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Job Advice

GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
edited October 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So this is my third thread on H/A today, I'm bored AND have problems. How exciting.

So basically, I started working at this University's web department (we've been performing/directing the redesign of many of the schools' sites in a CMS, among other things) in February through a temp agency as an administrative assistant. After about 2-3 months they filled my position with a permanent hire, but they decided to keep me around. The director was going on hiatus over the summer to do a legal clerkship, so they figured they could use some additional assistance with project management during the period he was away. They promoted me to Project Manager, which basically meant I got to raise a pay scale with the temp agency.

In June, after the director had been away for a few weeks, the assistant director announced that she was leaving for another job. This basically meant that all the web projects in which she performed a managerial role became my projects, in addition to the projects I was already managing. Additionally, it meant that I was the only person in the whole department who was involved in every project on that level. It also meant that the sites that were scheduled to launch over the summer would succeed or fail largely due to my efforts. This seemed like a lot of responsibility for a temp, so I decided to use it to try to leverage a permanent position with the director. He said that they were probably going to break the assistant director's position up into several smaller ones, including a permanent position that functioned similarly to what I was doing. He said we would discuss it further when he returned from his sabbatical. Fine.

He returned in August after I had successfully managed the launch of two sites. We talked about the permanent position again, he said they were still in the process of creating the position through the University. Fine. I liked my job and I was willing to wait to get a permanent job there.

Around late August/ early September, we had a web developer quit (one of two total developers). Unfortunately, she was responsible for building the site I had scheduled for that month. Short staffed, I trained myself in the CMS and brushed up on my html, and built the entire site myself while simultaneously managing the whole affair. I again brought up my wishes for a full time position, since I was now taking on even more responsibility. He again put it off, said that they'd have something created when the VP of the department above ours returned from vacation.

I haven't heard anything about it in roughly a month. I don't bring it up with my boss anymore.

Now this week, I'm catching shit upon shit for a minor screwup in a project that won't push any of the due dates, but is overall an inconvenience. I feel like the director wants my head for it. They never seek you out till you fuck up, I guess. He's starting to give me shit about increasingly minor things. He's been signing my timesheet that I've filled out the same way for 8 months, but only started to give me a hard time about it this week. It feels like something is going on.

Additionally, it seems like the director is secretly grooming a full-time content person in the department to fill the position he had been talking to me about. It could be me being paranoid, but she has been taking on more and more "managerial" type work. She's been routinely "checking up" on me so she can report to the director.

I've asked the temp agency to talk to him about a permanent position. It's what they do, might as well leave it in their hands. However, I'm starting to become very dissatisfied with the appreciation I've been shown for what I have done, and more and more am looking elsewhere for permanent employment. I don't get paid holidays, I don't get sick days, no benefits, and I don't accrue vacation time. It's getting harder and harder not to feel exploited for the level of service I provide.

TLDR: I'm a temp and the company I'm working for is starting to treat me like shit after 8 months of solid contribution. Am I wrong to be extremely annoyed? Am I being taken advantage of? Is it worth sticking around and hoping they give me the full-time position I've been asking for, or has that ship sailed?

3DS FC: 2079-6424-8577 | PSN: KaeruX65 | Steam: Karulytic | FFXIV: Wonder Boy
Grundlestiltskin on

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    EtelmikEtelmik Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    They're not worth it. Companies today are starved for competent and hard-working employees. If they don't appreciate you, it's their loss.

    Work on figuring out a way to salvage it. When your employer is an asshole, and you are looking for a new job, simply come up with a reason that doesn't piss him off when you quit, then when applying appeal to that company's sense of justice by flattering them with "They did this and this, and I want something else."

    A good company will understand why you quit, unlike the on you are at. They're riding you like you're an intern. Screw 'em.

    Etelmik on
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    ApplebeeApplebee Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Update your cv with

    Project Manager xxx xxx
      Managed x projects for y months in charge of n people Responsible for the success of x projects which generated z revenue / reduced costs by k Developed B website and improved my C and D skills.

    Then send off 10-20 applications to management positions at the level you think you are experienced enough for. Then when you get an interview from some of them, explain to them the same reasons why you think your current boss at this temp agency should give you the job.

    Applebee on
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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Applebee wrote: »
    Update your cv with

    Project Manager xxx xxx
      Managed x projects for y months in charge of n people Responsible for the success of x projects which generated z revenue / reduced costs by k Developed B website and improved my C and D skills.

    Then send off 10-20 applications to management positions at the level you think you are experienced enough for. Then when you get an interview from some of them, explain to them the same reasons why you think your current boss at this temp agency should give you the job.

    Yeah, I mean that's basically in my current CV and I have an interview with an advertising company for a management position on Monday. I'm just going to call in sick so I can go.
    Project Manager/Web Developer
    Blank University Web Communications, Anytown, MA
    From January 2007 - Present
    • Promoted from Administrative Assistant to Project Manager after two months.
    • Managed the redesign and launch of eight university websites, including the new university-wide somethingreallyimportant site.
    • Coordinated efforts among various university content teams, outside contractors, and in-house web developers.
    • Created and maintained project schedules, keeping in constant communication with the various teams to ensure that all deadlines were met.
    • Self-trained in the FatWire Content Management System in order to build and maintain several university sites, including those of the school1 and school2 schools.


    The problem is that most people looking for management type people don't want people who have only been doing it for 6 months and, while quite adept at managing people, are really learning as they go. They're looking for 3+, 5+, 8-10 years of experience types.

    That and looking through the popular job databases is a nightmare.

    Grundlestiltskin on
    3DS FC: 2079-6424-8577 | PSN: KaeruX65 | Steam: Karulytic | FFXIV: Wonder Boy
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2007
    Unless you can pad your resume to include at least a few years of experience, good luck getting the sort of job it sounds like you're qualified for. What your place is doing is shitty but far from uncommon.

    If you can pad your resume, do so and try to get out. Otherwise, you might be able to arrange to transfer to a different department on campus. I know at the place I work for, transferring around is a breeze. Not sure how that applies to temp hires contracted through outside agencies, though.

    Bottom line, you're definitely being screwed, and I'd be shocked if they plan on giving you the position. My guess is that your name came up and some other yahoo who'd been around awhile got pissy about his seniority not being recognized. Best of luck finding something better.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Bottom line, you're definitely being screwed, and I'd be shocked if they plan on giving you the position. My guess is that your name came up and some other yahoo who'd been around awhile got pissy about his seniority not being recognized. Best of luck finding something better.

    I mean yeah, that's basically what it feels like is going on. The chick I mentioned came by my desk twice today to check on the status of something that ultimately had nothing to do with her. I stopped by her desk later in the day and basically said "hey, I was just wondering what your official capacity on this project was, I spoke with our boss earlier this week and wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving anyone out of the loop," and she snapped back at me with "well, (our boss) told me to double check that it was getting done." Yeah. Instead of asking me directly. I can feel the respect.

    I'm getting a reasonable amount of bites on my resume on Monster, more than I was expecting anyway. I've had two companies call to set up interviews, one e-mail about coming to a career information session, and other company that e-mailed me to let me know that while they don't have any positions available presently, they wanted to keep my resume on file in case anything opened up. Hopefully something will work out. I feel like I really can do just about anything asked of me, I pick up programs and systems exceptionally quickly. I just need somebody to give me a shot.

    Grundlestiltskin on
    3DS FC: 2079-6424-8577 | PSN: KaeruX65 | Steam: Karulytic | FFXIV: Wonder Boy
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    oniianoniian Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    The problem is that most people looking for management type people don't want people who have only been doing it for 6 months and, while quite adept at managing people, are really learning as they go. They're looking for 3+, 5+, 8-10 years of experience types.

    One piece of advice I heard from two personal sources whose words mean something to me both at some point said something along these lines:

    "When a position states that the company wants x years of experience, divide that by 2 and thats around what they expect."

    When companies put out their wish list of what a potential employee has, thats just what it is, a wish list. They are realistic about who could fill the position but they don't want to sell themselves short because if it. Sort of like hoping for the best and being expecting less than that. They aren't going to take anyone off the street (well hopefully they are not that desperate) and someone like you who has been running a web department single handedly isn't just "anyone off the street". They can't always get what they want, but sometimes they just might find they get what they need (to paraphrase someone else).

    If anything, I am saying shoot for the moon. Be confident in yourself and exude that in your interviews. They want that in candidates and they may over look the experience gap. You may just get paid toward the lower end of their acceptable range for the position if you get the job and that is still something. One thing that makes an HR department's job easier are candidates who turn themselves away without even trying (and when posting a position its their job to weed people out like that).

    Edit: Shouldn't have suggested pranking the now former co-workers

    oniian on
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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    oniian wrote: »
    On a side: Is this same boss the same reason why everyone else left? Not saying I would ever do any of these things (but hey I like my work and the atmosphere is a professional one at that), maybe you feel like you might be entitled to some mischief before you leave. Maybe that girl that is micro-managing you. Maybe "taking back" some of your work with you. Who knows...

    I've considered both erasing all of my email and putting something vulgar on the University's homepage. I've eliminated either because my friend reminded me I probably have something in my contract with the temp agency about intentionally fucking over employers.

    Grundlestiltskin on
    3DS FC: 2079-6424-8577 | PSN: KaeruX65 | Steam: Karulytic | FFXIV: Wonder Boy
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    oniianoniian Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Yeah, after I wrote that I felt like retracting that but I figured you could make your own decisions there.

    Edit: read the previous edit above

    oniian on
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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Bottom line, you're definitely being screwed, and I'd be shocked if they plan on giving you the position. My guess is that your name came up and some other yahoo who'd been around awhile got pissy about his seniority not being recognized. Best of luck finding something better.

    I mean yeah, that's basically what it feels like is going on. The chick I mentioned came by my desk twice today to check on the status of something that ultimately had nothing to do with her. I stopped by her desk later in the day and basically said "hey, I was just wondering what your official capacity on this project was, I spoke with our boss earlier this week and wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving anyone out of the loop," and she snapped back at me with "well, (our boss) told me to double check that it was getting done." Yeah. Instead of asking me directly. I can feel the respect.

    I'm getting a reasonable amount of bites on my resume on Monster, more than I was expecting anyway. I've had two companies call to set up interviews, one e-mail about coming to a career information session, and other company that e-mailed me to let me know that while they don't have any positions available presently, they wanted to keep my resume on file in case anything opened up. Hopefully something will work out. I feel like I really can do just about anything asked of me, I pick up programs and systems exceptionally quickly. I just need somebody to give me a shot.


    Update: Sat down with my boss today, he's terminating my contract as of 11/9. I'm "encouraged" to apply for the newly created project management position that will be open for applications around that time; the new position reports directly to the newly created head of strategic operations, who would be the girl I mentioned. Incidentally, I also got chewed out by my boss for confronting her on Friday.

    So basically, I have 4 weeks to find another source of income. Yay me.

    Grundlestiltskin on
    3DS FC: 2079-6424-8577 | PSN: KaeruX65 | Steam: Karulytic | FFXIV: Wonder Boy
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    brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    That bites the big one man, I feel for ya. I guess the best thing to do would be get started on that resume. Things will get better man.

    brandotheninjamaster on
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    oniianoniian Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Sorry to hear that, Grundlestiltskin. Has any of the prospects developed further? And did you ask your boss why he felt you needed a sitter?

    oniian on
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