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To select a short term work assignment over a permanent one?

(37 Posts)
LifeHope11 Wed 01-May-13 23:48:42

I have received 2 x job offers, one for a 6 month interim assignment the other for a permanent one. The interim is the more senior one, specifically requires the professional qualification I have gained, and is in an industrial sector it would be good to have experience of.

The permanent one is more junior & does not require the same qualification level, the hiring manager himself said at interview he was concerned I might get bored. The interim one is far more suitable in terms of the work content, far more in line with what I want to do career wise. If both jobs were permanent there would be no contest. But- the more suitable one is an interim one.

It sounds enviable to be in the position of having 2 job offers. But it took weeks and weeks of aggressive jobhunting to get to this point, the jobs market is not an easy one. So here is my dilemma: I know DH is worried about me being out of work & our consequent lack of financial security. But my job security (or lack of it) affects him & the family too so surely he deserves a say?

So: all my heart & part of my head say 'go for the interim assignment, it could jump start your career & lead to better things' but there are no guarantees, I could find myself out of work & back where I started in a few months time. I am not asking anyone to make this decision for me but would be interested in anyone's take on it just to try to get some perspective. So this is a straightforward WWYD?

NoSquirrels Thu 02-May-13 00:04:21

Interim senior level job.

There's nothing more soul-crushing than a boring job you are over-qualified for. And you end up doing it badly, because you are bored of it, and then you lose faith in yourself, and can't get the higher-level jobs.

Go for the one that will stretch you and give your CV a boost. Keep talking to all the people you've been job-hunting with in the meantime, and put the word out about when you'll be back on the market. This job could lead to something better, but even if it doesn't directly it still gives you time to find the permanent position you really want, not the one you feel obliged to take.

(Also, WWY DH D if positions were reversed?)

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-May-13 00:05:45

Ah, that's so tricky! I think only you know your sector and what the jobs could bring. Do you know if there is any chance the interim one could be extended? I would be really tempted to go for that one, to be honest, if the only downside is fixed term. If you are confident you can do the job well, as you say, the post could be extended, they could find something else for you, or you could find something elsewhere once you're in that better position.

Also, is it typical for the senior posts to be short term, ie will you at some point have to take that risk?

If it were me I would take the short term job, because I tend to act on gut, and I would want a job that excites me. It sounds like a great opportunity, and those are rare to come by these days. I would worry about the permanent job being boring, if the interviewer is always commenting on it. I suppose there is a chance they are hiring you with something else in mind. My other question would be, are they a good employer to get in with?

I can understand your DH being nervous. TBH, you applied for both jobs, and he must see them both as contenders. Would you be in money trouble if you were out of work in 6 months?

Good luck with your decision!

Kungfutea Thu 02-May-13 05:01:01

Why is it interim? Is it because they want to 'try you out' without the unpleasantness of letting you go if you don't fit or is it a time limited post? That'd make a difference to me.

Also, how much is at stake if you have a time without work in 6 months? If your dh has a decent salary which gives you some security then that's different than if, say, he's in an insecure job or your house would be at risk.

MomsNetCurtains Thu 02-May-13 05:08:01

It's hard to answer not knowing the industry you are looking at, but if it is something that you have worked hard to qualify at then I would take the interim one - but ONLY if it really would give my CV a boost and hence assist with gaining another similar position in 6 months leading onto long term.
I would say to DH that if you took the permanent role, where I am assuming there is no gateway to promotion, chances are you would leave after a year due to the lack of opportunities.
It does also depend on how secure his job is.

But WWID? I would take the 6 month role 100%.

Very best of luck.

Einsty Thu 02-May-13 05:08:36

My DH is worried about me taking an interim job in a field where they are common. I FEEL your pressure. But as an outsider in this case I am screaming 'Go for it'. There are so many restrictions on taking career risks once you have kids but it is better for your security in the long term to take this role. And PP is right, a job below your abilities can be catastrophic for your confidence IME (in my case meaning I am minded to listen to DH because I doubt myself)

maddening Thu 02-May-13 06:10:43

the interim one - the experience to back up your qualification is invaluable.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 02-May-13 06:42:18

I would do the interim one.

Emsmaman Thu 02-May-13 08:20:48

As someone who is job hunting at the moment I would say take the permanent job...permanent work is so hard to find at the moment - I saw a very large recruitment agency last week who told me they had only had 5 permanent roles come through since December, and are getting 5 contract roles per day. I'm being told to give up my hope of searching for perm work, whilst being told that my CV is "patchy" because my last three jobs have been contract hmm.

AThingInYourLife Thu 02-May-13 08:26:39

Take the better job.

You would be crazy to limit your longterm options by taking a job below your level of qualification and ability.

LifeHope11 Thu 02-May-13 08:44:48

Many thanks everyone, that's really helpful.

Just to answer some of your questions: the interim is a maternity cover with specific end date so not a 'temp to perm' may of course be extended, always possible, but no guarantees at all. As things stand I will be out of work again by Xmas. The plan would be to save like mad and start jobhunting again before the end of the assignment -the pay is higher so saving would be easier, I have enough savings to live on for a year if necessary so no immediate financial difficulty.

DH's job is stable, he hates it but for him work is just a means to an end - to pay for the things we want/need, whereas I feel that we spend so much time at work we should get at least some degree of fulfilment from it. I have encouraged him to look for more rewarding work & offered to help with his CV etc. If positions were reversed I like to think I would support him in what he wanted to do. But of course my being less secure affects him too - he can't just jack in his work eg if it all gets too much for him - so I can understand his resenting my unilaterally 'going after my dream'.

It is true that the jobs market is incredibly tough, I have attended countless interviews. I have had a succession of short term jobs - a year here, eight months there - since being made redundant a couple of years ago - not sure how this looks to employers. I really want to find a suitable permanent role in the right company, but many people at the moment are settling for whatever they can find.

LifeHope11 Thu 02-May-13 08:54:24

NoSquirrels - your point about work beneath one's capabilities being soul-crushing is SO true, I have been there & it has nearly driven me mad. And yes, it does affect my confidence & it is hard to perform well at a job I resent and hate. I so want to get out of the rut of being offered junior level jobs. I invested a lot of effort, money & time in getting professionally qualified, and feel that I want a return on my investment. It is just so unfortunate that I qualified during the current economic situation.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 02-May-13 09:00:59

You have enough savings to last a year? It's a no brainer - take the interim job! I think you're convinced now, aren't you?

Planetofthedrapes Thu 02-May-13 09:03:38

The permanent job could also turn out to be temporary in today's economic climate, and it could be a "last in first out" situation.

Better to take the more senior role.

mummytime Thu 02-May-13 09:16:38

I would say the Interim one, with some experience in the senior role you will look far more attractive. Also if you do the job well, you may be far more attractive for them to higher for another role with that company than someone "unknown". Being in work looking for another role makes you far more attractive to employers, you even have a nice easy reason why you left to put on your CV at the end.

Your DH sounds totally unambitious and so is not going to "get" how ambitious people have to take some risks to get on.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 02-May-13 09:18:48

Interim job for sure. You never know they may love you so much they make a position for you, the mat leave person may not come back.

Even if it ends, it will look great on your CV and could well elad to permanent jobs at that level. wHEN you're at a more junior level it can be hard to break through. Take the opportunity and get the experience.

caramelwaffle Thu 02-May-13 09:24:30

The interim job.

larrygrylls Thu 02-May-13 09:29:25

I agree with the majority, here. A career is about building one's CV these days. The experience that you gain in the 6 month assignment will enhance your CV and give you more chances throughout your career.

I think you are a little cheeky re your husband, though. I assume his "unrewarding" job has produced the income to support you through your professional qualification. Someone has to be a stable earner in a partnership and you are lucky that he is prepared to take that role.

ivanapoo Thu 02-May-13 09:39:22

Take the interim job


also help/encourage your DH find a job he likes more. No one WANTS to be in a job they hate but maybe he feels he can't take a similar risk to the one you're considering for financial reasons.

LifeHope11 Thu 02-May-13 10:06:30

Many thanks for all your posts. And just to be clear: I pursued my studies whilst working full time and paid for them out of my own savings so supported myself throughout, have never asked DH for any of 'his' money. I felt it was my responsibility to organise things so that my studies have minimal/no impact on family life. I want a return on my investment so that we can all benefit.

I do feel for DH and want him to be free to pursue what he wants just the same.....would be more than happy to be the principal earner (if I get the opportunity to do this) to free him up in the future to look for something better. We have had an extremely hard few years, I have posted elsewhere on this but in brief: severely disabled/sick DS, sick MIL, redundancy, both DH & I with health problems - so have not been in a position to prioritise careers. I think it is this rather than lack of ambition per se which has held DH back, by necessity has kept his secure, plodding job whilst dealing with everything else.

maddening Thu 02-May-13 11:22:40

Well tell your dh you'll have a year of this interim job and chasing senior roles that further your career and in a year will take the first perm job you're offered then it is his go to get where he wants to go.

Tabliope Thu 02-May-13 13:19:01

The interim job. Regardless of the economic climate I don't believe you should ever stop believing in yourself. You got these two jobs and no reason why you can't do it again after the interim job is up. If you take the permanent one you could be stuck there for years on lower pay, lower prospects and less satisfaction and overall it might be detrimental to your career. I'd take the view that the interim one could be the chance to make contacts and prove yourself. But then I tend to gamble on these things. I wouldn't play it safe with the permanent one as I think once you start questioning yourself your self-esteem goes down and it's a viscious downward spiral.

Tabliope Thu 02-May-13 13:19:43

Also it would be harder to get a permanent job at a higher level if you take the permanent lower level job. A bad career move in my view.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 02-May-13 13:22:24

YY tab re the perm Job bringing a risk of "downgrading" you.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 02-May-13 13:22:55

... Which could have longer term financial effects.

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