Totally torn....

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1999
Totally torn....
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 10:55pm
For those of you who have been reading my somewhat infrequent posts, I have been working as a temp since last August. I had just two jobs until the end of April (both were long term with two different placements). Since the last job ended, I will have had 2.5 weeks work out of the last five--not such great odds. All of it has been reception-dead end and UNCHALLENGING and so boring. I'm qualified for so much more. My contact at the temp agency was tryin to dig up some more challenging placements for me over the last week, but nothing has materialized yet, and so I took the reception job she offered me yesterday. That should take me through the end of next week, and maybe the week after that. I am still hoping that if I stay with the temp agency that I will be offered/secured more interesting and challenging work so I can build up a more solid list of experience on my resume. Being able to handle a 20 line switchboard all day long only goes so far....

My dilemna is that there is a full time permanent reception clerical job advertised in the paper today. It is with a luxury car dealership, so it would likely be decent hourly wage and benefits. I would say I am decently qualified for it. But I can't decide if I should apply or not...I'm so bored with reception work that I could cry, but it would be a steady paycheque to pay down my debt and live off of...but i have held myself in boring jobs for so long. I can't decide if I should just forget I saw this job posting and stay with the temp agency in hope of more challenging work, or if I should go after this permanent reception job....

On the money front things are all okay for now. Getting all under control. Nothing is late, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I know that nobody can decide for me, but I just wanted to post and see if anyone wanted to wager an opinion. Just kind of needed to vent because I'm frustrated and bored. Thanks. R.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 11:13pm
Well, that is a tough one. If you were not paying your bills and/or far behind I would say take anything you can to be able to get the money to pay or bills (well, not *anything* ;) but I would say take the reception job while still looking for something else.

The temp agency you are working for sounds like they really like you and are willing to go to bat for you so to speak to get you work and challenging work that you like (although it doesn't always work that way) so I say stay where you are. Sounds like they will keep giving you work and you just have to trust that they will. At some point you cannot settle for less especially when you know you would be so unhappy with your decision (should you choose the reception job). If you stay with the temp agency you may just find that *dream* job that could turn into a permanent one or at the very least you will be making more contacts etc. Also, with summer holidays around the corner what are the chances you will get more work since more people tend to take holidays during the summer?

But of course I don't know the whole situation you are in. You would have to consider the economy where you are and what are the chances you will find a job in your field where you are? The temp jobs you did that you liked - will there be a chance to work at those particular companies full time (something you may need to research on). If you are patient I am sure something more suitable to you will come along.

I have held those boring dead end jobs and I say no more not if you are able to pay the bills. So what if you don't pay your debt down as fast? At least you will be happy :)

Well that's my two cents worth but whatever you decided I am behind you all the way.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 11:24pm
Thanks...I'm leaning towards holding out for something better. I feel like a fool for not applying for the permanent job, but I just want something better. I mean, I work to live, but I have to at least not be bored to tears (hopefully).

I'm working a new job this week and next (one placement)...I worked for a different office last week and the week before, and that place called the temp agency at the beginning of this week and told them that I was the best temp they'd ever had, so that was really great. So I think that they will really try to keep me around since I get nothing but good reports and they make a fair bit of money off me (which I think is more than fair since I've gone in many places now that I would never get to without the agency).

Anyway, as for the economy, it sucks here in BC--I'm in Victoria and they are closing FIVE schools in the Victoria school district alone over the next two years and I just read on the news that as many as 40 teachers may be permanently laid off at the end of this year, but there are plans for something like 100-150 lay-off notices for TEACHERS--not just janitors and support staff...I'm a qualified teacher but I don't think that I will be getting work anytime soon...Hopefully chances will be better in Edmonton in a year or two!!!

Yep, all bills are current, and nothing's out of control.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Fri, 05-30-2003 - 12:46am
You are planning to move to Edmonton? I grew up there! I am in Calgary now. We are closing schools now but it is the inner city schools and/or older districts where they do not have enough enrollment. We are doing this in order that we can build new schools in newer subdivisions. Right now a lot of kids are bussed to school and some of the older districts don't even have 50% enrollment.

I can't say about Edmonton but I would think it would be better than Victoria. sorry the economy is not so good.

BTW I have never been to the west coast. We are hoping to make a trip that way in a year or two.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Fri, 05-30-2003 - 6:33am
Hmmmmm, that's one of those "gotta follow your gut" decisions I think. I'm trying to make one of those decisions myself right now about whether to get into after school childcare this fall to speed up debt payoff.

A danger of taking a job you're not thrilled with is complacency . Getting in a rut and feeling "stuck" there is horrible... e.g. coming home tired, too tired to look for something better, wake up do it all over again next day. On the other hand if you go in with your eyes open to the fact that it's only temporary..... oh this is a tough one! Depends on how quickly you want the bills paid I guess.

A dear friend of mine worked temp jobs for years after her kids went back to school, and she did indeed end up at a place where she very much wanted to stay. Started at reception and then ended up in accounting.

I feel for you and the job situation, it must be soooo frustrating to have a dream and then have that industry always seemingly laying people off.

Follow your gut instincts!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-30-2003 - 10:31am
I say stay with the temp agency, for all the reasons listed already. I worked with one for a long time off and on that I really liked, and they really liked me, and it has stood me in good stead for getting through tough times.

Your expertise is teaching--have you looked into corporate training? That's my husband's career (he's up for the director of training position at his company--woo-hoo!), and he loves it. Although it's not the most stable career (training programs are the first to go in a crunch), it is fulfilling, and better paying than public school teaching.

If you're interested in that as a career, start getting the word out. Put together a special resume for corporate training, and every time you get a temp placement at a new place, find out who the human resources people are, and get them a copy of your training resume. Make friends with them. :) Also, find out who the real movers and shakers in the company are, find out if they already have a training program or if there are people who believe they should. Put together proposals. Really get out there and make a spot for yourself. You may not have any luck the first, second, or even twentieth time, but as long as your bills are getting paid, you can afford to wait for the right opportunity. But don't *just* wait--be aggressive.

There are lots of types of training you can do. The most common place to start is software training (this is where dh started). Even if you're not a computer whiz, if you can learn a program and teach, you can teach people to use Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc. Take the opportunity on your breaks to play with the software each company uses. Make sure everyone knows you're skilled in their core software (put it on that training resume), and that you can teach it. Make yourself available to help people who are having trouble with their software.

Other training opportunities can be in specific job-related skills, management skills, people skills, sales training, and so on. Most of those you have to already have an established expertise.

Anyway, you may have already thought of those ideas, or not be interested, but I thought of it when reading that you were a teacher, and thought I'd mention it.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Blessings,


Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-30-2003 - 5:50pm
Hi Rebecca,

I've not yet read the other responses, but I do have a *gut* reaction here. If you stay with the temp agency, you *might* get more challenging work. If you go for the dealership, you *will* get steady income.

I say apply - if only to get your resume 100% in order and to sharpen your interview skills. If they offer you the job, only then do you need to decide if you want it. I think the job interview practice alone makes it worth while.

Don't forget that once you get your foot in the door somewhere, you may find it easier to move around within a company (who could be selling cars and earning fat commissions in no time!).

Take care, all my best,


All my best,

Avatar for mymartes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-31-2003 - 6:10pm
I completely agree w/danni. apply for the position. you never know, you make like what they offer and get the job. you have not to lose.