How To Get A Good Job ~ 7 Tips For The Underemployed

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I am going to tell you how to get a good job. As I mentioned in my how to master life after college blog, approximately 53% of college graduates are unemployed or working in a job that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree (source).  Which means that there are a whole lot of college graduates that are underemployed or worst underemployed. I know that feeling, to get a good college degree and feel to feel like your degree is useless.

And to be in a job that you feel you could have gotten had you not even gone to college.  I know the feeling because my first job after getting a BS degree was paying $25,000 a year ( I ended up getting $32,000) a year after overtime and I did not need a degree. But I used the same tips that I am going to tell you as a way to lift myself up out of being underemployed and if I did it then you can do it.

According to the Webster dictionary the underemployment definition is

The condition in which people in a labor force are employed at less than full-time or regular jobs or at jobs inadequate with  respect to their training or economic needs”

According to stats college grads on average make between $48,000 – $60,000 a year (source). So if you are making $50k as a college grad then you are doing pretty good even if you feel like that is too low and want to make a 100k. Either way, no matter what you make this will help you out BUT I wanted to point out what underemployment was so that you will know that if as a college graduate you make less than the number above then you probably are underemployed and if you are not working full time but rather in a temporary agency or part time (and you don’t want to be) then you are underemployed. And of course if you are unemployed then you are underemployed.

When you are underemployed people tend to have the following circumstances:

  • You have a massive about of experience and/or college education; and you are either working a full time job not making enough money, a part time job not making enough money, or you cannot find a full time job and a part time job is your only option.
  • The second situation is that you may have skills but no experience, no formal education, and you are having trouble making a good income at your full time job. You may be working a part time job making less money and cannot find a full time job.
  • If you fall into either of these situations, then it is okay. I am here to help. Once you have identified which category you fall into that is when you can start to improve your I need a better job situation.

Since there are so many categories underemployed people fall into when it comes to having a degree of course I cannot dive deeply into each and everyone of your situations.  I just used the common ones and no matter what your situation is, if you have a degree and want a better job these tips are going to help you. Let’s Get Into It.

1. How To Get A Good Job ~ Work In The Field Of Your Degree

You need to work in the field in which your college education is in.  If you got a degree in political science but you are working full time as a teacher’s assistant in math, that is why you are making less money.  Try to find jobs that requires a degree in political science because you are seen as having some expertise in the field of political science due to your degree, and are more likely to make more money.  So many times college graduates take any job  just so that they have a job but you have a degree for a reason so use it.

2. How To Get A Good Job ~ Get experience.

There are many people who are college graduates and do not have any sort of real working experience.  The down side to that is when you apply for a higher paying job you are not going to be an applicant that stands out.  If the criteria for the job is to just have a degree in (xyz) and you have that degree that does not mean that you will get the job. Because that is the minimum qualifications. So everyone that applies has at least a degree and the best candidates have experience as well.

The way in which you can do this is to try to get a job in your major like I mentioned above. I know that your goal is to get employed and a high paying job BUT at this time even if the job does not offer as much as you want or is part time take it anyway. Because the experience that you will get from the job will help you out more so in the long term even if the salary is not what you want now. It is not forever just to beef up your resume and give you the experience to go along with your degree which will thus make you a more competitive candidate for better jobs.

3. How To Get A Good Job ~ You Can Always Work Your Way Up

Working your way up is the easiest thing that you can do when you are underemployed but there is a method to how this works.  You cannot get in some small time company that has no real opportunities for growth and think that you are going to work your way up. The key here is to go with a company that is well known in your niche and one you want to work for.

Even if  you have to take a lower level job at least you are in the company and when you are in the company people can get to know you, your work ethic, qualifications and when you apply for a promotion you have a HUGE leg up on other applicants. If you are not known for doing a great job then this may not work. And really it does not have to take a long time.

You can work hard for 6 months, network with people, tell people about your degree in the field and desire to  move up in the company, and learn other people’s job so that you can learn what it is they do and when it comes time to apply for a better job you already know the details of the job you are applying for.

Make sure that you have a good reputation with your supervisor and even a good performance review because these are the things that will help you get a better job at a company you want to move up in.  Most companies are more likely to promote internally so even if you are underemployed now, working and staying with an agency for a long time can give you the advantage in the long run.

4. How To Get A Good Job ~ Get more education

Continue your education, get a degree, get a certification or a license.  The fact is that having a graduate degree can add on average $17,000 to your annual salary starting off and that is depending on the field. Click here for a great chart by Good Call that will show you how much MORE you stand to make by getting a graduate degree based on the field in which you want to work.

Of course, this process can be a little slower in getting more money as a new degree can take at least a year to complete,  but on average two to three. But as someone who can attest to the difference a degree can (as I have gotten two more degrees beyond my Bachelors)  I really started making MORE money when I got another degree.  If you do not want to go for a degree you can go for a certification because they can take months.

You can be really good at computers, but if you do not have a certification, degree, or something on paper that says you are good at computers then you are not going to get a good job working with computers.  If you are able to find one, you will more than likely be passed over for a promotion over someone that does have something on paper (check out my blog on why you are getting passed up for a promotion).

Try to find college options that are good for you (see my blog here) or some type of certification that is recognized by the field.  Just remember the more you know the more you can demand as far as salary. So depending on your field getting more education could be worth it for you. If you are saying that you are broke and cannot afford school, click here on how to fund your college education.

5. How To Get A Good Job ~ Be VERY Proactive In Your Search 

You need to be proactive in your job search and apply for about 20 jobs a week! I know it sounds like a lot and it is but either you want a better paying job or you don’t.  Applying for more of the good jobs will increase the likelihood that you will get one of them. Don’t waste time on applying for jobs that do not pay what you want to make and don’t get disappointed when you do not get a call for every job.

Applying for better jobs means that other people are applying for them to so it may be harder just to get an interview which is why you are applying for so many.  Click here to see how to get a job with the ultimate job search.   Also you can check out my video below on how to find a good job by seeing how to job search and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel by clicking here.

There are MANY jobs out there that are entry level jobs that when you get hired they will put you through their management training program and they require a degree to even get into the program but they do not require that you have tons of experience. And when you finish the program you are management level and have a decent salary.

If you choose to go this route then the management programs are NOT always in your area of study. But rather big cooperation that are just looking to train their managers and that  have a degree.  This will not only give you a decent salary but also management experience which is a great salary negotiated skill for the future.

6. How To Get A Good Job ~ Get a Job That You KNOW You Will Get

Get a job with guaranteed admission. Jobs like this are the military, a police officer, or a firefighter.  You still have to meet the qualifications, but most people can meet the qualifications with little to no effort because  jobs like these are always going to need people. They also do mass hiring, train you, and you can always get promoted in these positions which means more money for you.

You do not really need a degree for these positions but if you have one they can offer more benefits and promotion opportunities. With a degree you can come in the military as an officer over being enlisted which is a bigger salary difference.  Plus when you get out of these jobs, you will more than likely find another good job, because people value people who work in public services and are more willing to hire them.

7. How To Get A Good Job ~ Something in sales or commission based.

Some jobs that you can make good money at are sales types jobs or jobs where you earn commission. They are people who are educated and make a very good living doing these types of things.  Never overlook these types of employments because your income can be dependent on how hard you work. And if you are the type of person who is not afraid to sell stuff to people, weather it be cars, makeup, or whatever it is that you are passionate about. Then you can make a lot of money.

I mean literally Gloria Mayfield has an MBA from Harvard and she sells Mary Kay and has been extremely successful at it. So much so that she is  the#1 ranked Elite National Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, leading her to multi million dollar success. A pro about these jobs is that they are easy to get so even if you cannot find any job then you can get a sales job. Not everyone is meant for sales because it does require a certain type of personality. But if don’t have any money and cannot find a job I say hey why not, what do you have to lose?

Regardless of where you fall into the spectrum, you need to be able to impress people in an interview and on paper. You can check out my resume tips blog here, how to dress for an interview, and how to prepare for an interview.  How you present yourself  on paper can determine if you get an interview and how you show up in person can determine if you get the job.

I know you may be reading this and thinking “I need a better job now” I do not have time to do all of this.  The fact of the matter is good jobs and good paying jobs do not just fall out of the sky. The company wants to hire and give money to the best candidate that they can find, which is why you have to become that candidate.  No one is just going to give you a good job just because you are you.

These are all of the tips that I have on how to get a better job and I know that they will help you out.  If you know someone you could stand to use this tips then go ahead and share this post with them.


  1. I am underemployed and I have not been applying for 20 jobs a week let alone 1..Ive been unfocused and I realixed I have work to do in order to change my situation. How do you stop negative and stagnating self talk?

    • This is going to sound so simple, but you have to choose to be happy. Every time negative thoughts come in you have to choose not feed into them. Know who you are in God and that He created you for a reason and for a purpose. Once you understand that, you will understand that it is not in God’s will for you to be less than what He created you to be. You know 10 years ago I applied for a 10-15 jobs a week for 3 years straight! Ten years ago I made almost 3x less than what I make today. But I kept going, I kept working, and I kept working on myself. I didn’t take no for an answer and it made me a stronger person because of it. When I think of the people I knew 10 years ago and they are still in the same place and still unhappy, it makes me sad for them. Because they are stuck. But in the same way I am glad I was able to move past that. You have to set goals and commit to doing your goals EVERYDAY. NO EXCUSES. Even when you do not feel like it. One day commit to perfecting your resume, and in that week apply for 20 jobs. Do that every week and do not tell yourself that you do not feel like it. What you are feeling I have been through TRUST me, but if you do not get a hold on it now it will consume you. And you will wake up 20 years from now wondering where your life went. You only get one life, there are no do overs. And I believe that no one was put on this Earth to just sit and fail. You just have to tap into what you want and go after it with everything you have. God will meet you half way. Remember you are never alone in anything you do. And as always thank you so much for your comment.

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