Here’s the format of Harsh Reality posts: I tell you something you don’t want to hear, and then I tell you how to deal with it.
Here’s something a recruiter, a career counselor, hell your own head of HR will never tell you or admit except when drunk or frustrated: it’s difficult to fill a position because more often than not the job blows.
This is something you should realize on your job search: that you are probably not going to find the perfect job. This is especially true if you’re starting in a new industry, just graduated from college, or just coming back into the workforce for some other reason. You’re an untested quantity and the jobs you’re going to find will tend to be entry-level (i.e. boring shit-work) or there’s something wrong with the place (stupid/hostile/bumbling management, the company’s in trouble financially or legally and the rats are jumping ship, or there’s some total disaster that they’re hiding from you that will be sprung on you about a week into your tenure.)
This doesn’t mean you’re doomed forever. It just means you’re going to have to deal with one of the key causes of job hatred: feeling trapped in a cube with no future.
How to Deal With It:
1) If you can find it, take a job you’ll get something out of. If you’re just looking for something to pay the bills, look for an industry that you’d like to learn more about and apply for jobs in that area. If you’re looking for something that will help you along a career path, keep a broad eye out. Just because something isn’t in your field doesn’t mean it won’t involve skills that will be useful IN your field.
2) If you can’t find anything that you find remotely rewarding, take the job that pays the best and that you think you won’t totally hate, and use your free time to push yourself. Take a class in something (or even go to grad school), volunteer in some area that’s in your field, take a second job if you really want. Even just having a hobby more productive than sitting on your ass and watching TV will go a long way towards dealing with a job you don’t like. Just because you spend most of the week there doesn’t mean it defines your life automatically, you have to let it first.