When you are free of the initial shock of losing your job, you are in a better position to plan for the short and long term. Both need to be considered and decided, but the answers to each may be different.
Let’s look at short-term solutions first. They fall into three categories: volunteer, interim / temporary, and permanent.
If you don’t have to make a living immediately, volunteer work is a good way to fill a gap on your resume and leave yourself time to conduct a proper job search.
Ideally, a volunteer position would be in the same field as the your target position. For example, if you wanted to work in fashion merchandising, you could volunteer to do the window displays at a charity thrift shop.
This type of position has a place on your resume as long as you label it “volunteer.” Remember to document your accomplishments in this voluntary position just as you would in a paid position.
Interim / Temporary
Interim or temporary positions are good choices if you need immediate income.
Interim executive positions can be lucrative, but they often require exemplary skills because the division or company has just lost a beloved leader they believe is irreplaceable, a scoundrel who was led off in handcuffs, or an ineffectual nice guy everyone feels guilty about firing. An accurate picture of the needs of the company is often difficult to obtain before you are in the driver’s seat, making these types of positions challenging. They also tend to require an inordinate amount of time and energy, making a job hunt doubly hard to conduct.
Temporary positions at the professional or administrative level are usually easier to acquire and shorter term, possibly only a few weeks to a few months. Temporary employment agencies are a great help in finding these positions. Some companies hire temporary employees for the long term because they can offer lower salaries and fewer benefits. Temporary positions offer nearly immediate income. The down side is the same as interim positions in that they can be demanding, leaving little of your time and energy for your career job search.
Both temporary and interim positions can serve as “placeholders” on your resume if you need to demonstrate that you were working during a period of time. However, if they are not relevant to your job target, they should be omitted.
You may be faced with accepting a permanent position for what you hope will be a short term.
In many cases, this means you will accept a position for which you are overqualified. Read more about this circumstance in this series of articles:
- Overqualified: Why take a job when you are overqualified?
- Overqualified: Know your value
- Overqualified: Strategies for career documents and interviews
The most common quandary about accepting a permanent position as a temporary solution is whether to tell the employer your goal. I have had clients do this successfully; others have chosen not to share their plans. The variety of circumstances is too broad for one piece of advice.
Knowing the employer or having previous experience with them can make this conversation easier. Some businesses welcome short-term employees. Others are reluctant to hire them because of the time and money invested to train. Use your best judgment when facing this decision, and try for a solution that is a win for you and your employer.
If you have experienced a recent job loss and are finding it difficult to move forward, contact me today to set a time to talk about what we might do to help you move forward.
Special Note: You can get Jason Alba’s videos free (for awhile). If you know about Jason Alba, you know what an opportunity this is. If you haven’t yet heard of Jason or his job search site JibberJobber.com, then you’re in for a treat. Take advantage of Jason’s generous offer quickly, because it’s going away March 31, 2015.