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Wait for the dream job?

If a permanent job at a living wage is our goal for job seekers, why would JVS encourage clients to take temporary work?

I was reminded why when I received an email from a woman JVS helped get a job with the City’s Human Services Agency. Still, it’s been rough for them; her husband wasn’t getting enough work and they were having a hard time making ends meet. I encouraged her to tell her husband about our hiring events for upcoming conferences in San Francisco.

“Thank you so much for suggesting that [my husband] go to those last 2 hiring events! He got both jobs, one with Action Figures and the other with DreamForce. Yaaay!”
— JVS Job Seeker

I’ve seen this young family struggle financially for over a year. To keep a roof over their heads, they have been steadfastly pushing their way through the endless paper mill and bureaucracies of multiple systems (low-income housing, CalWorks, CalFresh, etc.). Despite the fact that one spouse has a steady 32 hour/week job and a part-time job on the side — they come up short nearly every month.

While not ideal, we call these kinds of jobs “survival” jobs because they often give people just what they need to survive.

A little money, a reason to dress up in the morning, and the potential to network and make new connections can be just what they need to emotionally “survive” the depression and loss of motivation that often go hand-in-hand with unemployment. I have repeatedly seen job seekers whose energy shifted after working an event, and then they got a permanent job!

This month, we worked with temp firms to help our JVS job seekers find work at VMWare, Dreamforce and Oracle’s conferences. For some of these people, this is their first job since 2007, and it may provide just the momentum they need to find the job that will transform their life.