Working as temp isn't worst way to permanent job

WORKING LIFE

March 26, 1995|By DEBORAH JACOBS | DEBORAH JACOBS,Chronicle Features

This spring, Robert Ayala will celebrate his first anniversary at a job he enjoys: working as a paralegal for a mutual fund company. Before he started there, he never thought he'd be so lucky -- he spent six months looking for permanent work after being laid off.

One of his strategies: tapping into the growing market for temporary work. Increasingly, temp jobs turn into full-time ones as employers decide to hire candidates after trying them out first. Even if that doesn't happen, you may come away with contacts and references.

You can locate temporary positions by writing to companies directly. Or, you can stop by and introduce yourself to local merchants. Make clear that you are looking for permanent employment but would be glad to accept something temporary.

And you could register with a temporary-help agency. Many are branching out from just offering clerical jobs to placing people in professions like law, marketing and nursing. Be flexible about the type of employment you'll take, but don't be afraid to ask for another assignment if you're not happy with the first one.

If you need health insurance, ask whether you can buy short-term coverage through the agency. Also, find out whether the agency encourages clients to offer permanent jobs to people who were temps.

Meanwhile, a number of free resources can help you continue your job hunt. To find out about free help near you, inquire at your local unemployment office. Services vary, but many will send resumes to employers and offer workshops on interviewing. Each state also has its own job bank and participates in a nationwide network known as America's Job Bank.

Arranged by location and occupation, America's Job Bank has descriptions of roughly 90,000 openings. It includes information about salary and benefits, as well as required education, skills and experience.

You can use America's Job Bank on microfiche or computer at local job service centers, or access it on-line. The Internet address is AJB.DNI.US on Telnet, or HTTP://WWW.AJB.DNI.US on the World Wide Web. Call (800) 833-3000 or (518) 457-3488.

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