I was six months out of college and quickly reaching the edge of the whirling black hole known as student loan debt. I was working at a local coffee shop but was also trying for better opportunities. My inbox was flooded with emails that stated the usual “Thank you for your application. We were impressed with your skills but decided to move forward with another candidate at this time.” In other words, “thanks, but no thanks.” I was running out of money and Readies bad credit payday loans really helped me to pay my bills on time. Sometime in early April, I was passed a job application by a friend. The text message read “not the most glamorous role, but I know what it’s like to be in your shoes so give it a try!” I skimmed the job description (note: please do not follow by example. Read the whole thing, I’m begging you, don’t do what I did), filled out the application, and hit send. A week later I received a phone call from an unrecognizable number within the area code. I answered and shaking in excitement, I hopped on the opportunity of an interview.
I walked into my first interview not knowing what to expect. I sat down at the table across from the HR Manager as she handed me a packet stuffed with materials. She began to tell me that this role would be for a fundraising position for a nonprofit in the area. (Remember I said I didn’t read the whole job description, well, here’s where I learn my lesson), her next words out of her mouth were, “this role requires you to dedicate between 60-70 hours a week with the inclusion of evenings and weekends. Now, this is a temporary role so come Memorial Day of next year, your position may be no longer be needed, is that clear to you?” I don’t know if I was too nervous to comprehend what she was saying, but for some reason, I said “yes.” I thought to myself, “Temporary position? You mean, in a year I’m going to have to go through this whole process over again?” At one point during the interview, I contemplated getting up and walking right out of the room. Why waste my time? Why put myself through all that work and aggravation just to get a “see you later” come May? I sat through one more interview that day with various members of the campaign staff. I left feeling drained and defeated. With applying for jobs being a full-time job itself, how was I going to be able to handle that on top of stressful workweeks? What was I going to do if I couldn’t find something by next May? Despite feeling defeated, I tried to find the positive in this situation. First, it was a foot in the door, and for someone who had so many doors slammed in her face before this I couldn’t say no to the one that had opened. Second, it was a new experience outside of the marketing I had learned about in college. Lastly, I was in no position to say no to any type of full-time employment at this point in my life. For the next 11 months, I lived my life around that job. I would work from 6:30 in the morning till 9:30 at night only to wake up the next morning and do it all over again. I never stopped working and I never gave up on applying for other jobs, knowing that would eventually end. Looking back now, I’m glad I took the opportunity of a temporary position first thing. It taught me a lot about what I liked and didn’t like about my work environment. It also grew a lot of my skills in client relations and time management, which I’m able to carry over into my current role.
It may seem uncertain, but I feel a lot of college-aged adults could benefit from working temporary roles. Especially a job that will challenge you. A role like this could end up teaching you a lot about your own career path in a short period of time and can help guide you towards your next opportunity. It can give you fast-paced, hands-on experience you can carry over into your next assignment. Although I didn’t have the opportunity of partnering with a staffing agency or recruiter, they could help shape your professional future. Organizations like these can lend their hands to help you find a role that best suits you without the fear of being stuck in a permanent career. If companies have a short-term project or goal they want to achieve but don’t have the resources to hire permanently, they can use temporary positions to fill the void. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would consider working with a staffing agency or recruiter first because of all the professional development you can receive. Some can offer services in resume-writing techniques, interview practice, and even offer the best options for you when it comes to finding your first role. When looking for that first open door, don’t be afraid of something temporary or looking to staffing agencies or recruiters for help. There are plenty of options out there for recent grads to find their first professional gig.