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Old 06-05-2013, 12:16 AM   #1
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Default Not sure how to address this! (Long)

As of next month, I will be moving into an apartment downtown with a girl who found me on Craigslist. Exciting! I also have an interview for a full-time administrative assistant position at the headquarters of an online public school on Monday and I REALLY hope I get this job because it'll be a great opportunity for me to get experience working in education (which is the field I'm going into), and it'll be the security of having a full time job, which leads me to the reason behind this post:

As some of you know, I am currently working a part-time job at a department store. The situation I'm in, however, is that I'm a part-time status employee working full-time hours. And although I can afford to move out right now and definitely will be able to if I get this new job, there's always the chance that I won't get this new job and will have to rely on my current position while I search for another one. The thing is, if I don't get this other job, I'll need to be bumped up to full-time status so that I know I'll be able to afford to live in my new apartment. Otherwise, as my boss put it to me, my salary could easily be cut in half on a whim and while I have a good bit of money saved up, it wouldn't last forever and I'm scared that if something happens and my hours get cut, I won't be able to afford my new place.

My supervisor has already tried to get me on as full-time a couple times, but -his- supervisor won't approve the status change -- apparently, according to her I don't do enough for the department, but what she forgets is that there are more times than not that I work my department by myself (I'm either the only person scheduled or someone calls out; a lot of times its cause someone has called out) and I end up doing WAY more than my job actually calls for simply because I'm the only person available and willing to do it. And because I'm often the only person in my department, something always gets missed because I'm only one person and I can only do and remember so much. As far as she's concerned, it seems to be a lose/lose situation.

I've thought about going to the HR manager myself if this other job doesn't pan out and just seeing what they can do for me and my situation. Do you think it would be unwise for me to do this? I wouldn't threaten to quit or anything; I thought it would be a better idea to go about it as seeing what my options are with them. If I were to quit my current job, I'd prefer it to be for something substantial and opportunistic like the job I'm interviewing for on Monday, but the bottom line is if I'm going to be out on my own, I'm going to need some kind of security so I don't lose ground. If my current job can't at least offer me security, I mean it's not what I really want cause I'd hate to bounce from one crap job to another crap job while I find what I really want, but I'd -have- find something else. It's imperative.

So my question is: what would you do in this situation, or rather, how would you handle the situation? I want to be professional and I don't want to step on any toes or shoot myself in the foot and lose what I have going on all together. What would be the wisest decision here?
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Starting weight: 209 (2/20/16)
Current weight: 184 (4/24/17)
Goal weight: Somewhere between 155-165lbs
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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I haven't been in that situation as my line of work does things differently. However, I've had a somewhat similiar experience.

My advice? Wait like you said to see about this new job (which I hope you get, btw!). If that doesn't pan out, I would go to HR. As you said, not to threaten to quit, or make them feel guilty. I wouldn't necessarily explain your entire situation as it could come off in a different way. But I would just say, "I really enjoy my job here and I feel like with full time hours I could really work to my potential while having employment security." Or something along those lines.

It's so hard to determine what exactly the right things is to do. Being young it's hard to start off and it's not like jobs just fall in your lap all the time. Really, you have to accept the risk of potentially coming off as "selfish(lack of better word)" to HR if you choose to speak with them. I personally would look for yet another job. Whether crappy or not, just in case something goes south with this one.

I really don't think by speaking with HR that it will cause a stir or get you fired. They're there for you to talk to and bring up any concerns or comments. You're not jamming it down their throat and you're not coming off as a whiny person. They're in that position, they know what the economy is like, especially for someone starting out on their own. (I'm going to assume you're young? They'd know the hardships just from your age). Have a casual but professional conversation with them and I'm sure something can be worked out. Worse comes to worse, look for a new full time job.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get that other position. That sounds like it would be great!
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:07 AM   #3
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I agree with Remington! If possible, wait before you make the choice and worse case scenario, head to HR. I am always all for moving out when it's possible, as it came down to freedom over money in my case. I did struggle financially through school but it was worth it in so many other ways for me.

Here's hoping you don't have to struggle though!
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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Been there, done that! I've had my share of crap jobs, including those that will work you 37-39 hours but keep you on as "part-time". They do that in order to get as much out of you as they can without having to pay you the benefits that full time employees get.

If you don't get this new job (but if I were a betting gal, I'd bet that you get it!) then, theoretically there's no harm in talking to HR - that's what they're there for. But, it could potentially result in some bad blood between you and your supervisors.

Here's my question: Although you're technically part time, do you get consistent hours? Like 30-35 hours a week or something like that? So far have you been able to accurately anticipate how much your checks will be and budget accordingly? If that's the case, then I might not bother talking to HR right away.

If, however, your hours are such that you get 10 hours one week then 30 the next, and they aren't very consistent, then I'd have a talk with HR.

Hope that helps give you something to think about! Good luck Lauren!
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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One popular misconception, I think, is that HR is there to help you. They may be kind or sympathetic people, but their responsibility is actually to the company. Not sure what they could do for you here, as it doesn't sound like there's documented hinkiness -- just someone not giving you what you want (which seems eminently reasonable to me, but that doesn't count for beans).

It's great your immediate supervisor is in your corner; sounds like he needs to work on the strength of his arguments for you, and maybe you can approach him and work on that together. How long have you been there compared to others? What impact would your suddenly leaving have (esp on the direct supervisor)? You need leverage, or some way of being seen as not just replaceable. Unfortunately, the push from PT to FT is extremely difficult in lots of situations. Companies just won't spend more if they don't have to, and we're living in a society that values shareholder profits over living wages and economic security.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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I've been working at this store for about a year and some change; I started May 7th of last year. About two months ago, they moved me to a new department and that's when the hours started flowing in. I have consistently gotten 35-39 hours ever since they moved me. I don't see why they'd randomly cut my hours after giving them to me like that unless I asked them to or unless they had a problem with me, but things happen and there's always that chance. I probably won't worry about going to HR and just try to find a different job.

What's some good advice for finding a full-time job though? I have an English degree and I have my customer service/retail experience from working in grocery stores and from working the department store for the past year. I've applied to several administrative assistant positions and library jobs (library to stay in the field), but they all want me to have experience that I just don't have. I've thought about going back to grocery for the time being since I know I have good experience there, but I feel like that's back tracking. My English degree has an emphasis in writing and I have experience with tutoring and I did a lot of editing jobs in college whether it was for a class, extra curricular or my internship, but those jobs are -really- hard to come by in my area and because of school starting in August, moving out of town is out of the question. I am going to a small city though; is it weird to go into the big sky-scraper type buildings and ask if they're hiring? I always wondered how people got jobs in those places, lol. I'm just throwing things out there but I really don't know what I could do outside of what I'm already doing without having some extra experience under my belt. It's kinda tough out there!
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5lbs ~5 times? Let's do it! One for every 5lbs lost until I get to where I wanna be.


Starting weight: 209 (2/20/16)
Current weight: 184 (4/24/17)
Goal weight: Somewhere between 155-165lbs
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #7
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I'm confused. Will you be getting your masters degree at night, or is this full time job just for a couple of months? Or am I missing something?
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
Hi, I'm Lauren! :)
 
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My classes for school will be online this semester, but I still want to stay close to campus because that's where all my resources are (adviser, financial aid, libraries, etc). Full-time job is to support myself while I'm in school. Sorry that was confusing! And to add, my new apartment is right smack dab in the middle of everything I could possibly want that the city has to offer, plus it's a really nice place for a really good price. It's one of those things you really don't want to pass up, and that's another reason why I don't really want to relocate.
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5lbs ~5 times? Let's do it! One for every 5lbs lost until I get to where I wanna be.


Starting weight: 209 (2/20/16)
Current weight: 184 (4/24/17)
Goal weight: Somewhere between 155-165lbs

Last edited by mimsyborogoves; 06-06-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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So is this a full time job for 6 months, and then full time classes in January? I guess I still dont fully understand.

When I was a hiring manager in "a big sky scraper type building", ie, a professional white collar office, I was looking for people for the long haul. The investment in bringing someone up to speed was quite large, and I wouldn't hire someone if I knew they were going to leave in 6 months. These were entry-level consulting jobs for college grads.

If you are looking for full time but short term placement, maybe you could enlist with a professional temp firm? That would give you the opportunity to try out a lot of things and make some contacts, which could come in handy when you complete your degree.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
Hi, I'm Lauren! :)
 
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No, I'm in it for the long-haul; school starts in August but because my classes are online, I'm still free to work a full-time job. I'm wanting to work and go to school at the same time. I'm only taking 3 classes and they're all online, so I'm not required to be on campus for anything, but I'm staying close to campus for convenience purposes (plus I've always wanted to live in the city I'm moving to, lol.)
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5lbs ~5 times? Let's do it! One for every 5lbs lost until I get to where I wanna be.


Starting weight: 209 (2/20/16)
Current weight: 184 (4/24/17)
Goal weight: Somewhere between 155-165lbs
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #11
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I used to be an English major because I love reading and writing, but partly because I was worried about finding a job in that field and partly because I fell in love with psych, I ended up switching majors and graduating with a degree in psychology instead. I understand your frustration, it can seem impossible to find entry level "professional" type jobs.

While you're searching for a new position and studying for your master's, do you by chance have any time to do some freelance work? Or creative writing? Maybe start putting together a portfolio. Keep writing your blog! You could even try working on a new blog, something less personal that you want to have mass appeal... I don't know, just throwing some ideas out there!

Oh, another way to get some experience is to try to find some volunteer work! That way you can say that you have experience doing x y and z, working with 1 2 and 3 types of people, etc. I think it's great that you've spent over a year at the same place, it shows that you're committed and reliable, but it might help to diversify your resume a little.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:08 PM   #12
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I got my foot in the door by having an internship with the place that I wanted to get on full time with. After the internship was over, I then did 2 years of temporary 6 months work that kept getting extended until they finally made me a full time permanent employee.

So with that being said, I had almost zero experience up to that point so I really lucked out. But there's now a hiring freeze and a pay freeze that might last forever, so I may need to rethink my career options here at some point.

I recommend doing volunteer work to get your experience in. It sucks, and believe me, I know we all would like to get paid, but sometimes it's the only way you're going to have the edge over every other college grad with the almost the same lack of experience.

Wish you lots of luck!
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:08 PM   #13
Hi, I'm Lauren! :)
 
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Well, my boss told me today to let him know what happens at my interview Monday because they've approved for me for a permanent full time position! I don't have to worry anymore! And I'm still going to stay on part time regardless because there's nothing wrong with having extra money coming in!
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5lbs ~5 times? Let's do it! One for every 5lbs lost until I get to where I wanna be.


Starting weight: 209 (2/20/16)
Current weight: 184 (4/24/17)
Goal weight: Somewhere between 155-165lbs
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:02 AM   #14
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Congrats, that's great! What a relief!
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One for every five pounds lost!


Mini Goals:
No longer obese achieved 10/12/12
, 20 pounds down and pedicure reward achieved 11/16/12, 40 pounds down and facial reward achieved 2/22/13, No longer overweight - achieved 4/12/13, 60 pounds down and full body massage reward
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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Mimsy - a bit of advice from an old lady -NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER tell your employer that you're interviewing. No matter how good your relationship is, no matter how close you believe the two of you are. Supervisors are first and foremost responsible to the company, and if they know that you're looking, even if they offer you what you want, they will forever view you as having one foot out the door.

as for looking for a professional job where you can use your degree, you've gotten some great advice. volunteer work leads to networking, which is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Need an idea to start? approach a local animal rescue and offer to do posters and press releases for their adoption events. or a group that focuses on children with illnesses, or the homeless, or a church/synagogue/mosque/temple of your preference.

Start a blog on a topic - any topic - and keep it updated. If you really want to work in a library, focus on current issues in libraries. If you want to get into business communications in a particular field [retail clothing? groceries? health care?], go for it.

BTW, many large businesses maintain internal libraries in their field. However, since many have been downsizing, these departments tend to be the first to be cut. However, online document services abound - check out the major publishers [Saunders/Elsevier, McMillan and so on] because they all have major online sales and customer service depts. I've had to deal with several of them this week and i have yet to reach a rep that's NOT in the US.

Also, there may be opportunities at companies like Ovid, Lexis-NExis, news wire services - they ALL require some writing skills and library-like organization skills.

is your resume up on Career Builder, Monster.com? Indeed.com? all of these let you customize searches and will deliver open positions into your email.

hope some of this gives you food for though [calorie- and fat-free!!!! ] and good luck to you! it's a tough market out there - but you seem to have a lot going for you -
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