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Throwing You a Line

Is there a Lifeboat Job in your future?

Almost as difficult as it is looking for a job at our age, knowing when to accept an offer or an opportunity may be just as difficult. And for those who have been out of work for an extended period of time, those decisions are that much tougher.

Let’s set the stage. You’re out of work with no income. But you still have bills, maybe a mortgage, maybe one (or more) kids in college. Just because your income has halted, your bills have not.

Sure you need a job, but you also need income. Just as you feel you’re about to drown, someone throws you a life line. It’s a job. Not a job that you really want; not for a salary to which you’ve become accustomed. But it’s a job. Money coming in.

In today’s parlance, it’s what is known as a “lifeboat job.” According to, “a lifeboat job is a job to hold people over until the economy recovers—a metaphorical lifeboat.” LinkedIn claims that there are numerous lifeboat jobs available in mental health, medical sales, personal shopping and as loan officers.

The question is: should you take it? While it may mean income to keep the wolves from the door, it may consume considerable amounts of your time – time that is taken away from your job search. In addition to the income, the upside is, to cite and old adage, it’s easier to land a job when you already have one. Also, one never knows, it could lead to something more promising.

To address the question of “Should you take it?” There’s no easy answer there. It’s an individual decision. On the one hand it may work out well for some, but it could end up prolonging a job search for others. It will require considerable reflection and probably several discussions with spouses, family members, colleagues and friends. In the end, as much as we’d like to help, it’s a personal decision determined by your personal circumstances.


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