Tuesday, June 15, 2010

From Temporary Employee to Permanent Staff

So the partying is all done and now the job hunt is on. Stellar!

According to the Department of Labor Statistics, unemployed people spend about 18 minutes a day looking for a job. Crazy isn't it? What are they probably doing? My bet is that they are going on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com and other large job search sites, finding a couple of jobs to apply to, sending out resumes and then calling that a job search. It's better than doing nothing I guess. But you're serious about your job search and know you will find the job you want because you understand that looking for a job is now your job. So while others are logging on to Facebook to play Farmville, Sorority Life and Mafia Wars, you are still searching. And, although looking online and doing all those social media things are a great way to network, I would like you to remove yourself from the computer and get out there and meet people, face-to-face. Here is one way you can do that.

Do you know about temporary staffing agencies?
I find that almost all of my clients have never heard about them before. So, let me just tell all of you at the same time.

During the course of a year, employees have emergencies in their lives, get pregnant, have extended leaves of absence and so on. The work still needs to be done so companies turn to staffing agencies to help fill the gap. You could be assigned to a company for a day, weeks, or longer. There are also some opportunities to work somewhere temporarily and it lead to a permanent position.

When I first graduated from college, this is the way I survived. This is a great way to get some experience and to get some money in your pocket at the same time. And there are staffing agencies that specialize in all sorts of industries such as creative (for the designers, writers, editors), accountants, engineers, etc. You tend to get paid more when you work with a specialized agency than when you work with a general agency doing reorganizing and filing of patient files, answering phones at a winery or photocopying pharmaceutical medical recipes. (Yes, these are actual jobs I have done.) The agency is paid by the company looking to fill a position. You are not charged. And if you come across one that does want to charge you, I'd move on.

The best tip I got from a recruit I signed up with was for me to call her once a week so I would stay on top of her mind. I turned around and did that for all five agencies I was signed up with. When I called, I wasn't aggressive and demanded that they find me something. I called or emailed saying I was still available for work and just checking in with them in case something came across their desk. And, it worked. I always had work because I made sure I stayed fresh on their mind. And you should too!

Oh, yes, before I forget, I did sign up with five agencies. Why? Because each agency had different companies as clients. When one didn't have work for me I had the other four I could contact. You've got to keep you options open.

While you are working where you are placed by the staffing agency you can get to meet new people. You want to do stellar work so that the people there will grow to know, like and trust you. So, no matter what you are doing whether it's filing, answering phones, or what you are trained to do, you do it with enthusiasm. You want to do it for a couple of reasons. First, to show that you are stellar at what you do. Second, to present your wonderful personality. And third, when they report back to your agency they will say great things about you and your work so when that assignment is over, the agency knows you are a great representative for them.

And, don't just communicate with the people you directly report to. Branch out and speak to the people in the department, even the entire company. We are growing our network here.

There are other ways to network face-to-face that I will tell you about in another article. But for now this is your mission.

1.) Get your resume together. Agencies are going to want to view it too!

2.) Start looking into staffing agencies in your area. Ones that specialize in your industry and also general ones. Don't just sign up for any one. Do some research, ask around, read reviews if you can find them. You want to sign up with a reputable company.

3.) Once you're comfortable with what you find, pick up the phone and ask questions. How do they work? How do you get considered? What do they require?

4.) Don't be afraid to sign up with more than one agency. The more you have, the more your name is getting out there.

Happy Hunting! And, if there is any way I can help, just let me know.

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