Will working a low wage job kill your career? No!
According to staff writer Jessica Dickler, many laid-off workers are taking steep paycuts to make ends meet, often working at entry-level or menial jobs to put food on the table: "But a smaller paycheck could push you back a rung in the in salary ladder, and make it that much harder to get back to where you were."
The problem is that that's just not really true. What you will be paid in the future will be determined based on supply and demand, and the value you can add for your employer -- and how much he'll have to pony up to avoid losing you to someone else.
And in the worst job market in decades, no one is going to look down on you for doing what you had to do to live to fight another day.
Back in March, I interviewed career expert Lindsey Pollak about the issue of recent graduates taking low-paying jobs. "I've spoken to many recruiters and no one is going to fault you for what you need to do to get through this," she said.
The more pragmatic issue is this: If you need money, you gotta do what you gotta do. if they're about to turn off your lights and repossess your car, you have to get whatever job you can get -- your career can figure itself out later.