Don’t Up And Quit Your Job Just Yet

I remember many years ago when I was pretty young that I went to a staffing agency to help me find work. What I was told back then is that I needed to be available immediately whenever they called, and that if I had anything else going on that I should give it up, even if I was already working, because the company had something they were just about to close on that would be big, and I needed to be ready to go.

At this point you probably know the rest of the story. I quit my job, which really wasn’t paying all that much, and I waited for the call. After a couple of weeks I called them, as I hadn’t heard anything, and was told that it had fallen through and it wasn’t available anymore. I felt like an idiot; gave up a paying job for nothing, because money was money after all.

Every once in a while you’ll talk to an unscrupulous recruiter or staffing agency that will promise you the moon without having anything confirmed. They will make promises to you and ask you to give up a few things in preparation of a big thing. When this happens, you need to take stock of that recruiter or agency and decide if you trust them or not. The truth is that a credible staffing agency or recruiter won’t ever ask you to give up a paying job to work for them. They will tell you what’s available and let you make the decision as to what it is you want to do. If something is on the horizon but not confirmed, they’ll tell you that as well. They understand that everyone needs to be bringing in money to help pay bills and get on with life, and would never encourage you to do otherwise unless the position was a locked deal.

Always protect your own interests first, and try to make sure you’re working with credible people. If you ever feel pressured or confused by something you’re being told, you might want to consider looking elsewhere for help.

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If You’re A Potential Worker, Interview Your Staffing Agency

Most of the time employees and interim consultants are the ones who are being interviewed for possible work assignments. While that’s the norm, what few people do is take the opportunity to interview those same people back.

Why would you do this? There are a couple of good reasons why you should take the time to find out what they’re all about. One, you want to know what the potential is for a staffing agency to get you work. Two, you want to know what their pay structure is, when you’ll get paid, by whom, etc. Three, you want to know if they offer any type of insurance coverage, or have to cover certain aspects for you. Four, you want to know what the possibilities are of getting some money up front if they’re sending you out of town. Five, you want to know if they book your travel arrangements for you, and how flexible they are in accommodating your wishes.

These are important things to know, but there’s one more thing you need to know as well. While staffing agencies will get you assignments, you need to know what they don’t want you to do as well as what they will allow you to do. For instance, there’s not a single staffing agency that wants a potential interim placement to try to renegotiate pay rates. That’s their job, and they’d rather you not bring up the issue of money. On the other end, if a potential client wants your services, sometimes they want to ask you a lot of questions. It behooves you to not only ask some questions back about their needs, but to find out, if you’re consulting, how much leeway you’re going to have in getting things done. Some consultants chafe at having to make recommendations and not follow through on things. Some can work within strict guidelines of an employer, and others can’t. It’s good to know before you go somewhere and find out the working environment isn’t for you.

Take the time to ask questions, because you won’t always get a second chance once you’re in the fold.

Unemployment Reaches 9.8%

Last week the government released more figures showing that the unemployment rate has jumped to 9.8% Also, there were more jobless claims in September than had been expected, which caused the Dow to drop around 200 points.

It’s a volatile job market, and that’s scary for a lot of people. Economists keep hoping that the economy is going to turn around and that jobs are going to come back, but I keep wondering where they think these jobs are going to come from. Manufacturing is leaving the country and many other services seem to be leaving as well.

One of the benefits of hooking up with a staffing company is that someone is always looking for people to help them out. It’s not like every day we have thousands of opportunities for everyone. After all, though our industry have done better that many other industries, we have also seen that there are fewer extraneous jobs out there. When companies leave, they take away many of those jobs that we could have helped people fill.

It does work a little differently in hospitals, though, which helps us. For the most part, hospitals will always be around. There have been some closings and mergers, but hospitals can’t leave the country, though they can send some work out of the country. One of the things we’re thinking about is expanding the types of medical staffing we can do. We have concentrated on the revenue side of things, and that will always be our focus, but we do occasionaly get requests for other types of personnel.

If you’ve been downsized and you’re unsure of what you’d like to do, you should consider looking into a staffing company. It just might be what you need to hold you over until full time employment comes again, and you might find that you enjoy it more and have more freedom and end up creating a new career for yourself.