And will it destroy my resume?
I sat in on the #GetHired Live event, What You Need to Know About Bridge Jobs hosted by Brandi Fowler of LinkedIn News with special guest Cynthia Pong, found of Embrace Change.
I saw a few comments and questions pop up about adding a bridge job (or 2) to your resume. They even addressed it for a moment in the stream.
This post is going to dive a little deeper into bridge jobs and answer, more specifically, how to list them on your resume.
Let’s get started!
What is a Bridge Job?
Simply put, a bridge job is a job you take to help bridge a gap in your career.
Why might you have a gap in your career?
There are tons of reasons. You could have been laid off. Your hours may have been slashed and you need something to pay the bills. Maybe you are burnt out and need to rejuvenate while still making money. It is possible you actively took time off for health reasons or to raise a family only to find you didn’t need, or want, as much time off and are ready to get back into the workforce but aren’t sure.
Or, maybe, you want to add a few new skills to start in a new career field.
All of these are perfectly valid reasons for seeking a bridge job.
Bridge jobs are meant to be temporary solutions.
That doesn’t mean it has to be a temp job, but you take it knowing you don’t plan to be there forever.
This isn’t a permanent career change that we’re talking about, but a temporary one to help get you closer to where you want to be.
A bridge job can be part of a strategy to help you figure out your next move.
They aren’t necessarily a move forward or even laterally.
But it is equally important to know that a bridge job isn’t a move backward. One important topic Pong discussed was negotiating with oneself about your expectations and acceptance of what a bridge job means to you personally.
As long as you reconcile with yourself that a bridge job is part of your strategy for something to ultimately help you move forward in whatever way you need to make that move (financially, emotionally, etc.) you aren’t moving backward.
What are the Pros of a Bridge Job?
I probably don’t even need to list this one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a temporary job just for money.
This might surprise you, but you might be really happy in a bridge job you picked just to get cash in your pocket while you strategize further.
You’ll likely be taking a full-time position to get any sort of health insurance, but if you need it, well, you need it. Taking that stressor off your plate while you consider your next steps is crucial.
If you pick and land the right bridge job, you could be getting your foot in the door of a company you’ve admired and want to work for.
Or you work adjacent to people who hold your dream job, you can network with them to find what paths they took to get where they are today.
Maybe your new job allows you time to attend events, seminars, etc. to further your connections.
If you’ve strategized carefully, hopefully you’ve taken a job that is going to add some transferrable skills to the set you already have.
Take your time in your bridge job to really assess what it is you want, how to get it, and then go after it. You can explore where you want to go, what you want in the next company you work for, even what type of work you want to involve yourself.
Bridge jobs are just as much about making ends meet as they are about discovering your new career path.
What are the Cons of a Bridge Job?
Temporary. . . right?
A bridge job is meant to be temporary. You might worry that you’ll land this bridge job and next thing you know you’ve been there for 5 years. As Pong stated in her stream with LinkedIn, you need to make sure you’re checking in quarterly, every 6 months, or however often you need to make sure you aren’t getting stuck in a rut.
It’s really scary to leave a job, whether on purpose or forcefully. There is grieving to be done. There are some huge life choices to make regarding immediate next and long-term future plans. There is panic and money is a real concern. Bills don’t sit back and wait while you figure it out.
So, give yourself permission to take a less-than-glamourous bridge job while you plan your next steps. Approach the position with the mindset that you’ll learn something new you can take with you into the future career you want, not the one you might be taking just to get by for now.
Is a Bridge Job Right for Me?
A bridge job is absolutely right for you if that’s where you are at in your life.
In fact, I’d recommend a bridge job over a lateral move if you can afford it, because a bridge job is going to introduce you to different connections, give you the freedom to grow, and help you shape your future on a timeline that’s appropriate for you.
How do I Put a Bridge Job on My Resume?
First things first, a bridge job is not going to destroy your resume. If anything, it will be enhancing your resume.
Ideally, you were somewhat strategic and are able to pull some transferrable skills from the bridge job to the position you are considering. In which case, add it to your professional experience and add in a little sentence about how you used this position to transition and gain skills in xyz.
You could consider adding a “Professional Development” section on your resume and address the bridge job there. For example, if you landed a front-desk position at a hospital, maybe you did OSHA or Medical Terminology training as part of their new hire routine. That can be listed under professional development.
Sometimes, you need to get a little creative.
Keep in mind, if your bridge job was only a couple of months and you don’t want to include it on your resume, YOU DON’T HAVE TO.
Having trouble deciding if your bridge job should go on your resume? Not sure what skills you learned that are transferrable or how to show that on your resume? We’re here to help.
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