Dead-end job

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A dead-end job is a job in which there is little or no chance of career development and advancement into a higher paid position.

Such work is usually regarded as unskilled and the phrase usually applies to those working as shelf stackers, cleaners, call center agents, clerks, or in other menial jobs where the pay is low, and the hours are long. Furthermore, positions not regarded as menial may nonetheless qualify as dead-end jobs and forms of underemployment. A specialized employee working in a small firm in an underdeveloped local market, for example, might have few opportunities for advancement within the company while simultaneously facing a dearth of opportunities outside it. Most dead-end jobs offer little to no transferable skills and may "trap" workers.[clarification needed][specify]

Dead-end jobs are not limited to menial labor, retail or fast food roles. Professional positions in call centers, loss-mitigation underwriting, administrative and clerical work may offer almost no advancement potential.[1][2] Another common indicator of a dead-end job is the risk of it being made obsolete by automation.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How to reroute out of a dead-end job". MSNBC. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  2. ^ Now, Careers (2011-07-03). "How to exit dead-end job rut". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  3. ^ Jacquelyn Smith (2012-08-12). "How to Tell if You're Stuck in a Dead-End Job, And What To Do If You Are". Forbes. 

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