Should you consider stop-gap employment?
Survival jobs have been debated upon several times on both academic and professional forums, yet there has been no definite verdict. And there will be none either. The simple reason for it is that there is no one-word answer. It differs from situation to situation, and you need to weigh pros and cons on individual basis. Consider both the bright and dark sides.
Employers now understand unemployment and don’t attach unnecessary stigma to it anymore. They know that layoffs are not personal failures but economic slump, and applicant with extensive unemployment periods are not judged entirely on it. Also, it may put forth a positive impression as it shows that you are a hard worker and realize what needs to be done. To believe that you will be more appealing to a potential employer if you take any survival job is untrue, but as long as you can explain it in positive terms and highlight your learning, it will be appreciated.
Other than that, it will expand your horizons and bring you to experiences and opportunities you were unable to explore before. You might come stumble across a hidden talent that you can make use of successfully. And above all, it will slow down your financial bleeding. It might not enrich you but it will definitely keep you going.
You get a false sense of security which affects your job-search. Firstly, you might not be left with a lot of time or energy and that will but the search in back-seat automatically, and the fact that you are employed (however beneath it is to your value), you might adjust to it and worse, get used to it.
What's more, the pay-scale is usually compromised and your skills not fully exploited, which might lead to incompetency in future.
Once again, one should weigh pros and cons individually and according to their priorities to decide if stop-gap employment can be a solution for them.