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As outlined below, I’ve just moved to Rome, and am seeking a new job. I’ve run into a problem today though.

Monday morning next week, I am meant to start a temp assignment at one federal government department. It’s only for 3 days, and is unlikely to extend beyond next Wednesday.
But I just got a call, and *another* agency has lined up an interview with another federal government department for 9.30 Monday morning. This position is for a longer contract – several months.

What would you do? Comments and suggestions please



  1. Clone Thyself.

  2. Thankyou Marquis.
    I knew your advice would be pertinent and solve my problem.

  3. I’d do one of the following:

    1) See if they can reschedule the interview for 3 days later;
    2) Call the Temp agency who gave you the 3 days work and explain the issue. Maybe they can cover you for one day (unlikely) or negotiate a half-day on the first day?????

    At the end of the day, several months work is of more value to you than several days but there are other intangibles to consider such as work environment, location, politics, personalities and most importantly, softness of the dunny paper in the loo.

    That’s my 0.03c (Inflationally adjusted due to a stronger aussie dollar)

  4. It seems more logical to take the job with more longevity over the three day stint. but there are certain things to consider. Firstly, you agreed to the three day job already. (There’s a lot to be said about sticking by your commitments, for the short or long term) However, if you were to completely dump the three day job, explain to them now your reasons why and give them the chance to find someone else. (Or suggest someone else yourself)

    Secondly, Is the three day job something of interest? I’d take three days of doing an interesting job that I enjoy over a long time doing something I hated.

    Of course, Marquis has already stated the most logical course of action. (And the all important make or break factor over the quality of the toilet paper.)

  5. LostinSuburbia,
    The interview Monday is for a longer term thing, but an interview is quite tentative. Anyway, I’ve left a message for the agency that gave me the three days work to call me back, and I’m going to advise them that I’ve double-booked myself, and ask if a late-start Monday is possible. If not, it means losing the three days’ pay perhaps?
    The interview Monday morning had better pay off.
    As for Marquis, I agree re the toilet paper…

  6. When I was a wee young fella, leaving the mining industry and trying to break into IT, I was offered a permanent clerical position at the Tax Dept. I turned it down, hanging out for another couple of weeks before scoring the job I really wanted. It was still a clerical position but with another agency whose IT infrastructure matched what I wanted to play with. After a short while, I was well placed to snare the next vacancy in their IT Dept & the rest is history. Short term pain for long term gain.

    That said, I agree with lostinsuburbia’s comment about sticking by your commitments, especially if temp agencies are a big part of your future. Agency A, who placed you in Monday’s job, isn’t going to feel at all happy about losing their commission because you now want to go to an interview arranged by Agency B, their mortal enemy.

  7. All good points. I can’t really add much, but I would explain the situation to the temp agency and try and reschedule the interview to earlier and just go in late to the 3 day gig.

    3 Days. I mean how much can you do in 3 days anyway?

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