Moving from Part-Time to Full-Time Work

Working part-time for a company or organization has its own benefits like getting more time for family, working in a preferred atmosphere and going through a less stressful phase. Moreover, people can learn some new skills, continue with their education and pursue their hobbies. Nevertheless there are some disadvantages also as you earn low wages, have lesser job security and limited number of career opportunities. That’s why after working for some months or few years, many people take the decision of moving from part-time to full-time jobs. Researches show that more than 9% of part-time employees in the U.S.A. want full-time work and the number rises to 16% in case of people aged between 18 and 29.part time to full time workIt is a fact that a good number of part-time workers are facing obstacles when they try to shift to full-time jobs. Reasons may be many; some say they do not have the required skills for in-demand jobs while others say they have not searched for full-time work on a regular basis. But these reasons do not deter them from looking for full-time opportunities. Many of them go to the extent of saying that they are willing to work for a company without any salary for a certain period of time to prove their productivity. Sometimes their struggle for a secured, full-time job takes a toll on health. Health issues, frustration, isolation, high credit card debt, borrowing money from friends or relatives, settling with parents once again- these are all some real problems faced by employees during the transition period.

If you are thinking about moving up to full-time level, make sure you take the right steps and do not fall prey to false expectations.

1. Know your goals: Be sure about your career goals- what heights you want to achieve. Define some short-term goals and find ways to realise those. You must know your preferred job type, location, salary expectation and work schedules or shifts, if any.

2. Know your finances: Also know how much money you will need to live a decent lifestyle. If you have been doing some freelance work for a while, you might be able to make a good estimate of how much you can earn based on the duration of your work. Whether you are single or a family person, you must calculate your expenses and savings and plan accordingly.

3. Do some savings: Whatever you may be getting from part-time freelancing, you need to save a little bit. Even if you are freelancing and doing a full-time job, this income will help you when you leave the first one. Chances are that you will get accustomed to a combined, larger income and live a comfortable life with both the incomes. But when you make the shift to a full-time job, the freelancing amount will be reduced from the combined income and you may have to make adjustments with your expenses. Save some amount from your freelancing income that will help you during the transition period and act as extra security in tough times.

4. Make a list of your achievements: It is better to sum up your achievements and talk about those during the interview. If you are willing to go for a full-time job in a company where you were already working part-time, you can build a positive ground characterised by credibility and impressive performances.

5. Upgrade your qualifications and skill sets: Whatever may be your area of expertise, there are always chances of improvement. If you want to stand out in the crowd, use specific skills to highlight your resume. Being involved in part-time work will give you some spare time to do some certification course or training and make you an eligible candidate for the post you are interested in.

6. Networking: To make good connections or company contacts is extremely essential when you are making the shift. Make a list of some companies you wish to work for. Now make efforts to join their talent networks. This will help you in learning about the job vacancies earlier than others who are not connected to those networks.

7. Research about taxes: Being a part-time employee, you don’t need to deal with taxes like a permanent employee. You may be unaware of the different tax rules and regulations. You can hire an accountant who will inform you about the different tax slabs, ways to prepare for taxes. He will show you how you can pay lesser tax amounts.

8. Take your assignments seriously: Think yourself as a candidate not as an employee throughout the whole process. Most of the prospective employers will give you certain tasks to be completed within a certain period of time. You need to act like a professional- don’t be late or absent. Don’t act smart with any of the existing employees. Prove yourself as a good match for the post by your performance, behaviour and politeness.

9. Agree to work for some additional hours or without pay: If giving some extra time and effort may prove your productivity to your would-be manager, why not go for it? If they ask you to work without pay for some days or a month, agree to do so. Don’t miss any chance to build a relationship of trust and commitment.

10. Using your client sources: Evaluating these sources can help you get good opportunities. If you are freelancing, you may know how many of the clients will be useful to you in the coming times. You may be getting some business from your past clients. If not, ask these clients to refer your services to some new clients.

Many times, it happens that we think about making the jump, take few steps but prefer to stay in the present. This laid-back attitude is surely not going to help. Talk to your family, allow them to be your support system so that they can pick you up if you fall somewhere along the journey. Remember, companies are not very flexible in giving full-time positions to a candidate. So take the plunge, prepare and act for making the big shift from part-time to full-time job happen.

Important Tips Before Relocating for a Job

Relocating to a new city or state is a part of professional life. It may be for a new job or a new position, whatever may be the reason- leaving one’s own place is a big decision. You have to make certain adjustments in the new place like finding a house on rent or buying one, building a social network, getting acquainted with new surroundings and establishing a place for yourself at the new workplace. All these things are new and you have to adjust to all this ‘newness’ at the same time. It is not going to be easy for anyone. If you have friends and relatives in the new place, they may help you but you yourself have to do the maximum. job relocation

No doubt, relocating for a job is stressful. And if you are relocating along with your entire family, things become a lot tougher. How to sell off your old house, find a new job for your spouse if they are working, find schools for your kids etc. will take a lot of your time, money and energy. Thus you have to make strategies for successful transition. You must address your fears and insecurities in clear ways before steering your career in new direction and stepping in your new life.

Read on to know how you can go for a hassle-free transition:

1. Take care of your finances: Shifting from one place is really expensive. You need to consider your savings and set aside a good amount for the coming times. You will need that amount during house search, paying rent, monthly expenses for the first one or two months and also for some emergency situations.

2. Gather information about the cost of living in different parts of the state: In accordance with the previous point, it is imperative that you research about the standard of living in the new place. The cost of living may be slightly higher as compared to where you are located now. Although you will be getting a better salary compared to your earlier job and the difference in the cost of living will be easily compensated, it is important that you plan your expenses accordingly.

3. Make to-do lists for every big step: You have to stay organized. And the best way to do this is to make a list of all the things. Suppose you want to search a new home. Make a to-do list of contacting brokers, contacting friends, visiting some homes virtually, paying brokerage and so on. Both for your departure and arrival, keep such lists handy.

4. Remembering old friends: Friends will always help you. You will find one friend or the other who will help you in exploring your new world. Use social networking sites in the best possible way to reconnect with old friends. Messaging and video chatting are also great options, if you are not able to meet them. If you can make the chance of meeting up with any one of them before moving, talk to them regarding what type of locality or apartment you are looking for. Thus you can explore the neighbourhood before you actually move.

5. Relocation services: Shifting your belongings from one state to other can be pricey. It is better to know what type of assistance your company is providing. Is it going to cover all the expenses? Relocation services may differ from one company to other, but almost all of them will pay some relocation cost. You can get the full reimbursement either in the form of a benefit package where the company will mention the relocation service cost or a lump sum. If your company is not providing any such assistance, you must ask for it after researching on all the probable expenses and having a detailed estimate for every category like temporary accommodation, transportation , quotes from renowned packers and movers etc.

6. The job of packing: Packing is one huge task, not many of us like to perform, since it is not for any holiday. Now that you will go through all your belongings, you need to carefully decide which things you do actually need. Try to be clutter-free while packing as this will help you in sorting out things later. Buy packing boxes of different sizes so that you can put things accordingly. Labelling should be done in detail. For example, put all your casual clothes in one big box and formal suits in another and label them with ‘casuals’ and ‘formals’ respectively. Thus you need not be exhausted and waste time in searching for the smallest thing.

If you are going to stay in a hotel or a friend’s place for the first few days till you get your permanent place, put the things in storage or use those form the boxes. Do not pack and move things twice.

7. How to find an apartment? This is probably the most difficult task. As discussed earlier, talk to some friends regarding the places they prefer. Think about your preferences, that is, what type of lifestyle you prefer and select an area based on that. For example, if you like quieter surroundings go for a locality that is in close vicinity to the edge of the city. While house-hunting, take one friend, colleague or relative who knows the area and can negotiate with the broker or owner on your behalf.

8. Say “No” to any long-term commitment: It is not a good idea to buy a home even before you have moved or just after moving. Can you guarantee your relationship with the company will be a long-term one? Are you sure you will absolutely love your new life and don’t regret your decision? You cannot predict what will happen. Don’t commit to any long-term lease before gauging all the aspects of your new surroundings and job. Renting for the first 6 months or choosing temporary corporate housing is better.

Along with all these tips, you must think about your family, kids, future of the new company, cost of living and climatic conditions of the new place etc. and then take any informed decision.

Why to Approach a Staffing Firm while Searching for a Job

Hunting for right jobs is indeed a herculean task, especially in this world characterised by rat-race and tough competition. Being a right candidate with brilliant academic background and skill sets does not entitle you for the right job. To land the best job, you have to know and apply the best job search techniques. Otherwise you will be a part of the crowd, not being able to stand out. If you take the beaten path, you cannot expect any good or extraordinary result. While searching for your dream job, try to incorporate all possible methods- asking your friends and acquaintances, going through various online job portals, researching individual organizations, discussing vacancies with people during seminars and conferences, attending job fairs and of course approaching a staffing firm.Staffing firm

Approaching a staffing firm or human capital management firm is a useful job searching method. In this candidate-driven marketplace, companies look for the fittest candidates so that they get good returns for what they are paying for. So they hire employment agencies or staffing firms, which will alleviate the hiring process and make it hassle-free. Before knowing about how a candidate may benefit from a staffing firm, let us take a look at how these firms work.

What is a staffing firm and how does it work?

A staffing firm help candidates in landing fulfilling jobs. In other words, these firms help companies or employers in finding the right candidates. They are instrumental in bridging the gap between employers and employees. Today, any job opening attracts a huge number of candidates. So it becomes difficult for the employers to choose the right candidate; interviewing so many applicants becomes both time and money-consuming. Again, a candidate may think that they are not getting the right job even after spending valuable time on searching jobs and appearing for interviews. Here comes the need of staffing firms, which help both businesses and job seekers by making the hiring process faster, easier and profitable.

If a company requires a particular candidate for a particular type of job, they will get into a contract with a personnel placement services firm, which will make the perfect match. Again, if a business needs candidates for higher-level management positions, it may contact any executive search firm which will work under the business’ retainer contract. The third type of employment agency is known as staffing firms which finds employees willing to work temporarily or on contractual basis. Examples may be vacation fill-in posts. Many times companies may also ask staffing firms to find candidates for ‘temp to perm’ posts; this mean that the posts are temporary, but may be extended to permanent positions if both the employer and the candidate are willing to work with each other.

Although the terms used may be different for the purposes these serve, all these agencies do the basic work of connecting a good candidate to a prospective employer.

Why to approach staffing firms?

There are certain valid reasons for contacting a staffing firm when you are hunting for a job.

  • Knowledgeable access to a wider number of jobs: You may get to know about jobs through job portals, advertisements and references, friends and colleagues etc.  But these sources may give you information regarding 10%-15% of the available jobs. Wouldn’t you like to research the rest 85%-90% jobs? Thus to widen the scope of your job hunt process, a staffing firm can be of great help.
  • Providing negotiation assistance: A staffing firm is just like an agent. It will not only help you in landing a good job. If you are finding difficulty in negotiating your salary, benefits or commissions, it will help you. It will make sure both the employee and the employer are satisfied.
  • Providing coaching: Such a firm will work in making you a perfect candidate. If your resume is not impressive, the agency will make sure it fits into the job profile, the employers are interested in. Looking into the resume style, formats and designs also comes under its purview. It will provide you training on some special skill sets, if required. Not only this, you will get invaluable career advice, interview tips and personality development tricks that will help you in achieving great heights in your career.
  • Finding a ‘temp to perm’ post: If you are opting for a ‘temp to perm’ post as discussed above, you must go to a staffing firm. There are many client companies who will like to gauge your performance before hiring you for a permanent post. If you become the right-fit for the company’s position and the company’s work culture impresses you, it will be a win-win situation for both ends.
  • Extending the job-search scope: As these firms are working with a number of different companies, both big and small, they develop strong bonds with those. So you need not know about each and every company and the job opportunities they are providing. You enjoy a process of hunt that is less burdened. You can actually opt for better jobs through their established network.
  • You gain even if you pay: This means that even if you have to pay for enjoying the services of staffing firms, in the long run you are the gainer. Yes, there are many firms that charge both employers and the employees. They may ask you to sign a contract mentioning you have to pay a certain amount of your salary if you get a placement. Don’t cringe at this idea. Think seriously. These companies do spend a lot in training you and placing you in the right position. Many of their staff are themselves specially trained in some skill sets or fields like finance, risk management etc. So they need money to run their business and they get this from job candidates and employers. If you are unwilling to pay, you may ask your employer to negotiate with the staffing firm.

Thus to explore your job search options you must go to a staffing firm. Try to use the presence of staffing firms on social media and attend real time networking events to get the best result.

How to Bounce Back from Bad Career Exit

Are you going through tough times in your job? Have you been sacked? Would you like to try new ways to get back into work? Don’t panic. We all face bad times in our career. Some are not happy with the work they are doing; some dislike their managers they are dealing with; some are not able to adjust with the shifts. All these happen with most of us and we try to cope up with these situations. Sometimes situations worsen and you find yourself making a bad career exit. You are fired- the reason may be anything. Whether it is your fault or someone else’s, this single event may change your career for better or for worse.bad career exit

It is likely that a bad career exit will affect you emotionally. It may leave you feel angry, frustrated and even resentful. But you have to take care of yourself and your career. You have to bounce back by following certain rules and making some small changes in your life in order to land a better job.

  • Take some time off to relax and think about your future goals: Most of us like to spend our weekends in cosy and relaxing environments after hectic workdays; in a similar manner, you need some time to rest, contemplate and plan your future goals. Give yourself some time and space to let go of negative emotions. You can never make a new beginning without forgetting your past. Try to do things that make you happy, indulge in some fun-activity that appeal to your senses. All these efforts will help you in being positive-minded. Now you can think of what you want from life, what type of job profile you will be looking and what your priorities will be.
  • Be honest in assessing your past: What has happened with you, may happen with any employee. The question is how you are dealing with the problem and preparing to take the next positive move. Try to assess your past objectively. What went wrong, was there anything that you could do to prevent the issue, were there shortcomings in your part, did you give your 100% to your work- these are some important areas that you must delve deeper into.

Being honest does not mean to find fault with oneself. Being fired does not essentially mean that the fault lies with the employee, always. There may be some management-related issues that led you to leave the job. Your previous career exit may be a blessing in disguise that will open new beginnings, new career paths, new opportunities for you. Don’t let negativity affect the search of a better career and a better life.

  • Improve yourself: This is related to the second point. After analysing the situation objectively, if you find that you had some bad habits that contributed to your exit, it’s time to change those habits and form newer ones. Let us take some examples. If you find that you had been trying hard to make a balance between your professional and personal life, try some new ideas that will help you create healthy barriers between the two. Again, you might have got a bad performance review. Try to research about how to increase efficiency at work. Inculcating good habits will yield better results at the new workplace.
  • Not revealing all your details: It is not a nice idea to reveal what happened with you to the public. Today you can reach to your friends and other people in a very short time; so does your story. Everybody likes gossip; if you share your story in the social media, people will like and share it. Within some hours your story will be a hit among the netizens. Badmouthing your employers, telling lies or exaggerating your story negatively will create bad impression. Even when you are right, employers will not accept your story.
  • Make yourself more skilled: If you think you can add that extra zing to your career by obtaining higher education, it is the right time to do so. Utilize the time to get some certification, to learn some skill that will help you in getting a better job, may be with a better salary. You may tell your future employer that the primary reason of your being leaving the previous job was that you wanted to pursue higher education or get trained for some special skill.
  • Keep handy some reference letters: Build good references and keep in touch with former colleagues, suppliers if possible. You must be active in your professional communities, which will help you later during job search. Your future employers may call previous managers to know about you and they may get to hear a bad story. Never mind! Your reference letters will work for you in such situations.
  • Facing certain questions during the new job interview: This is, probably, the toughest phase for any interviewee who had experienced a bad career exit. Your interviewer may ask you several questions regarding your last job and exit. Here are certain instances of how to handle those circumstances:

=> If you were a part of a huge lay off, probably the hiring manager will be aware of this. In this case, you may say that you had been part of the unlucky few who were fired due to the restructure in the company. In this world of employment drought, a company getting hit by recession is not a new thing.

=> You may be hired for a bad performance. If your manager asks about how you performed in your last company, don’t say that your exit was a direct result of your last performance review. You may turn the direction of discussion by saying that you gave your 100% to the company and it was a mutual agreement between your employer and you. After this, focus on the current profile and how your abilities suit that position.

With all these tips, you will surely be able to rectify your mistakes, form a positive view of life and bounce back in your career with inner strength and confidence.