As the economy flounders, many recent graduates or former full-time workers have had to settle for part-time work to get by.

The Washington Post reports that in 2010 approximately 43 percent of laid-off workers landed jobs that paid less than their previous ones, according to a CareerBuilder survey of 900 people who lost their jobs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 8.6 million Americans now hold part-time jobs or do temporary work because they cannot find full-time positions or because their hours were cut.

Barbara Herzog, a Washington D.C.-based career coach, explains to the media outlet that a "step-down" job can also be used as a steppingstone to something better.

"You may be an admin but you offer to do research in the slow times and soon you’re writing some features for the department’s newsletter or website," she explains to the media outlet.

Herzog also suggests socializing with co-workers to learn about organizational politics and mistakes to avoid, and dressing for success even if the job doesn't require it. "Dress for the next job up, you never know when you’re being sized up for a promotion." 

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