I'm unemployed! How can I get a job?
Take anything, and keep looking"Your best chance of landing a job is when you have a job. You're marketable," says Nicholas Aretakis, career coach and author of "No More Ramen: The 20-Something's Real World Survival Guide." "You want to be working toward building credentials or skill sets to position you for that dream job when it surfaces. And it will surface."
Is that risky?
Not as risky as homelessness. And you'll be in good company: An estimated 18.5 percent of the work force is underemployed, according to a 2011 Gallup poll.
"I think the only risk is one's energy level," says Vicky Oliver, career coach and author of "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions." "It's hard to look for a job while you're working. The risk is that you run out of energy for it; you get sucked into the vortex of some job that you're not crazy about, but it's easier."
What's the upside?
It's easier to land a job when you have a job. "You'd be greatly (limiting) yourself by not getting out there and networking with people, meeting new contacts and establishing references," says Aretakis.
If possible, strive for a job where you'll be learning and developing skills that will help you eventually get a better job, Aretakis says.
What will my friends think?
Does it really matter? "You might think, 'Oh, everyone thinks I'm an idiot for taking a job at Wendy's,' but that's probably wrong," says Karen Burns, author of "The Amazing Adventure of Working Girl."
"They're busy thinking about themselves mainly. Once you realize that, it's tremendously freeing."
How will I know if I made the wrong decision?
You'll lose interest -- fast. "If you don't feel like you're learning something or you're not making the money you need, those would be tip-offs," says Oliver.
"If you learned everything in the 40-minute orientation and you haven't learned anything more in three years, then you're in a bad job. If you feel like your brain is kind of corroding? That makes it a bad job."