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Which job should I take?

(8 Posts)
clockworkbesom Fri 01-Aug-14 12:01:34

I'm currently on a fixed term contract until December. It's an ok job, I don't hate it but I definitely don't love it. I've applied for a permanent position and it seems pretty likely that I'll get it. However, I have to interview and the interviews aren't until September (big government department, everything takes FOREVER).

I have an offer of another fixed term contract at a different organisation, until the end of July next year. It sounds like a job I'd really enjoy. Similar area to my current job, but more variety, and more of a challenge.

So, do I go for definite employment until July in the new job? Or wait for a permanent position in my current job and take the risk that I end up unemployed just before Christmas?

I really don't know what to do. ds (10) says I have to take the job which would finish in July, he's usually right.

InfiniteJest Fri 01-Aug-14 12:43:41

Take the July job. There's no guarantee of permanency either way, and you sound far more enthusiastic about the July one. If it has more variety and is more of a challenge that will look good on your resume too!

clockworkbesom Fri 01-Aug-14 13:26:30

That's sort of what I was leaning towards. I suppose I can't really wait and hope I get a job I haven't even interviewed for yet.

The timing is really bad. I applied for the permanent position well before the July job, but the recruitment process where I am now is ridiculously slow. When I originally applied for my current job it was over 3 months from application to first day at work.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 01-Aug-14 13:29:49

I'd take the July one too. Anything could happen between now and the end of your current contract in Dec. A perm job with that company isn't guaranteed, and even if they are pretty convincing now that they'll offer you a job - budgets could be cut, business could be lost etc between now and then, and the job might "disappear".

Always take a guaranteed job over a hypothetical job, unless you can afford for the hypothetical job not to materialise.

clockworkbesom Fri 01-Aug-14 13:40:40

Yeah, I know, it's obvious really. I suppose I was hoping someone would find a way for me to have the perfect permanent job without ever having to make a decision or go to an interview.

monsterowl Fri 01-Aug-14 13:52:58

Have you actually, formally been offered the July one? If so, could you ask to postpone your decision? This sort of request is probably more common than you think. In any case, you are not going to look remotely bad by telling them that you're really enthusiastic about the job, but that you are being considered for a permanent position and would they mind waiting. Knowing that you're hot property is going to make you look more desirable ... the worst that could happen is that they force you to make a decision, in which case you're no worse off than you are currently.

Is there any way of getting inside info on the permanent one? E.g. do you know anyone on the panel, or anyone who generally knows the workings of that panel, who could advise? You say it's pretty likely that you'll get it, which suggests you know something.

Is it an option to accept the July one conditional on your blowing out if you get lucky with the permanent one? Or - more hard-nosed, this - would there be any unpleasant repercussions if you accepted the July one then later pulled out and accepted the permanent one? You could always in a general way make them aware that your aim is eventually to get a permanent job. And if you feel bad about such shenanigans, ask yourself whether it's more important to be loyal to an employer who is offering you a 7 month contract or to your kids, who would presumably benefit from you having a permanent job. (I should say that I'm not trying to push you to be hard-nosed here, just highlighting it as a possible option.)

If you turned down the July one, how likely is it that you would have the option of another job in the worst-case scenario in which you lost out on the permanent one? If things are coming up all the time, you can afford to take the risk and hold out for the September one.

clockworkbesom Sat 02-Aug-14 02:31:53

The panel for the permanent job is my manager, her manager and maybe someone from HR. My manager told me to apply, and I've had an "interview skills" meeting with her which was basically her telling me what the questions are going to be and what answers they want. Of course, there are other people on fixed term contracts who are in exactly the same position, so the job isn't definitely mine.

I haven't had a formal offer for the July job. They called and asked if it was ok to contact my referees, and they had previously said that only the preferred candidate's references would be checked. Government again, and they have to tick a bunch of boxes before they can tell you they want you. But, assuming my current manager says nice things about me, and she'd be lying if she didn't, I'm expecting an offer next week. I would ask if they'd mind waiting a bit for an answer, but I know it'll be MONTHS before I find out about the permanent one.

I only have to give a weeks notice at my current job, and I reckon the contract at the new place would be similar, so I could always start the new job and then move back to the old job after a few months if I was offered a permanent position. But it seems likely that they'll offer the permanent job to someone who is actually a current employee. And I'd feel terrible leaving so soon.

I suppose I should wait and see if I actually get a proper offer before worrying too much about it!

Middleagedmotheroftwo Sat 02-Aug-14 10:06:20

You could take the July job and ask your current manager to keep in touch and let you know when the permanent job is being advertised and then apply for it from the outside, as it were.

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