From Temp to VP: Job Hunting Tips from the Inside

Author: Bette Miles-Holleman

What would you say to someone who offered you a chance to pick the brain of a corporate VP about the current job market? Would you jump at the chance? Well it’s your lucky day, so go ahead, read on.

Mary Whisenand, Vice President at Marsh & McLennan, is optimistic about the current job market, under certain conditions. “We always have certain positions open. They may be in various business units who have a specific need.”

While there may be instances when additional training or education helps applicants find jobs, Mary doesn’t see this as a necessity. “You don't have to stay in the area you were trained or have a degree. If you can demonstrate a willingness and the ability to quickly learn new skills it may lead you on a path you never considered. And that is not always a negative.”

Mary took an entry level position at first, and worked her way up the corporate ladder. She advises job hunters to not be too choosy when it comes to finding employment. “Work with a temp agency and be willing to take whatever job they have available. That led me to my first job in the insurance industry and I am now a vice president.”

Social media sites such as LinkedIn and job boards such as Dice and Monster can go a long way toward getting the word out to recruiters or HR people who may be looking for your particular talents. A blog or a personal web site showcasing your résumé, complete with references, recommendations and even photos of your work, if applicable, can also go a long way toward getting you where you want to be. Print out calling cards with your personal URLs to hand out to people you come in contact with and carry them with you at all times. You never know who you might meet, even if you’re just grabbing a cup of coffee.

In conclusion, Mary offered this advice to anyone looking for work with the opportunity for long term advancement. “Don't be afraid to take a position to get your foot in the door. If you can do multiple part-time jobs it is fine to do that. One of them could turn into a permanent position.”

Bette Miles-Holleman is a retail merchandiser, customer service analyst, model and stylist with over 25 years experience in the fashion industry.

She is also a wife, home school mom of 5, and a Squidoo evangelist.

In her spare time, Bette writes, knits, teaches, cooks, sings, lives and loves on the West Coast of the USA.

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