The life of a temp

On just a regular Monday I got a call from a temp agency that I have done some work for in the past.  They wanted to know if they could put me forward for a position, I said why not.  I think the whole world knows that I have been on the lookout for new opportunities.  The following day, half an hour before I was to head to my usual job, I got a phone call to say that the company wanted me and I was to start on Thursday. The only problem was I already had a job, although I had only been getting limited hours, I think my employer was still expecting me to work for them.

With my resignation letter in hand I approached my supervisor who didn’t think it was necessary for me to resign and that I could just take leave without pay.  It was very kind of them. However I did warn them that I may not return, they didn’t seem to mind.

The life of a temporary staff member is interesting.  The new work conditions, the personalities and team dynamic. These are some of my recent adventures.

  • I have been laughed at.  Apparently I am really bubbly and have lots of energy and that’s funny in a good way….  Looking around my office I could see how one may think I have been sprinkled with a little crazy dust.  How dare I come to work happy and stay that way for the whole day  😉
  • I have experienced one-upmanship.  I let the baby have their bottle, but in my head I was singing ‘Anything you can do, I can do better’. ha ha
  • I have been given the crap jobs that no one wants to do, but that’s pretty standard for temping.
  • I have been allocated work from the student who is currently studying to obtain the qualification I achieved 10 years ago.  I was offended for a second and then remembered I was being paid contractor rates.  If the organisation thinks that this is the best use of my time, then I’m not going to complain.  That’s money for jam.
  • Within 5 days I was drawn into office politics. I was asked to redo  work done by someone else and wasn’t allowed to tell her because she will get upset.  I warned that this was only going to end badly.
  • There are so many chiefs. Everyone other than my supervisor has an opinion on what I should be doing.
  • People who talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.  I love to talk and walk 😉
  • I have not heard from my contracting company, but that’s not a surprise. They have their money from the client.
  • I have never worked anywhere where the hours have been so flexiable. Leave early if you want too, if you can’t work 38 hours that’s ok. We don’t need to know the days you are working, we will know when you turn up.

Overall I have been pretty lucky. All of my temp positions have been good placements with great co-workers. I currently feel a little under utilised, I could really tighten up some of their processes for them. I guess it’s hard for an organisation to trust someone with the hard stuff when they know very little about me. I should probably be careful what I wish for.

For the first time in my life, I’m on the Naughty List

Throughout my life I have always tried to do the right thing.

I have always tried to arrive on time at school, work and functions.  I’ve never taken a sick day when I wasn’t really sick.  If anything, I would go into work even though I was feeling very ordinary.   I have always met deadlines and continued working until the job was done, regardless of whether I was being paid. My previous employers would all describe me as being very hardworking, loyal and reliable. One of my previous Manager’s would consistently tell me not to work so late, because it wasn’t worth it.  Somewhere along the way this year, I wandered off my straight and narrow track and have found myself on the Naughty List.

Maybe it was when I took time off work because I was bored and went and contracted for another company for a week.  Or maybe it was because I went into work one day and told my Team Leader that I was enrolled in fulltime study and my availability for work was very limited. Or maybe it was because a week later I went back to my Team Leader and advised I was now studying part time and I could work pretty much whenever.

I have seen my colleagues that I started work with back in April excel.  Receiving increased hours, opportunities for training and advancement.  My hours have seriously declined over the last 6 weeks.  There was a time when I was working almost fulltime hours even though I was a casual, but that has all changed now. I am being consistently rostered for 30 hours a fortnight.  The job I have found to be really boring has become even more dull.

The other week I received a call from a temp agency wanting me to do an assignment working 2 days a week for a 4 week period.  I politely declined because I thought that I should be a bit more loyal to my current employer.  I was really annoyed at my self when I went back into work and found yet again, I had only been rostered for 2 days a week.  I should have taken the temp job, clearly I had the availability.

I have asked my Team Leader a couple of times about my hours.  I thought that my changes in availability would affect my roster initially, but I had hoped it would settle down.  I have had consistent attendance and availability for the last 5 weeks and my hours haven’t change.  I approached my Team Leader about the Naughty List but apparently it doesn’t exist. I was told that if my performance was truly an issue I would be taken to a small office down the back ‘for a chat’.

There may not be an official Naughty List, but I feel there is a mark against my name.  I know that I have brought this on myself, but maybe this has all happened because I applied for a job that I was never destined to enjoy.  It was never going to be exciting or busy enough. I have far too much energy to sit around waiting for a customer to call.  Most people would enjoy the quiet time at work, but it drives me nuts.

This is my year of discovery and I have discovered that quiet office jobs are not for me.

Am I the only one without an end plan?

Starting a patisserie course has sparked many questions from the gallery.  Everyone wants to know what I am going to do when I finish my course.  Most people are not satisfied with my response when I say that I don’t know.

Questions like ‘You must have some idea?’ or ‘Why are you doing it then?’ have been thrown my way.

I am beginning to wonder whether most people have an end plan.  Do most people plan their lives, get jobs, and enrol in courses knowing exactly where they are headed?  Am I in the minority by not having an end plan?

My reluctance to plan out my life has brought me to this year, my year of discovery. It is likely that my go with the flow attitude will mean that at the end of my year, I may still not have an end plan and maybe I never will.

My lack of planning is intentional.  I want to leave myself open to experience everything that life has to offer and take advantage of opportunities that come my way.  I’m not sitting on the couch all day receiving an unemployment benefit, I’m keeping busy.

I work 4 days a week. I do yoga, boxing and running. I have one midweek class and an all day Saturday class.  I’m also trying to finish my agents representative course, keep up to date on social media and trying stay in touch with friends and family.  I’m also in the process of looking for a new job, because my current job is not challenging enough and I’m bored.  Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything and nothing.

It’s possible that I will work in the hospitality industry when I finish my course, but then again I might run away and join the circus.  Anything is possible.

I guess when I think about it, my end plan is to survive and to get to the end of my life having lived the best possible life I could.


The journey continues

So following on from the unlocking of the vault, I am continuing with much trepidation. For now, I probably just need to get over myself and everyone else. What has been done is done. I can’t change it.  That being said, my lips are now sealed. There will be no more spilling, from me anyway.

It’s not that I want to live a secret life. It’s just really hard to find your own path, when so many people want to tell you what they think you should be doing.  Ideas can get blurred and things get confusing and you end up agreeing just so people will stop talking. I have also found myself being defensive and argumentative in situations where my life decisions have been questioned. This makes me really annoyed at myself because that kind of reaction doesn’t suit me and is not my usual style.

I’m a big believer of not sweating the small things and that I can only be responsible for my own actions. I sometimes have to remind myself of these beliefs because I can get carried away and don’t put them into practice.

So, I’ve decided to take a deep breath (or maybe a few) and say goodbye to the bad vibes and move on.

After surviving recruitment boot camp, I have started a new job.  It’s not my ‘It’ job and I don’t think I will stay forever, but it’s keeping me entertained for now. My official title is ‘Inbound Customer Service Agent’, which pretty much means people call me and I give them information. I’m casual, which I love.  It gives me good flexibility to follow my passions and make the most out of my gap year.

My journey continues….


Just a name on an application, another face in the crowd

I have been wondering, how many job applications are enough to make a job seeking week worthwhile? How many is too many?  Is there too many?  I wonder if I apply for a ridiculous amount of jobs will my applications become generic and fail to be appealing.

Sometimes I think that finding employment is like a children’s school yard game.  The cool kids, hopefully the ones with the most talent and experience get picked as the team Captains, or Managers if you like.  Then there is everyone else, standing on the sidelines jumping up and down yelling pick me, pick me.

Some people may have noticed my post ‘Totally Awesome Person for Hire.’ This was my attempt at finding a job through social media.  I linked this to twitter and it was retweeted a couple of times to no avail.

In all honesty, I didn’t expect to find a job this way. It was just a bit of fun and I wanted to see what would happen.  Nothing happened.

So far I haven’t applied for a ridiculous amount of jobs, although my search is still young.  I have tried a few different approaches: recruitment companies, online applications, responding to newspaper advertisements, cold calling and door knocking.

I have come to realise that I’m capable of writing a decent job application.  That being said, I am not prone to embellishing.  I would call my style ‘tell it like it is.’  When I get a job, I want an employer to know what they are getting, the areas I am qualified in and the areas I may need some up skilling. I don’t believe in pretending or faking it until you make it.

I received a phone call the other day about a job I had applied for.  The caller asked whether I had a moment to talk about the position.  I agreed, which was a rookie mistake in hindsight.  As the call progressed, I realised that it was a telephone interview.  I wasn’t prepared at all.  The position hadn’t even entered my mind since I had applied.  I must have done something right as I made it through to what I was told was an ‘information session.’  I was advised that the session would go for an hour. I would learn more about the position and could decide whether I was still interested. I was told that someone would also assess my ability to navigate a website.  If I was successful, I would then be invited to a face to face interview.

The information session did not go entirely as described.  The Information component of the session went for 10 minutes.  Then there were four pre-employment tests: a short answer test, a typing test, a spelling and then a grammar tests.  When we were being briefed for all of this, I was sitting there freaking out.  Do I really want to go through all of this? What if I try and fail? My internal dialogue then turned arrogant, “I have tertiary qualifications and they want me to do a spelling test” (my internal dialogue can be a little biatch sometimes).

Very quickly I had a light bulb moment and reality set in. I had left my former career. No one here knows who I am, my reputation doesn’t precede me and my University qualifications don’t matter.  I knew that this time may come, that if I wanted a new career it was likely I would have to start again.  Here I was at the bottom. My competitive streak kicked in and I was off.  I decided that if I had to do these tests, I may as well be the quickest and most efficient.

Some of the others crumbled under the pressure, a couple of minutes after the timer was started they were out the door.  The room was crammed; I was sitting shoulder to shoulder with the other applicants.  I realised something that I had forgotten since I had stopped working.  When I am focussed and in the zone, I like to hum.  It only occurred to me after I received rather strange sideward glances.  It’s pretty funny really.  Apparently I also like to whistle, which is equally annoying to others. My husband told me that I also whistle and hum when I am happy.  Maybe pressure situations make me happy……..

I made it to round four, the face to face interview.  It was a cognitive interview.  It was gruelling. The questions were complex and required me to give specific examples using my life and previous work history. I think I did okay.

I would like to think I would be offered a position, part of me thinks that they should be happy to have me (arrogant I know) and the other part thinks that I put myself out there and put in a lot of effort, so it would be disappointing to unsuccessful. I guess someone needs to be unsuccessful, but I’m not about to prepare for the worst.

Today is a new day, there are things to do, adventures to be had and perhaps a little waiting for the phone to ring.

My first jobless quarter

Its now April, so what have I been doing for the first 3 months of the year??

My job seeking future started with a visit to a Career Coach recommended by a friend. It was not at all what I expected. I was in a hurry, I wanted to be given direction and move on with the rest of my life.

The career coach stuff was hard. I had to reflect on my life, my family, my work values, lifestyle values, what I didn’t like about my former career, my skills and areas of interest. In the process I had to face some demons and some realities about myself.

I am a controlled person and I’m reluctant to let people in, so telling a complete stranger deeply personal information is not what I had in mind. Then there were the activities; the sensual walks, artist days, morning pages, letters to myself, stories about my future and a vision board. This was out of my comfort zone. I just went through life getting things done. I had never been interested in preparing and planning out my life.

We spoke about finding the perfect job, but I don’t believe there is a perfect job out there for me. I anticipate I will have a number of different jobs and that’s ok. My last career was for 10 years. I think that’s a good start.

I like that the Career Coach challenged me to do activities I would never have done on my own, but I left the coach after a few sessions. I realised that I didn’t want to continually plan for a new career week after week after week. I just wanted to live it.

My first thought was just to get a job, any job and the rest would follow. I signed up with a few job agencies for temp work and they seemed to really love me. Unfortunately the couple of jobs they put me forward for fell through. I wasn’t too shattered because they weren’t really exciting jobs anyway, but that being said sometimes you just need a job to pay some bills.

What else have I been doing to get a job or kick start a new career???

  • I have applied for a few contract type roles with no success. Apparently I’m a little over qualified for basic Administration.
  •  I have been working on my entry level course into the Real Estate Industry.
  •  I called some wineries because I thought grape harvesting would be fun.
  •  I approached some local nurseries for part time/casual work because I like to garden and I could learn heaps.
  •  I have looked into Volunteering Abroad.
  •  I have an appointment next week with the bank because I would like to build and sell houses.
  •  I’m researching the possibility of doing a course in professional writing or an apprenticeship in hospitality.

I was talking to my husband last night. I think its time to make a decision and commit to doing something. We currently live in Central Victoria and may have to move to Melbourne which is a pretty big deal, but sometimes you just need to take a risk and hope it pays off.

Totally Awesome Person for Hire

I have realised that for me, there can be such a thing as too much analysis and reflection of self and too much theoretical planning for a job seeking future. I need to do something. I think that I have the equivalent of writers block but for job seekers. For now I just want to go with the flow and embrace opportunities that come my way. I am looking for an opportunity to experience something new.

I’m an energetic go getter looking for some temp work whether it is for one day or for several months. Part time is good too. I am honest, reliable and a quick learner. I love communicating with people whether it is verbal or written.

I thrive under pressure and enjoy a busy environment. Sitting at a desk all day isn’t really for me. I come from a farming family and am not afraid of hard work. I find that my outgoing and friendly nature make me a good fit in most workplaces.

I have tertiary qualifications and have been working in a professional capacity for over 10 years until I decided to resign last year.

I will give almost anything a go; however I’m not so keen on cleaning toilets. I already clean two at home and feel that is probably enough.

I would love to give something a go in one of my areas of interest, food, wine, travel, kitchen gardening, reading, writing or property development but are happy to broaden my horizons.

I have a versatile skill set which includes:
• home cook and gardener
• communications
• compliance
• creative writing
• problem solver
• IT proficient
• customer service
• project management

If you have a genuine position, send me an email and I can send you my C.V which says it all. I also have excellent referees. 

I would love to find some paid work, but I would be interested in work experience too. I am looking for something in Victoria Australia.

Life is an adventure and I’m ready to experience something new. If you are looking to hire I may be the right one for you.

Testing the job waters. Restless people should not apply

So the other day I applied for a job. It was the first since I had quit my job. It was on a bit of a whim. I saw it and thought I’m bored, why not.

The day I applied for the job I got a phone call from the recruitment company requesting me to come in for an interview. The interview went well; they thought I was perfect for the job.

Two days later I had an interview with the company. I was excited!! I got all dolled up in a little office dress, cute heels, make up, the works.

The interview was gruelling. They had pages and pages of questions and not the easy stuff either. Gone are the days of asking about strengths and weaknesses. Every response I made was carefully noted on my file. Eek. I was having an AWESOME time. It’s true. I love a challenge. Weird, I know.

Anyway, I’m one of those annoying people who are high on life, I’m truly HAPPY. It appears that I may have been a little exuberant in my interview. I was just Hap, Hap Happy to be there. I was out of my cut off shorts and meeting new people.

The Big, big manager, so not the position’s direct report, the boss above that commented that he felt that the job may not be exciting enough for me.

My internal dialogue went nuts. “Pfft, you pay me, I get excited”. “You’re not really talking it up to me buddy”. “I’m awesome at whatever job I do, boring or not LOL”. “It’s a temp job, how bored could I be”.

I couldn’t deny that the job wouldn’t be boring. I would be chained to a desk all day when I would rather be frolicking outside. I responded by saying something about how could I be bored when there is the challenge of learning and mastering a new job.

A couple of days later I found out I didn’t get the job. Apparently they were very, very impressed with me, but felt I would get bored.

I had to laugh and laugh and laugh. From when I first read the position description for the job I had thought it would be incredibly boring. It was a temporary position so I thought I could suck it up and do the job for a short time. I guess the universe had other ideas. Lesson learnt. Next time I should probably try being true to myself.