My job anxieties began as I moved toward the completion of my last semester as a graduate student in the field of design engineering. I wasn’t concerned about my academic performance—I had applied myself to my coursework, participated in conferences, and even managed to gain some teaching experience that was sure to boost the appeal of my resume. But in today’s economy jobs—including even those in crucial technical fields like my own—have become increasingly difficult to come by, and I had started to worry that I would graduate only to find myself unemployed and unable to make my student loan payments.
I found out things are very competitive out there.
I applied for a wealth of jobs on my own, and even secured a couple of interviews. But with more students pursuing post-secondary degrees than ever before, the competition is fierce. The phone call offering me the position of my dreams never came. While I was pondering where to go from there, one of my professors recommended I look into staffing firms in areas of the country that I thought I might like to live.
Could a staffing agency work for me?
At the time I wasn’t convinced that anything would come of it—after all, I had applied for as many open positions as I could find only to be turned down each and every time. Still, I was desperate, and so I contacted a firm in Kansas City, which just happens to be one of my favorite locales owing to its rich music and arts scene and superb cuisine.
I finally got the ball rolling.
In what seemed like no time at all I had received not one but two offers for contract-to-hire positions with major companies in the area. Working with a staffing firm made making this potentially difficult decision easy, as I was granted access to all of the information I needed to choose the company that was best for me. Moreover, because my term of employment began as a six-month contract position with the possibility of becoming a permanent employee, I had ample time both to get to know my organization’s products, design software, and employees and to show my employer all I had to contribute to the company.
I didn’t realize staffing agencies offered benefits.
What’s more, my firm ensured that during my time as a contract employee I received benefits that individuals hired independently of firms often do not have access to. Even prior to becoming a permanent employee, I was able to take advantage of medical and dental insurance, begin contributing to my pension, and take paid vacation and holiday time!
It took a little time, but I got the permanent job I was looking for.
Eight months after my initial hire date, I am permanently employed as a full-time software design engineer at the company of my dreams. And to boot, I’ve gained not only a talented group of co-workers, but also an amazing new group of friends who agree that the best way to relax after a long workday involves a trip to the local jazz club and a plate of Kansas City barbeque.
Stacy worked with Austin Nichols Technical Search to find his job in KC. He enjoys sharing information about his job hunt experiences.