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Temporary work - making it a positive life experience

08 October 2019

Viewed as part of the strategic journey in your overall career plan you might be able to gain valuable experience within companies that you want to work for, or doing a professional role that you want to develop. Not only this, but as a stop gap temporary work can help you fill in those empty months before embarking on something else.

Temporary working can be a lifeline in bridging employment gaps; many people who have taken this route out of necessity look back and recognise it as a positive life experience in doing a job that they had never originally set out to do.

According to research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the desire of UK employers to hire temporary workers has risen within the last year due to the uncertainty about the future of the UK economy. Therefore, the demand for temporary workers is high, which provides jobseekers with a wide range of opportunities. This aside, temporary working can bring candidates more flexibility to their circumstances and can be viewed as a solid employment option.

The important thing to get right is that if you decide to take on a temporary job, mid-career job or work to fill in between jobs then make sure that it suits your requirements as much as your employer’s.

Having a flexible workforce that an employer can flex up or flex down according to their peaks and troughs in demand can be a strategic advantage for them…so make sure the deal you strike is not one sided and works as a strategic advantage for you too, and that the contract works as flexibly as you want it to.

Of course, in order to be considered for temporary work, you actually have to be available in the first place. So, how do you go about making yourself available for temporary work? Following a few simple tips could lead to the desired result:


Planning is important as there are peaks and troughs in any kind of job role or job market. Check with your recruitment agency when jobs become available for your profession or skill. Doing your research in this way will mean that you can plan your time around the peaks rather than just being around in the troughs and it will help you get work when it comes up.


Decide what hours you want to work. Remember that this can also help you secure better pay or indeed give you time to look for a permanent role if you want one. Sometimes employers use temporary workers to fill in for hours that permanent staff cannot do. So if you’re willing to work outside 9-5 and weekends then this may be an advantage depending on what your skill is. Shifts are more routinely available than you think. For example in Finance at month end or the annual year end; in fundraising for weekend and out of hours’ events and in education where holiday school has now become the norm.

Recruitment Agency

There are many recruitment agencies like Morgan Hunt that specialise in contract and temporary work. Be sure to make contact with the right agency and let them know your complete range of skills and what hours you can work. Often employers are more relaxed about meeting exact criteria with temporary workers because they know they are not committing for the long term. Employers can afford to try before they buy so if you are not fully qualified to the spec but can do the job let the agency know this as the employer may be willing to give you a go.


As with all job search make sure that your CV is up to date and reflects the kind of work you are looking for. Ask your agency for advice on how to craft it to appeal to temporary working. As a rule, any time you make changes to or update your CV, be sure to send the most recent one to the recruitment agency. The CV is going to be of little value if the agency has an outdated one.


Make sure you read the contract thoroughly and seek advice among your friends and colleagues if you have doubts. Don’t take any nonsense with zero hours contracts that have exclusivity clauses in the small print. Be bold enough to ask for change if it doesn’t suit you. If an employer says the contract is standard and that they can’t change it be mindful that they can. You may need the job, but remember the employer needs to recruit and for small changes they may be willing to be more flexible. Always read the small print before accepting any position you're offered. Remember you have skill employers want, so don't sell yourself short.


Try to target employers that you would prefer to work for because this will enhance your CV.  Many employers are now using part-time and temporary employees as the backbone of their workforce. A contingent workforce exists in most companies today.

At Morgan Hunt our highly specialist teams can help you find temporary or contract employment. We work closely with both clients and candidates to offer a consultative approach in order to expertly match candidates across a broad range of disciplines with their ideal job.


How to pass your probation

26 September 2019

6 tips on how to approach your probation

That time has approached, the end of your probation period is here. Most companies will have a set procedure for this so you won't have to worry, others however will be more laid back about it and it is these circumstances you should be more prepared.

When joining a company, it is normal practice to be issued goals that have SMART performance measures or KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Your goals are what you will need to work towards during your first few months and up until your probationary period is over, unless your goals are reviewed. If you did not receive any such document or have any discussions like this with your boss then it may be difficult to review your performance as there is nothing to judge against.

You should not be in any doubt about your performance. A good manager will offer you advice and tips to help you achieve your goals. If you are in doubt then you could be working for one of those more laid back companies. In this case be proactive to ensure that you have ticked all the boxes and have done everything that you were required to do. If you have not been able to achieve the goals set out for you, the best approach is to be honest and present the reasons for why you haven't been able to do so.

Here are six tips to help you get through this crucial process.

Plan a meeting

You must make sure that you have a meeting booked in with your boss to discuss your probation review. Ideally you should not allow this to linger on much after the due date. Your probation period is up and it needs confirmation as to whether the employer wants to continue with your services and issue you confirmation of this or you part company.


Before the meeting you should have done some preparation; you may have been asked to fill in a self-assessment form which you should complete and take with you. This is your opportunity to present compelling evidence that your performance has met expectations.

If goals and objectives were given to you then you need to know what these are be able to explain how you successfully achieved them or outline which you have not and why. While it may be acceptable during the first few months not to have achieved all goals, particularly if these are set for the year, you should at least have answers to what progress you have made or good reasons why they have not started.

Using data and statistics to support your arguments is a great way to demonstrate your skills and be accurate about what you have and have not been able to achieve, as well as help you propose changes you would make going forward.

Peer feedback

Peer feedback prior to your meeting is always useful. If your colleagues like you they may give you some tips too; after all they will have been through a similar process. If the feedback has been positive then this is always a good sign that you have settled into the company and the culture well.

Your best source of information will be your immediate superior who has observed and rated your work performance during the probationary period. Before the meeting you should check with them to make sure you have everything prepared.

Attending the meeting

Be early, be sharp; be smart. Don’t forget your reviewer will have been thinking in depth about how you have performed during the probationary months. It is most unlikely that they will have come unprepared.

If there are areas they are concerned about, not sure about or simply don’t know because they have not worked that closely with you, it is possible they may extend your probation period. This is not ideal but not a disaster. You still have time to prove your worth so be prepared that this may happen, its more common than you think.

Be professional

Always be professional no matter how the review goes. Be polite and accepting of feedback. Answer questions and demonstrate your value in a positive way. Give good reasons why some things have not been achieved and good explanations of those things that have been achieved well. Use testimonials where necessary so that your reviewer can easily observe how well you have performed in some areas and how easily you have settled in. No boss wants to break team dynamics for the sake of it.

Accept the decision

You should accept whatever the decision is with good grace. If you do not get through probation then treat this as a learning curve for the next role. Be tolerant, calm and remain professional as you will need their references. It is always best to keep on good terms with your employers.


Consider your career as a life journey and not a ladder

19 September 2019

Success is not a destination but a journey

Most of us tend to associate career development with climbing the professional ladder; trying to manage our careers as an upward only process, re-framing professional development as a journey rather than a ladder can be much more fulfilling and beneficial in the long run.

The career ladder although goal-driven, can sometimes give a limited view of success and it’s possible that an over-reaction to not achieving the vertical climb could be catastrophic through bad post- decisions and mindset.

Why ladder climbing is a limiting approach

Stop thinking of your career as a ladder and start to re-frame it as a path; very few people see a career history that goes up all the time, many people have solid years in work experience as preparation for more senior, more challenging or changing roles. Learning to think about career development as a rewarding and enriching experience will help you to focus on professional satisfaction and personal happiness aspirations as opposed to vertical achievement.


Reasons why the ladder model is limiting:

  • It’s important to remember that everything is possible and to keep open to new ideas.
  • You don’t have to pursue a strict and rigorous career plan, in order to be fulfilled.
  • Many people discover true happiness once they become open to alternative options.
  • Chances are that your dream job could be in a completely different sector or a different job type. Changing careers midlife is quite common.
  • Going for the career ladder approach will limit you and curb your attempts to unleash your full professional and creative potential.

The ladder-based career approach has a very narrow vision in terms of your own self-assessment of your potential. For example what if your ability is much more than the career goal you have set yourself and what if you have set yourself timelines that interfere with relationships and life interruptions; small successes need to be enjoyed at leisure.

But the biggest limiting factor of all to the career ladder is using this as the measure of success in life. There are many flavours of success; continuous work, happy job, work-life balance, etc. And here’s the key point; if you know a person who has reach the grand age of 100 years old, ask them whether they considered their life a success, the chances are they would say ‘yes’; not because they made manager in their 20’s, director in their 30’s and executive management in their 40’s, they’re more likely to attribute success in years gone by, family and friends, indeed survival.

So there’s a good and wonderful alternative you can adopt right now; to view your career as a life journey to help you accomplish the growth that you need, in the knowledge that the process will be accompanied by a lot of excitement, happiness and personal satisfaction.

A career path as a journey rather than a destination

You might change jobs a few times and adapt in order to discover your potential. The journey may take a few hairpin bends, it might get rocky or it might go straight along the tow path, you might reach a motorway for the fast lane and then turn off on the ‘B’ road; remember that exploring the possibilities and irrational job-hopping are two completely different things.

Seeing your career as a journey still means that you have a purpose and a goal, but you are measuring success entirely differently and experiencing fun along the way.

Discovering happiness and the perfect job is much more than being one hundred per cent committed to getting a promotion. The pursuit of the right career involves a bit of experimentation, an open approach, a bit of luck and planning, and on occasions some professional guidance.


For more information on Morgan Hunt jobs and careers, contact us today.


The importance of failure

19 September 2019

Nobody likes to admit to, much less experience, failure

For most of our working life (and even our personal lives) we take great pains to not only minimise the chances of failure, but to cover it up when it happens or to keep up the appearance of success. Maintaining one’s composure and boosting one’s self esteem is important, as it prevents us from looking weak, incompetent or giving up, but admitting to failure can at times be just as important too.

Failure in itself can actually be a positive thing, in moderation, and learning to deal with it is not only an important skill when it comes to a person’s career, but is also a core life skill. In any case, nobody wins all of the time, so getting to grips with failure is something we all need to do. Here are some points on the subject you might want to consider.

Failure is how you learn

One of the most positive things about failing is it often highlights where we are going wrong. Long-term problems and unproductive ways of thinking and acting can often go unnoticed or be pushed under the carpet for a very long time, and it’s only when their adverse effects finally come into play that we are forced to re-evaluate and make changes.

This trend is almost universal, and it’s worth noting that the longer issues are left undealt with, the more catastrophically we are likely to fail. Those who try multiple approaches to things and experiment often tend to fail on a regular basis, but they also tend to learn quickly from their mistakes and avoid more serious pitfalls. This is particularly important when you are new to a job or starting out your career, as once you learn to fail, you can learn from failing too.

It breeds humility

People who have never suffered a serious setback or experienced failure tend to build an inner picture of themselves as immune to such things, and this can eventually breed a degree of arrogance. Such people can to be destructive, as they are more likely to act on impulse and are less able to empathise with others when things go wrong for them.

They also don’t tend to be very popular with their peers, particularly as when they do eventually fail, they are not able to admit to it fully or to deal with it with equanimity. Learning to lose with grace is important when it comes to bonding with co-workers.

Failure proves that you’re human

Nobody likes a sore loser, but nobody likes people who win all the time either. If you are prone to a certain amount of failure and are happy to admit it, others will tend to be more sympathetic when things are going wrong and to offer help and support. This is particularly important when working as a team, as a group who can accept and deal with a setback collectively is much stronger. If you can admit to failure early on and also learn to take on a portion of responsibility for the mishaps of others in your team, you’ll often find that the consequences aren’t so bad and you quickly find solutions together.

It’s often a good sign

If you’re not failing, you probably aren’t succeeding either. Failure is a natural part of any process, particularly at work when many factors and individuals come into play and time is often short. A certain amount of failure is therefore inevitable, so take it as a sign that you’re fully involved and getting things done. A good manager will realise this is the case, and should be supportive when the time comes, unless you make an unhealthy habit of failure as a rule.

To find out how to deal with setbacks at work and to learn from your mistakes whilst building your career, get in touch with the recruitment experts here at Morgan Hunt.


Tips for Managing Stress

24 April 2019

Stress comes in many forms and can be caused by many factors, especially pressures at work.
Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that in the UK during 2017/18 roughly 600,000 workers suffered from some form of workplace related stress, depression or anxiety which led to a total 15.4 million working days lost in the same period.   
The public sector is especially affected by these issues. Staff in education, human health, social work and public administration and defence on average experience higher rates of stress and mental health issues than any other industry (HSE, 2018).
The important first step to being able to manage your stress is to identify the cause. It could be the pressure of a specific project, difficulties with a colleague, having responsibilities that you find overwhelming or, inversely, you could feel that you don’t have enough work and aren’t experiencing change in your life. Whatever it is, take some time to reflect on your personal situation.
Once you know why you’re stressed you’re in the best position to be able to resolve it.
Here are 5 tips to help you manage your stress:

  1. Be active & healthy
    Performing some form of exercise or physical activity can help alleviate the intensity of the stress you’re feeling. This will help you assess what is stressing you out with a calm mind. Exercising will also help you sleep better, which combined with a healthy diet will give you the energy to tackle the root cause of your stress.  
  2. Be proactive
    If you’re feeling stressed because of an issue that seems to be looming over you but that you know you have the ability to influence or resolve, the best approach is to take control. The more you let an issue linger the more stressed you will feel, so begin by taking small steps towards the solution.
  3. Learn to let certain things go
    Not every situation is in your control and there will be factors you can’t influence. It is an important skill to learn to accept the things you can’t change and to concentrate on the things you can.
  4. Work smarter, not harder
    Prioritise your tasks to focus on those that will make a difference. Certain tasks may be urgent, certain may be important, others may be both and some will be neither. Complete the tasks that are both urgent and important first, the urgent tasks next and slowly start to make progress on those that are important. The rest can wait.
  5. Talk to someone
    Talking about your stress and the cause can not only help distract you or release the tension, it may help you think of solutions that you couldn’t before. At work your HR department are a great first port of call and are there to make sure you’re happy at work. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your Human Resources team, then reach out to family and friends.   


This article contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence. Also contains public sector information published by the NHS. 


Knowing when it's time to find a new job

22 November 2017

Knowing when it’s time to find a new job. Whether we are especially happy with our current role or not, mostly we are passive job seekers. That is, we are not actively looking for new jobs but might consider a position if we were offered one and its terms were attractive. Yet there is a point at which we decide that we are no longer satisfied with the current state of affairs and become active job seekers.

This usually entails actively searching online jobs portals for suitable roles, rewriting our CVs, getting them out there and speaking to recruiters. There are several scenarios that tend to tip us from one category into the other, some of which are rational and some of which are emotional.

We describe four types that may tip the balance:

You don’t have a job

It sounds self-evident that you would be looking for work if you are not currently employed, but this is not always the case. People who have been out of work for a period of time can become very daunted by the application process and lose their confidence, and it can be difficult to get out of this mindset. The best thing to do in this situation, if you have prior experience, is to speak to a recruiter (like Morgan Hunt) and get some advice and reassurance about what kind of role you should look for and how to get your confidence back.

Your life circumstances have changed

Many changes in our personal lives can affect our approach to work. If you have just had a child, have suffered a protracted illness or are nearing retirement age you may want to work less hours and find that you are more suited to a part-time role.  You may find that you would prefer a less stressful line of work or you may feel that you want to increase your earnings and go for a role that is more challenging but provides you with better prospects and financial rewards.

Your current role lacks prospects

The first two reasons aside, this is the one that tends to motivate people to look elsewhere. If your current role is going nowhere, you are unlikely to get a promotion and you’re not enjoying your work enough to make up for this, then you should certainly think about looking elsewhere. You may even find that the elusive promotion you’ve been waiting for suddenly turns up when you get offered a role somewhere else, so it’s always worth considering your options every few years or so.

You are looking to make a career change

Sometimes people work in a particular sector or for a single company for many years and decide they want to do something completely different with their life. This is becoming more and more common as people tend to change jobs more often in any case, and there is nothing to be said against it aside from the fact that if you do decide to make this kind of move you should ensure you have the necessary skills or qualifications, or you could find yourself in a tight spot.

Your role is made redundant

This is now more common than you think. There is no longer any shame attached to redundancy but it can certainly catapult you from being a passive job seeker into an active one.

If the redundancy is voluntary then clearly there is a decision involved on your part. Its important to remember that when being made redundant you are entitled to a redundancy package, and this can often be quite generous so not only can it give you the opportunity for a change in career it may also give you some breathing space to think about what you want from your next role and to prepare your CV to match this. Most people walk out of a redundancy all for the better.


If you’d like to discuss why and when it’s best to start re-thinking your career path, get in touch with our recruitment experts here at Morgan Hunt.