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Jobs again - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Jobs again
I still don't know whether I should take this temp job I've been offered (filing clerk for the University Development Office), & I've got to decide before lunchtime tomorrow.

For:
- It's NOT PROQUEST
- It's for the University, & I'd rather work for them than for commercial companies.
- It's in the Development Office, and fundraising is one of the directions I'd possibly be interested to go in, because it's a good way to get to work for charities.
- It's only for a month

Against:
- It's unlikely to do much for my CV.
- It's only £6.06/hr (as opposed to the £10/hr I'm getting at PQ).
- It sounds quite dull.
- It's full time (i.e. 5 days a week) so I wouldn't be able to keep doing my Friday mornings at Oxfam, & I enjoy those.

Other:
- Will the temp agency stop offering me things if I turn stuff down? (I've already turned down one job because it was a "start tomorrow" thing & I'd already said I'd work for PQ the next day.)
- What happens if I get offered a Real Job(tm) while I'm doing it?
- [General formless stress about my CV ending up looking like I have no sense of direction whatsoever, which while true is probably not a good thing to show]

I don't like saying "Make my decisions for me" but I really don't know what to do. Even though I know in the long run it probably won't make that much difference to where my life goes, and you're probably all sighing exasperatedly at me already. :-( I don't know, I want to do something that's not ProQuest (because spending every day just wanting to cry with frustration and boredom isn't good for me) but I feel like maybe I ought to hang on for something better. But then I've been doing that for over six months and not been able to get a job.

Current Mood: stressed

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Comments
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: December 17th, 2003 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Clicking the invisible "yes" tickybox

I think your fors and againsts pair up quite neatly as follows:

- It's full time (i.e. 5 days a week) so I wouldn't be able to keep doing my Friday mornings at Oxfam, & I enjoy those.
+ It's only for a month

Accordingly, you'll only miss 4 or 5 Oxfam Fridays and Oxfam are very likely to happily take you back on afterwards.

- It's unlikely to do much for my CV.
+ It's in the Development Office, and fundraising is one of the directions I'd possibly be interested to go in, because it's a good way to get to work for charities.

If you do want to consider going down the charity work route, the fundraising is likely to be a handy thing to have on your CV.

- It's only £6.06/hr (as opposed to the £10/hr I'm getting at PQ).
+ It's NOT PROQUEST

I know you're not working 5 days per week for PQ - from possibly dubious memory, it may be more like 2 or 3 or 4. You'll need to work 5 days at the UDO to make what you would earn in 3 at PQ, but it won't make you as miserable.

- It sounds quite dull.
+ It's for the University, & I'd rather work for them than for commercial companies.

OK, these two aren't quite so well-matched, but they're what's left.

Is there any way that you can jig it so that you try one or two days of UDO work on days you wouldn't be working at PQ if you decide to stick with them and then make a more informed decision?

- Will the temp agency stop offering me things if I turn stuff down? (I've already turned down one job because it was a "start tomorrow" thing & I'd already said I'd work for PQ the next day.)

Apparently not, though I'm not an expert.

- What happens if I get offered a Real Job(tm) while I'm doing it?

They're a temp agency; they're used to people pulling out of their placements at no notice.

- [General formless stress about my CV ending up looking like I have no sense of direction whatsoever, which while true is probably not a good thing to show]

It's up to you what you put on your CV. Perhaps this won't stay on your CV for more than a year; perhaps you'll go down a route where this is the foundation of what you do and what makes you happy for the rest of your life. Either is good. I can understand being worried about having lots of different things on your CV, but surely "successfully completed short contract" is a good sort of thing to be able to say when people ask why you didn't stay in one particular one for longer.

Caveat: my track record shows I know jack shit about getting jobs.
martling From: martling Date: December 17th, 2003 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
For what it's worth (any answer when feeling stressed at 1am probably better than none), I'd say take it.

- It's unlikely to do much for my CV.
It won't harm it either, IMO.
- It's only £6.06/hr (as opposed to the £10/hr I'm getting at PQ).
True. I don't know how much that affects you practically, but that you're considering it suggests to me you feel it's feasible to put other factors before the money for the duration. Personally I feel you should if you can.
- It sounds quite dull.
But it's not ProQuest, so at least it's a new dull, and it's only for a month.
- It's full time (i.e. 5 days a week) so I wouldn't be able to keep doing my Friday mornings at Oxfam, & I enjoy those.
Which will go for most other jobs too, and sucks.
- Will the temp agency stop offering me things if I turn stuff down? (I've already turned down one job because it was a "start tomorrow" thing & I'd already said I'd work for PQ the next day.)
I don't know. Mental economics would suggest they should eventually do so, but I have little idea what the overhead for them of one extra person on their lists is and thus whether anyone's likely to bother watching stats or when they might start to care.
- What happens if I get offered a Real Job(tm) while I'm doing it?
Then you have at the very most four weeks before you can start, depending on when you're offered and whether there's any way to bail on this job. If you were moving from a more permanent position a sizable portion or even all of this might not be unreasonable delay, so an employer would hopefully be prepared for that.
- [General formless stress about my CV ending up looking like I have no sense of direction whatsoever, which while true is probably not a good thing to show]
[General formless response that the job market sucks. But there are other ways to show direction, and ways aside from previous direction to suggest you're likely to care about and stick with a job, which is what makes employers interested in that in the first place]

sion_a From: sion_a Date: December 18th, 2003 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
What happens if I get offered a Real Job(tm) while I'm doing it?

To re-emphasise Martin's answer: it's a one month contract -- coming from a permanent job you'd probably have at least a months notice before you could start on something new. It's not an issue.
julietk From: julietk Date: December 18th, 2003 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd say go for it.

Main reason: it's not ProQuest, & it gets you out of there. And whilst being a filing clerk is likely to be dull, at least it's a different *sort* of dull :-) & it has a nice set time-limit on it.

Plus, the experience in the Development Office will be useful if you're thinking about fundraising, if you keep your ears open & volunteer if there's other non-filing things that need doing when you're done filing, & stuff like that.

Whilst the temp agency probably won't stop offering you things, it *is* true IME that they are more likely to offer you stuff once you've started doing actual work for them. They seem to like to keep people working; also then they've got direct feedback from one of their clients, rather than relying on references, & know that you're competent & suchlike. As far as the possibility of Real Job goes: it's temping. You can stop doing it at any point, that's part of the deal (of course, the *other* part of the deal is that if they decide they don't need you for a full month after all, then they're allowed to do that as well; but that's never happened to me yet. I've twice pulled out of longer-term temp placements, though, with no repercussions).

I don't think it'll do your CV any harm, & it might do it good, especially if you do go for fundraising stuff. Do it.
j4 From: j4 Date: December 18th, 2003 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
different *sort* of dull

That's what I'm hoping. I don't mind "dull" when it's not accompanied by that sick feeling of oh-my-god-I'm-going-to-be-stuck-in-this-place-till-I-die.

Plus, the experience in the Development Office will be useful if you're thinking about fundraising, if you keep your ears open & volunteer if there's other non-filing things that need doing when you're done filing, & stuff like that.

*nod*

That's what I managed to do with the job at Templeton College Library, where I was supposed to be cataloguing and ended up doing half a dozen different things because I always finished things quicker than they expected & volunteered to do more stuff. And saw things that needed done, and suggested ways of doing them. I like doing that. The problem is I did it at PQ and they basically managed to make every new thing into a we-know-this-way-doesn't-work-quite-right-but-we'll-do-it-forever-now-anyway thing. *grits teeth*

it *is* true IME that they are more likely to offer you stuff once you've started doing actual work for them

That's good to know -- thanks. This is the second thing that they've offered me already, so if they're more likely to offer stuff once I've done some, there's a chance I may NEVER EVER have to go back to ProQuest. :)
From: bibliogirl Date: December 18th, 2003 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that if the drop in hourly rate isn't _actually_ going to result in you living on beans on toast for a month, you should go for it. It'd be a change of scene, it sounds like it would be less frustrating and, yep, if you want to work for charities, this sounds like an ideal place to get some experience.

caffeine_fairy, who worked for me up until a few weeks back, had -- by the time she acquired a new job -- a good collection of sites referencing charity and university-type jobs. Would you like me to get her to send them on to you? She was mostly looking around in London but I think they included jobs country-wide.
j4 From: j4 Date: December 18th, 2003 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
beans on toast

Ick, ickety-ick. No, if it gets to that stage, it's Sainsburys Economy spaghetti in tins for me, thanks. :) Hopefully, though, it shouldn't be that bad.

The difference in money is:

temp job: £6.06/hr * 5 days = £212.10
ProQuest: £10/hr * 4 days = £280.00

So it's a bit of a drop; OTOH ProQuest haven't been doing PAYE so I'll lose heaps of money in tax at the end of the year :-( which means that it may all even out. And even if it doesn't, 68 quid a week seems a reasonably small price to pay for my continuing sanity...

a good collection of sites referencing charity and university-type jobs

That might be handy -- thank you! I've already got jobs.ac.uk, jobsincharities.co.uk, charitypeople.com and charityjob.co.uk, but if you or caffeine_fairy have any others you want to recommend that'd be great.
julietk From: julietk Date: December 18th, 2003 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)
And if you could recommend them here so I can nab them as well, that'd be great!
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: December 18th, 2003 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
- What happens if I get offered a Real Job(tm) while I'm doing it?

You bugger off at a moment's notice. Temps do this all the time. It's practically expected of you.

Most places I've worked were pretty sympathetic about going for interviews, too. They knew I didn't want to make a career out of photocopying child abuse reports.
addedentry From: addedentry Date: December 18th, 2003 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Gofer it. You know this, surely, you just need us to tell you.

A dull job can be an asset; it's hard to get stressed over filing, at least when your talents include Being Good At Spelling, and instead you have time for flights of fancy.

I did once end up temping in a truly pathological atmosphere because I didn't realise that agencies fully expect you to turn down some of their positions. But since you're in that situation already, why not enter 2004 knowing you've seen the back of ProQuest?
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 18th, 2003 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
And then you've managed to keep last year's resolution too!

Glad you decided to go for it!

(lnr@work)
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: December 18th, 2003 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Take the temp job.
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