It seems that many people are still applying for jobs some time after graduation – or worse, are still stumped when it comes to deciding on a future career. If you’re worried that might apply to you, then finding temporary work through an employment agency might be just what you need, as Ingrid Francis reports
Temping can be a great solution to a recent graduate’s woes. For example, it is a great way to earn cash quickly and many temping agencies provide graduate-specific roles with excellent training on software packages. But probably the most valuable is the experience it offers.
Georgina Morley, 22, graduated from Northampton University in July 2006; she was advised to temp by a friend as she found that general office experience is a prerequisite for many jobs. She explains: "It was a Catch 22 situation as I couldn’t get any office experience as I didn’t already have any. I just wish I had joined the agency sooner as I felt a bit stranded after graduating."
Most temporary vacancies involve covering a position that has come up or for a short period, such as maternity leave. But if you impress, a short-term post may lead to a different job offer within the company. Plus, making so many new acquaintances will improve your communications skills dramatically and that is what employers are looking for.
Plus, by signing up with employment agencies you cast your net across the entire job market and can delve into different things to see how they suit you. It might also be appropriate for you if you are looking for a flexible and varied work schedule.
Georgina also adds: "The agency is only a call away if you have any problems and it gives a sense of security as it will always help you find another job. I also like how I can try different jobs and constantly update my CV, the agents listen to what I’m interested in and try to build on that to find me a job."
So why not give it a try, because your communications and inter-personal skills will soar as you make acquaintances. Above all, it will be a step in the right direction for finding your perfect job.
Just ask Tracey Turton. She graduated in 2002 with a degree in marketing and media from Lincoln University and found temping a great help in her career as a marketing executive: "Temping is a great way to gain experience when you are unable to get a job straight away. It gave me a wider spectrum of skills which helped me to get my current job."
> Being in a job makes it easier to find another, so temping can be a quick solution to unemployment as you make applications for other jobs or take the time to explore what you want to do.
> Have your CV ready when you go in, and be ready to sell yourself, treat it as a practice interview. While it isn’t essential to be well-presented, it may reflect badly on you if you’re not.
> If you’ve signed up to an agency but haven’t heard back since, be proactive and ring them. Don’t just sign up to one agency either, the more you make yourself known, the more opportunities will be available.
> Don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. It’s easy to get used to being paid weekly and the routine of a sometimes fairly undemanding job.
> Seek out temp jobs that take you towards your goals or will give you higher levels of skills.
> Don’t get conned, temping agencies shouldn’t have to charge you for any basic services or training.
> Temping could be the ideal opportunity to get a foot in the door of your ideal job, as most places advertise permanent vacancies internally. So make sure you give the job everything.