Don't Give Away the Milk for Free

08/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Nicole Williams Career Expert, Bestselling Author, 'Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success'

If you're one of the many settling for a mindless job that pays next to nothing (or nothing at all) as this WSJ article suggests more and more of you are), first of all -- I feel for you. There's nothing more aggravating than not having your worth recognized. On the other hand, props to you for making an effort to stay active until this economic climate passes.

In the mean time, though, you should be getting something valuable out of the work that you're doing. Here, some tips to getting the most out of your temporary recession gig.

  • Grow your business card collection. Focus on the people you're working with, not the work itself. One of the most important things you'll take away from this experience is a list of contacts, so attend all the meetings, conferences, and after-hours events you can.
  • Acquire real skills. Even if this job is just a means to keep bread (and only bread) on the table, you should aim to add at least one new skill to your resume before you leave. Hit up the graphics department for Photoshop lessons, ask a younger co-worker to teach you Twitter, or become the Excel mastermind you never dreamed you could be.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Think of this position as a non-threatening environment to practice skills you've previously shied away from. So you're terrible at writing marketing copy? Give it a go. Clueless when it comes to event planning? Now's the time to try your hand. Constructive criticism might just be your new best friend in this situation.

Nicole Williams' latest book, Girl on Top, is now available for pre-order on Click here to read more about the book!