The Dilemma of Settling for Less

A laid-off exec wonders if taking a lower-paying job is preferable to cooling his heels until a better opportunity comes along

Q: Given the depressed hiring market for executive-level professionals, as a former senior executive at a (recently closed) technology startup, I am wondering what is preferable from a resume-building and future-hireability standpoint? Should I ride out this dry period by taking on short-term consulting and advisory projects? Or should I accept a full-time position that offers full-time employment and stable income, even if it might represent a step down in terms of responsibilities and/or compensation? -- M.L., Alexandria, Va.


If the bank is calling for the mortgage payment, the kids are clamoring for tuition money, and there is little food left in the fridge, you may have no choice but to take that second-string job. But if you can tide yourself over with consulting or other temporary work, it would be best to hold out for a position that you really want, experts say.

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