on the unrealistic and constantly changing priorities of a boss trying to make a name for herself. I really needed a change.

I was actively looking for another Director role within my company, when a long-time friend told me about an available individual contributor role (like one of my early career dream jobs). This wasn’t at all on my radar, it was counter-intuitive, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. It got us back to our adopted hometown, in a role in which I would be immediately successful, and it would allow me to detox while having a big impact.

I didn’t know it then, but it was exactly what I needed.

I didn’t know it then, but it was a Bridge Job for me. It was exactly what I needed. It afforded so many benefits: I continued to make good money (only slightly less than my high-stress Director role), I had time exercise and get back into shape, I got back to enjoying weekends vs. dreading Mondays. Finally, it gave me space to explore what I really loved at work and where I could have the biggest impact.

This role gave me the courage to leave corporate America and start my own business. For me, this was a windfall disguised as a Bridge Job. Thank goodness for Bridge Jobs!

While not a destination, Bridge Jobs can be an important step along the way to finding that next AMAZING role. Bridge Jobs can provide needed income, continuity of benefits, learning opportunities, networking opportunities, and a needed rest. These jobs are often pivotal to discovering new interests, untapped strengths and potentially redirecting your career in a new trajectory. Be open to Bridge Jobs and the wealth of possibility they may hold!

Do you want help working through a transition, or getting the most out of your Bridge Job?  I can help.

Let’s Talk!


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