When Is A Job Not A Job?
Much has been said recently about the state of the economy and the level of unemployment being seen throughout the country but there have been some glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel with recently released figures.
But among the good news of employment statistics, there has been a shift in the way that many people are now hired and this has meant that many jobs are now seen simply as a means to an end and not as a career that is to be built up over time.
So to answer the headline question, a job is not a job when it is a career.
We need to find ourselves a route back to the path where people had positions in a company and were able to progress throughout their time there in order to achieve more senior positions or train in areas they would not otherwise have access to.
Employers need to start re-realising the value of the longer term members of staff that can bring with them a wealth of understanding and intimate knowledge of how the business works. When utilized correctly, these employees can give an ROI that is much higher than those more temporary workers or those that have only just joined the company.
It is time to stop thinking about flexibility in terms of the ability to hire and fire workers at will and think more along the lines of having staff that are so good at what they do that they can perform tasks throughout the business as and when they are needed.
These multi-disciplinary parts of a workforce mean that if demand for one product or service experiences a temporary spike, the workload can be taken on without worry.
Imagine a digital agency working on all aspects on internet marketing suddenly wins a huge pay-per-click client whose Adwords accounts are in a bit of a mess. It might be that a worker who would usually work on SEO is able to help out for a week or two because they have been trained in multiple areas of expertise. This is true flexibility.
Jobseekers Need To Be Willing
To return to those people who are currently looking for work, the philosophy we advocate above does mean that you have to be willing to learn more than one role even if your main duties will only involve half of what you have been trained for.
In fact, this approach can win you a great deal of favour in job interviews because an eagerness to work as part of team and contribute whenever and wherever you can is a trait that many recruiters will look for.
Another thing that those out of work can do is try to find training in areas that complement their current knowledge base. By becoming the veritable Swiss army knife in your particular field, you will become extremely attractive to employers who will see your versatility as a huge benefit.
What To Look For In Job Adverts
If you are looking to get into a long term position that could become your career then you need to be aware of the things that might appear in job adverts that hint at either a short or long term role.
Whether you are looking via a universal job match website or in your local classifieds, here are some things that will most definitely indicate the length of a particular vacancy:
- temp/temporary/contract/seasonal are all words that define a job as short term
- zero hours – this is basically a contract that does not set specific hours but rather allows the employer to call you in as and when they need you – very unlikely to result in a more long term position
- scope for promotion – if they are talking about potential upward movements for the right candidate then the company are likely thinking long term so this could indicate a career based job
- an offer of shares/equity in the company suggest that they are looking to hold on to staff for a significant period by giving them part ownership
- long term project work – if a company is hiring for a specific project that is likely to last several years then it's a good bet that this might eventually turn into a job for life (if you show you are good enough)
Not all jobs are the same and while it is of course perfectly ok to accept a position even in the knowledge that it is short term if you need the money, if you are able to hold out for a more permanent role then this is a good option to take.
Employers need to start waking up to the value within their business and see long term staff as a resource instead of a potential inflexible burden that could weigh a company down.