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Should i apply for these jobs?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
At the moment im job hunting for roles in student services where i can work up to advisory work or something like that so ive been searching loads of uni sites. Tbh i not really sure if theyll say i dont have enough experience but i think i can do the ones ive applied for.

Ive found 2 more jobs but im not sure whether to apply for them. Theyre just basic receptionist, adminy jobs so not really related and seem a bit dull but they will help me get an idea of how higher education jobs work and get my foot in the door.

Im just not sure if its worth applying and i think ive just answered my own question. I think i might just be getting carried away and going for the because they're there now and in a place i would consider moving to

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What exactly are the jobs? Are they in small teams where you'd see some of the other side of it, or is it bog standard receptionist stuff? Do they pay a salary that you could afford to live on if you were to move to the area?

    Is there any track record of people moving from those kind of roles into the kind you're looking for?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Theyre admin jobs for certain departments so i guess more in depth than a bog standard receptionist. I have no idea about the other stuff, Ive only seen the job description so that would be something to find out in an interview. The salary seems a bit small but i know a friend in the area so could ask her what she thinks about it. I guess if it did give a good pathway to other things it would be better....
  • PGreenPGreen Moderator Posts: 175 Settling in
    Hey Lexi99

    It's great that you are being so proactive! I would say if you have the time to apply and you are happy with the salary and job description (even if it isn't exactly what you want to do) then give it a go. Practice with job applications and interviews is always a good thing - you can get feedback etc to help with when you do find that perfect job. Plus as you said you might get some great insight to how higher ed jobs work.

    Remember if you are successful you don't have to take the job :) An interview can be an opportunity for you to see if it is the kind of thing you want to do as much as it is the opportunity for them to see if your right for the job.

    Good luck and let us know how things are going!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess it really depends on what you mean as "advisory work" in "student services". Those sorts of terms mean different things to different people. What areas do you really want to work in?

    "Student services" at my institution covers everything from taking tuition fee payments to counselling, from basic library admin right through to devising special teaching for disabled students. Course officers- the admin staff who run each course- are not "student services" or advisers but end up doing plenty of both. I'm the manager of a students' union advice centre. The work we do here is different to the work I did in my last job at a different students' union.

    Whether it's the right job or the wrong job will depend on what it is you're actually wanting to do. A good admin role can give you plenty of insight into the sector, and it's certainly possible to work your way up to a half-decent level from a good admin role. A good receptionist can probably work up towards being an adviser, so long as they get the chance to display the necessary skills. But it really depends what you want to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Id certainly like to work more towards an adviser role instead of general student services like admin, library work, etc although I know that these jobs will help me on the way there.

    Im just wondering the best route to get there and if i do need to do these receprionist jobs first to be able to get me the experience to get there or get my foot in the door. I do admin work and customer services work now but no experience in HE
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think "getting the foot in the door" can help, especially in the HE sector. A surprising number of jobs in universities are "internal applicants only", which means if you're already there you have an advantage. I know of receptionists in this institution who have progressed into being course officers and the like.

    In terms of career progression, it really does depend on what role you're in and what transferable skills you pick up. When I'm recruiting for advisers I look for the "soft skills" (listening, empathy, comprehension) far more than I look for knowledge. I can teach my advisers the rules they need to know, but it's a lot harder to teach someone how to listen properly to a client. There has to be a baseline knowledge and understanding of the sector- I'd be wary of recruiting someone who hasn't been a student- but beyond that it's about the soft skills for me.

    There's a job at Manchester Students' Union which might give you an idea as to what is expected from advisers. It's not my institution but might give you an idea: http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/nusdigital/document/documents/8833/2c1be96e384594b20b8e6c5e496dfc9d/Student%20Advisor%20Job%20Description%20and%20Person%20Specification%20July%2014.docx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks so much, that helps alot. Ive certainly been playing up soft skills in my applications and i genuinely do think its something im good at so I guess look for opputunities that will help me develop those more.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just looking through the spec this is definately the sort of thing i would be interested in and think i could do, just a shame its in Manchester.

    One of the essential job traits though is 'experience of giving advice in one or more areas as mentioned in job description' - things like welfare, housing, finance. My job at the moment is specifically non-advisory,

    Do you think this is something most of these types of jobs will ask for, or is there a way of learning on the job? The only i can think of as an example of this is being on thesite boards!
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Lexi99 wrote: »

    Do you think this is something most of these types of jobs will ask for, or is there a way of learning on the job? The only i can think of as an example of this is being on thesite boards!

    There's no reason you can't include this as an indication of your interest - perhaps look over your past posts where you've been directly supporting others and think about what soft skills you've applied, and how. It might also help to look in on threads you might normally shy away from and think about how you might respond?

    Also, I can't emphasise volunteering enough - perhaps look into local helpline roles or if you're interested in doing some training with us, drop me a PM :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ive just looked into the citizens advice bureau but not really suitable for a full time worker. Also im quite restricted for travel so not sure about being able to get to London easily for thesite things also the thought has crossed my mind
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lexi99 wrote: »
    One of the essential job traits though is 'experience of giving advice in one or more areas as mentioned in job description' - things like welfare, housing, finance. My job at the moment is specifically non-advisory,

    Do you think this is something most of these types of jobs will ask for, or is there a way of learning on the job? The only i can think of as an example of this is being on thesite boards!

    Most of these types of job will ask for that type of experience. It is something that's fairly important, a knowledge and experience of the adviser/client relationship is something very desirable. It's one less thing to train, for one thing.

    Some advice positions will require specialist knowledge too, but that tends to be in more senior positions. For that example role not having it will definitely put you at a disadvantage, but it depends who else applies. As Whowehere says, it's always worth sticking the form in and seeing what happens.

    Think slightly outside of the box in terms of advice, it needn't mean in a professional setting at work. Do you volunteer, did you organise a society or event when you were a student, did you do work with the scouts/guides, anything like that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was a part of a am dram club and helped to organise and rehearse that and have done some volunteering with half term summer school type thing. I suppose i could try and spin it to try and fit the spec.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    Lexi99 wrote: »
    Also im quite restricted for travel so not sure about being able to get to London easily for thesite things also the thought has crossed my mind

    You wouldn't need to come to London - most of our volunteers are virtual and do all their activities online. I've met very few of our live chat moderators, for example :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lexi99 wrote: »
    At the moment im job hunting for roles in student services where i can work up to advisory work or something like that so ive been searching loads of uni sites. Tbh i not really sure if theyll say i dont have enough experience but i think i can do the ones ive applied for.

    Ive found 2 more jobs but im not sure whether to apply for them. Theyre just basic receptionist, adminy jobs so not really related and seem a bit dull but they will help me get an idea of how higher education jobs work and get my foot in the door.

    Im just not sure if its worth applying and i think ive just answered my own question. I think i might just be getting carried away and going for the because they're there now and in a place i would consider moving to

    To be honest no one can tell you what YOU should be applying for. It is your decision in the end and you have to make choices for yourself.

    If you don't think you can do the job then you shouldn't apply for them. It's as simple as that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not the fact of can I do them, it's a whole host of other questions like how will this affect my future jobs, if I hate it and leave in 2 months will I be branded a job hopper and not be able to get another job other than stacking shelves? If I do go for the job will I have to to move, where will I go, can I afford it? I know it seems like I should just be able to decide on all this easy peasy like normal people but I worry about how this will affect everything else as it always does
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you hate the job and leave at least you have something to put on your CV.
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