Unemployment: temp or part time job opportunity into fulltime career

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 - Uncategorized

As the unemployment circle bites, many are now looking at the prospect of job hunting for the first time in many years, if not decades. On that note, I have sympathy with Harry Blackwood, the journalist turned college lecturer who now finds himself unemployed after 35years.

However, much as though sympathy and understanding is fine, it is finding work quickly which is the key; and from some, only in the right sector.

I have written here before about changing sectors, but how about if you can’t get the dream job, but just want a job in your dream company or ideal sector? The reason you probably can’t get in to your ideal job if you have tried every tactic and lesson possible, and had your CV checked over, is then based on:

– Your skills
– Your experience
– The competition is better qualified

If you still really want that job, how about getting it from the inside rather than the outside? How about a contract or part time job then? And in the credit crunch, this tactic works even better.

Most employers today want flexible workforces. People unlike chocolate bars don’t come in half size pay scales, but there is the option to take on half a wage or less than a 28day notice period, either through part-time workers or agency staff/contractors. The immediate advantage to the employer is that they get a flexible workforce, and their pay costs better match their income profile.

However, there is a distinct advantage to the job seeker. This choice by an employer means you have a far better chance of becoming an insider when a new job post comes up. The advantages to the employer of this tactic is that they know you and your capabilities. Should a suitable job come up, any issues you may fall short on with regards skills, qualifications or experience are made up for by the taking the risk of hiring out – if they are considering letting you on to the applicant list, its says: “we think we can bridge that gap with training.”

If you know your ideal sector or employer, check the local newspapers for adverts. These may not always have the employers logo or details stamped on them, so if in doubt ring the employer/s HR department and ask for a list of the recruitment agencies on their Preferred Supplier List (PSL). Then call these agencies, and register ONLY for this employer or sector.

Be flexible in terms of the types of work you will do when an opportunity comes up. It doesn’t have to be your ideal job in your ideal employer, as my sister found out when temping as a typist having just finished her degree, and being offered graduate training posts for HR and finance work: it just has to be in your target sector or employer.

Once on the inside, be clear on communication and the targets expected of you. One thing you need to discover are the high performer targets, and to make sure that within your first 20 days of working there you hit them at least once. Yes, it might mean long hours and not a lot of social life, but it will be worth it.

After 28days or at the end of your period of employment if less than that, ask for a meeting with HR. Get them to review your work and agree you have done a great job while working with them. To confirm this, ask for a written reference – say it is for your portfolio if asked. Now you have that check knowing that they think you are great, ask if there are any job opportunities? They may say no, but having just handed you a fresh hand written reference they are more likely to say yes or at the very least say “stay in touch.” Make sure you do that, and in either case make it clear you don’t expect a job on a plate – you are happy to compete, and prove you are the right person.

Job hunting need not be hard, and getting your ideal job may not be difficult. But it may require the job seeker to deploy some thought and tactics to get what they want from the inside.

Good Luck!

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