Saturday December 16 2017

To take or not to take a low paying job

The basics. A job should be able to facilitate

The basics. A job should be able to facilitate one’s basic needs. FILE PHOTO  

By Desire Mbabaali

To many people, that pay cheque is the only source of income. They expect to pay the landlord, buy groceries, save, pay medical bills and transport themselves to and from work, among other commitments off that cheque.
But then what happens if you are presented with an opportunity that pays far less than what you spend but it is the only available option?
Angela Mwesigwa took on a job but soon realised that the money she was going to be paid could not sufficiently cater for her transport.

This was a tough decision for a young woman who after months of searching for a job was desperate enough to take on anything that came her way.
“A few months after graduation, and job hunting, I finally got an opportunity to teach at a secondary school. I knew from the beginning that the pay was not handsome, but I took on the job anyway – I think more out of desperation and frustration,” Mwesigwa says.

To start with, she had transport costs and food, among others and after starting on the job, “I started struggling right from my first salary”.
“I had to cut most of my costs. But even still, I was basically borrowing and not able to pay back,” she says, emphasising it was then that she learnt life’s lessons albeit in very difficult circumstances.
Mwesigwa’s story is a mirror image of a society that is struggling with unemployment where every opportunity is mobbed notwithstanding pay and related conditions.

However, according to Samuel Bakutana, the chief executive officer of Inspired Leaders International, every opportunity comes with its shortages and advantages.
“A low paying job is an opportunity for you to grow. Use it as a ladder to look for something better,” he says.
However, Ruth Kwikkiriza, a career guidance counsellor and coach, advises caution and says there are aspects that one should always consider before taking on the job.

“A job that cannot pay your basic needs such as transport and food is not a job irrespective of the experience it will give you,” she says.
Such conditions, she says, include pay and related benefits such as medical insurance and saving schemes, among others.
“At the end of the day we work to make ends meet and improve ourselves. So if you are not getting any of those, then what are you doing? You will get more desperate and even lose concentration,” she says.
However, she advises that if one can find other means through which they can fund their basic needs such as transport, they can take on the job for purposes of accumulating experience.


Taking on a low paying job, according to Samuel Bakutana, the chief executive officer of Inspired Leaders International, may be a good start that will assist you to acquire skills in the work environment as well as expanding one’s capacity to execute assigned duties.
This, he says, will also help you to network with people who might give better opportunities which you might never get if you stayed home.