The temptation of temp work

November 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Job-hunting journalists are often given advice to take on free-lance and consulting projects while searching to bring in extra money, boost their skills, improve their network and distract themselves a bit from the hurry-up-and-wait nature of the hunt. Yet what about temporary work — a regular job in an office or a string of offices?

Experts say temp work can provide some real benefits for job hunters. In addition to bringing in money that is often better than that offered for piecemeal free-lance work, temp work allows job seekers to gain some experience in a new field that may help them transition to that area going forward. Yet experts warn that job seekers who give up their hunt for temp work may be starting a search from scratch again when the project — which, by definition, will end — is over. And who wants to do that?

*Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to accept a temporary position:

*Look for a job in a field that you would like to explore but with which you may not have much familiarity. Temporary positions offer not only employers but employees the benefit of trying out a situation without committing to it. Alison Walisko works with Creative Options, an employment agency in Arlington that focuses on communications and creative services professionals, and she advises journalists to consider temp work for this reason — that it can give them insight into types of jobs that they wouldn’t ordinarily get through other free-lance work. “If I were a transitioning journalist, I would be open to this situation,” she says.

*Consider temp work as a way to bolster your skills and network in an area where you have little experience or contacts. For instance, government contractors in the D.C. area often have openings for those to write, edit and manage big reports. Yet such companies tend to be reluctant to hire journalists who haven’t done this specific work before, though temp agencies may be willing to take a chance on a journalist for a short-term project. If you end up liking the work and are good at it, it could lead to something permanent in a new field.

*A cautionary note: Temporary employment is still considered employment, and laid-off workers who are receiving unemployment benefits may have them reduced if they are taking in income from temp work. Determine whether and how much your benefits would be reduced as a result of a temporary project before you accept the work. It may be financially inadvisable.

*Another cautionary note: Determine how much time and energy a temp job — which may require tasks far below your qualifications — will take away from your dedicated search. If you’re working at a regular temp job, for instance, you likely won’t be as available for job interviews and networking events that are key to a job search. Discuss this with the temp agency — recruiters there are often familiar with this situation and sometimes can tailor work that would allow you to be more flexible for job interviews and the like.

*And speaking of temp work, Creative Options has several current openings that may be interesting for some journalists. Among them is a position at a large government contractor for someone who can set up and write blogs and Twitter posts. It could be handled off-site. Another set of positions is available with a non-profit group in D.C. that is looking to fill: a bilingual (Spanish) translator/proofreader/copy editor position; a bilingual (Spanish) communications specialist; and a magazine designer with Web experience. Those who are interested should send their resume and a note about their interests to:

info@creativeoptionsdc.com

*Though this online event is occurring in just a few hours, it looks like it would be time well spent for those journalists wading into the world of free-lance work. And it’s free! The link and information follows:

http://www.currentmom.com/currentmom/work-freelance-teleconference.html

Work Freelance Teleconference

How to Succeed As a Freelancer or Consultant

Learn the secrets of thriving as a freelancer or consultant from experts who have been there, done that. This free teleconference is co-sponsored by the Asian American Journalists Association-DC chapter and CurrentMom.com.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, 2-3:30 pm ET

REGISTER HERE

Speakers include:

VictoriaLim Victoria Lim, media trainer, freelance journalist, consultant and convergence expert

Joe Grimm, creator of JobsPage.com, Poynter columnist and visiting journalist at Michigan State University

STEPHENIE OVERMAN 1-1 Stephenie Overman, freelance writer and DC Society of Professional Journalists’ freelance coordinator

Katherine Reynolds Lewis, freelance writer for outlets such as About.com, MSN Money and Parade, and founder of CurrentMom.com, a site for entrepreneurs

Arnesa Howell, freelance writer for magazines including People and Money.

Topics to be covered:

  • Starting a freelance career on the sidelines of your day job
  • Balancing fun or prestigious assignments with bread-and-butter work that pays the mortgage
  • Is this the golden age of freelancing? Or a good time to flee to the safety of a solid employer?
  • Pitching and cultivating relationships with editors or other clients
  • How to think like an entrepreneur — not an employee

Follow us on Twitter: @CurrentMom @AAJADC

Tweet about this event on our Twitter back channel: #workfreelance

*As always, there are some job leads!

*An email correspondent is looking for editing help weekday afternoons at a successful Web site; D.C. office. The pay is modest but this would be an opportunity for someone to be part of the workings of a fast-paced site. If you have political editing experience and are interested, please contact me here (or at jodifs@verizon.net or on Facebook or LinkedIn) and I’ll connect you.

*E&E is looking for an energy reporter in D.C. The hat tip on this lead is to journalismjobs.com:

.
Company: Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC
Position:
seeking experienced energy reporter
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Negotiable
Ad Expires:
December 22, 2009
Job ID: 1123594
Website: http://www.eenews.net

Description:
Greenwire and Environment & Energy Daily are looking for an experienced, enterprising reporter to be our lead energy writer. This reporter will set a pace in coverage of policy battles on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration, track trends in energy businesses and provide perspective on breaking news. Experience covering energy issues and Congress a must. This is NOT an entry-level position.

About us: At E&E Publishing, we pride ourselves on providing coverage that’s multidimensional, unbiased and indispensable — and delivering the goods several times a day. E&E’s emphasis on hard news has made it vital to decision-makers who track environment and energy issues. And as those issues have risen in importance globally, the number of subscribers willing to pay a premium for our publications has boomed. We offer our employees a competitive salary, a 401(k) plan, Metro passes, good health/dental and a fun, fast-paced work environment at a great Capitol Hill location. Contact Dan Berman at dberman@eenews.net. No phone calls, please.


*NPR has several management, technical and journalism openings in D.C., all listed on journalismjobs.com and on poynter.org currently, and on its site, NPR.org. They include:

http://www.npr.org
.
Company: National Public Radio
Position:
Seeking Program Director
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
December 22, 2009
Job ID: 1123604
Website: http://www.npr.org

Description:
NPR’s Digital Media Division seeks a Program Director to lead a demonstration project in collaboration with 12 public radio and TV stations. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate that stations can build journalistic authority and convene an online audience around coverage of local topics or beats. The ideal candidate has a passion for local news, for disruptive technologies and unbounded curiosity for how news, technology, and people come together. Responsibilities include overseeing the development of a prototype publishing platform, bringing to life 12 niche web sites, and serving as the primary point of contact for the project. This candidate has experience with rapid prototyping, Web 2.0 technologies (APIs, open-source code, social media tools, blogging tools), and building online audience around topical areas of interest, preferably with a media organization. Minimum 10+ years relevant online work experience required with both a business and editorial focus. Reports to the Sr. VP NPR, GM Digital Media. PLEASE APPLY @ WWW.NPR.ORG AND BE SURE TO INCLUDE JOB CODE JJ1021000004TFNA


Company: National Public Radio
Position:
Seeking Editorial /Product Manager
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
December 22, 2009
Job ID: 1123625
Website: http://www.npr.org

Description:
NPR’s Digital Media Division seeks an Editorial/Product Manager to bring 12 topical niche Web sites to life with a team of bloggers, developers, designers, and participating radio and TV stations as part of a project that is designed to demonstrate that stations can build journalistic authority and convene an online audience around coverage of local topics or beats. This position is responsible for working with partners to define editorial and product focus; recruit and coach bloggers; establish, track, report, and improve performance metrics; and, share lessons-learned across the public media system. The ideal candidate has a passion for local news, for disruptive technologies and unbounded curiosity for how news, technology, and people come together. This candidate has a combination of online editorial experience and online product development experience, preferably with a media company. The candidate has experience with blogging and social media, and building an online audience around topical areas of interest; a background in rapid prototyping and product development; and familiarity with site analytics tools and analysis. Minimum 5+ years relevant online work experience and at least 3+ years with an online media organization. Reports to the Program Director. PLEASE APPLY @ WWW.NPR.ORG AND BE SURE TO INCLUDE JOB CODE JJ1021000006TFNA.

Happy hunting!

Jodi

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Holiday hiring blues??? Searching for a job while still employed

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