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Part time work - agencies and a little rant!

(14 Posts)
Moomama Mon 08-Sep-08 17:13:50

I was a full time PA before I had my ds. He is now 1 year old and I am trying to get back to work, part time. I registered with an agency this morning and it was so bloody demoralising - they made me feel like I won't stand a chance of getting anything decent as a part time worker. When I said that I wanted a job that would allow me to use the skills I have (usual admin/pa skills and microsoft office products, many years experience) they suggested that as a part timer they wouldn't matter as part time office work is generally very basic stuff. They suggested putting me forward for a job that sounded awful - very poorly paid and very boring. I said that I would like to hold out for something a little more demanding, something at least partially like my old job, she said that I could "pretend to be a pa" as the role would involve booking the occasional meeting. I have worked with part timers, engaged in interesting and fulfilling roles so I can't understand why this woman was so pessimistic about part time work, and so rude to me. I know that I have been out of the workplace for a year but my brain hasn't turned to mush - I am studying for an OU degree and held down a demanding role before I left work. Please could someone reassure me that I stand a chance of getting a decent part time job? Thank you in advance and sorry for the rant.

TwoToTango Mon 08-Sep-08 17:32:18

I know exactly what you mean.
I work in an office and since having DS having been part time (either 3 full days or 5 mornings) and after being made redudant went to a couple of agences. They all tried to persuade me to let them put me forward for full time jobs. I said there was no point as I wanted part time.

Anyway - cut a long story short - I registered with 3 agencies and got calls about part time PA/secretary jobs probably 2 or 3 times a week. I would say stand your ground, there will be decent jobs come up but obviously there is quite a lot of demand.

Have you tried looking on reed.co.uk - they have lists of the available jobs from a lot of recruitment agencies

Moomama Tue 09-Sep-08 14:40:35

Thank you, I'll have a look at Reed. Having slept on this I do feel a bit better - I was just so overwhelmed by the attitude of the the agency person yesterday. It's hard going back to work and having to hand over ds to a nursery every day - I keep thinking that it will be easier if I have a job that I am at least a little enthusiastic about but the agency just made me feel like I had no chance unless I took a full time job. I don't expect the moon on a stick, but I also don't think that having a baby suddenly makes me incapable of holding down something halfway decent.

PixelHerder Tue 09-Sep-08 15:19:58

Don't let them grind you down - a lot of the people that are employed in temp agencies are basically sales people who have targets to meet. They are under pressure to fill their clients' badly paid and uninteresting assignments (of which they usually have an abundance) with the best people that they can as it makes their agency look good - whether or not it's actually appropriate for the worker in terms of hours / interest level etc.

I temped for years and found it was best to 'do the rounds' a bit, go for interviews with several agencies until you find an individual agent that you get on with a bit better than the others - possibly even someone who has children themselves who is a bit more tuned in to your circumstances.

Once you are offered something suitable (even if it's not absolutely ideal) go along and do it to the best of your ability and you will soon develop a reputation for being reliable and good with clients. You will find that you can then be a lot more picky about the assignments you are given, and can negotiate a bit on rates. And if at that point the agency still doesn't seem to value you, don't be afraid to go and find another one! Good luck smile

Charlene1 Tue 09-Sep-08 23:22:11

Yeah, (rant alert!!!) I would say wholeheartedly, don't go to an agency!! I had that - they would refuse to register me/send me for interviews/would tell employers I'd got kids etc!! Said I "would have to accept minimum wage" as I had kids/needed flexible hours/had a gap in my CV of 4 yrs from being a sahm - er, why should I?????
I have had an argument with one last week as I refused to disclose my marital status, age of kids etc - I stood my ground and said it wasn't relevant - I told her my age (which they shouldn't ask either), but they are now insisting I have to go back and do stupid tests on Word and Excel before they will put me forward for jobs - which is of no relevance as employers do their own tests!! They said employers won't be flexible on working less than 37 hrs or 9.30 starts - funny that, I start at 9.30 now!!! They also think I should be going for interviews for jobs that pay £7k less than what I want!! They should be shot!!!!
You are not alone!!!!!!
Big companies or public sector are most flexible on hours - job share etc - I trawl their websites every day and set up email alerts, go on Jobcentre site etc - most jobs say full time, but you can apply and say you would like part time/job share - it may work!! Hospitals have decent paid PA's in different departments, and hours are flexible - you could try the NHS site??
Totaljobs and fish4 have a lot of jobs on direct from employers.
What town/county are you looking in??

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 23:26:16

Thank goodness I read this

I have taken PT crappy pay job

I have been offered 150% hourly rate in the next town over - but after petrol/parking it's about the same

So I want that rate in this town - you would think I was asking for the moon

Charlene1 Tue 09-Sep-08 23:36:45

Katymac - have you had the same rubbish from agencies then???

KatyMac Tue 09-Sep-08 23:38:00

I am doing reception for piddly low wages...because my 5 yrs plus of running a business is not relevant hmm?

callmemitey Tue 09-Sep-08 23:50:44

Yet when I want someone like you to work for us I can't find you sad

We need a Part timers job centre type thing. There is a scheme called "slivers of time" but tbh I have found it usless. As an employer I need someone who can do a good job and be paid a fair wage - just PT. No one here seems to want PT hours.

Am callmeovercautious btw - I am in my " I have been to Dyson today diguise" and can't be bothered to change back grin

Charlene1 Tue 09-Sep-08 23:50:54

Sounds about right - same as "voluntary work is not a job because you don't get paid" kind of thing - at least you have got something for now though - if you got a job through one agency, you may find it easier to get a decent one with another as they will see you can be placed in a job and they will enjoy pinching you from the competition!!

Charlene1 Tue 09-Sep-08 23:53:24

oops, cross posted - hope you get something soon Moomama!!

Moomama Wed 10-Sep-08 12:09:54

Thanks everyone. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling this way. The annoying this is that in the past I have worked with skilled, experienced part time workers who do engaging, interesting jobs and get paid a sensible amount/are valued - so I know that these jobs are out there. The girl who interviewed me at the agency was very young and her patronisig attitude humiliated me at the time but in retrospect I am just annoyed by it - dh reckons that she probably didn't understand half of what was on my cv but he is probably just being kind! Anyway, I have been trawling the local authority and nhs sites for jobs and will consider the online agencies as well. A few people have told me to just 'use' the agencies as they 'use' me, i.e. they want commission, I want a job and don't let personal feelings get in the way.

callmemitey Wed 10-Sep-08 23:47:57

Absolutely! Register everywhere! Just don't go for a job through them if you know you have already applied directly - it causes grief all round as commission fighting gets in the way and the HR person will think "sod it" and reject you. Some posts get so many replies it is hard to track them. Then the argument startes that they emailed your CV at 10.01am but yours arrived directly at 10.00am etc.

Good Luck smile

quint Wed 10-Sep-08 23:58:08

Try looking on workingmums.co.uk. I found my job there when none of the agencies would touch me as I had no relevant experience - used the time on materniy leave to retrain.

I got the salary I wanted (which to be honest is higher than I thought I would ever get!), the hours that fit around childcare and I absolutely love it!

I have worked for an agency before and they can only really do so much, so don;t be too harsh on them, you may not fit the criteria that they have to meet, it's not necessarily a reflection on you or them, just the way it is at the moment.

Anyway good luck with the job search

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