Trial Periods and Temporary Solutions – The 1-2-3 of Staying Employed No Matter What
We are headed into what is usually a great time to change careers – February. But this year is obviously a different story. There are more and more candidates and fewer and fewer positions. For many, finding a job has become their job. And it’s not easy for companies or HR Departments either – loaded with more applicants than they have ever seen before, they are faced with having to sort through piles of resumes and CVs to even begin to determine who’s uniquely suited for their open spots – not under qualified OR overqualified (because an overqualified candidate will, of course, not really build a home with them). Also, an under qualified applicant can be a company’s worst nightmare – blazing a trail of unfinished work, missed opportunities and angry colleagues and customers.)
For the great candidate in this crazy economy, one of the best pieces of advice I can offer, after almost three decades of staffing experience is this: keep working! No matter what! Don’t allow your “break between jobs” to go on for more than a few weeks. This might mean taking short-term consultant assignments or taking a few temporary roles until the economy finds some stability. There are numerous reasons to be employed right now though – even if it’s outside your niche or even a little bit below your standards or salary.
Reason #1 – Potential employers will find you a more attractive candidate if you’re working. The simple truth is that the longer you’re out of work, the more people will wonder WHY you’re out of work. So taking a temporary job while you’re job hunting is a fabulous idea. For one thing, it keeps your income flowing, and THAT will empower you to wait for the RIGHT opportunity, and not take just anything due to mounting financial pressures.
Reason #2 – You have a level of exposure that you couldn’t have at home reading the want ads. (So be sure that you temp in a company that gives you that exposure – that means it’s either big enough, or offer you enough peer and client contact to provide great networking.) Your hiring agent will be able to guide you to those temporary jobs that will provide this level of productive contact. You may even find that a temporary position turns into the full-time job of a lifetime. After all, there is no interview or resume that will highlight your strengths more than the real thing. Being there and offering your experience and expertise will go far to get your foot in the door (and the rest of you too).
Reason #3 – You will be inspired and productive. The enemy of vibrancy is definitely depression – and it’s VERY easy to become down when you’re out of work. Having great projects to contribute toward, and good teams of people to interact with, is priceless. You have MUCH to offer, and the one who needs to remember that every single day is YOU. So talk to your hiring agent and grab that temporary job or short-term consultant spot. Being “gainfully” employed means a lot more than a paycheck, after all.
Finally, let’s talk about the HR piece. Despite the abundance of applicants, this is NOT the time to forge ahead without a staffing firm! THIS is definitely one of those periods where your staffing firm is more important than ever. Not only will they sort through the candidates and provide pre-interviews and all-important reference and background checks, they also usually offer a trial period to make sure your hire is a good match before they’re paid for their services. Where else do you get a two or three-month free trial before you compensate your expert consultant?
Whatever side of the staffing equation you are on, having a hiring firm to partner with you through the process is a win-win-win. They are there to guide you to the next right choice, they are there to find you the next great candidate, and they are there to support you through the process every step of the way.