Attending interviews whilst on full time permanent contract

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!

Attending interviews whilst on full time permanent contract

Postby msc22 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:18 am

Hi everyone,

I am currently working as a paid AP in CAMHS on a full-time permanent contract. I have been in post for a year, and I would like to get an RA position to build some research experience. I had 4 interviews recently (all far away, so I needed the full day off for each of them), and despite very positive feedbacks, I wasn’t offered any of the 4 positions. 2 of these interviews fell on a Friday so I just requested some annual leave and pretended I wanted to have a long weekend. For the other 2 (they took place in June and in July), I decided to be honest, and I explained to my manager that I was looking for another job as I needed to build research experience to move towards a PhD or a Doctorate. She said she was sorry I wanted to leave, especially since we are currently understaffed and overworked. I don’t know how many more interviews I will have to attend before I can secure an RA position. I am torn between resigning now (I bring this awkward situation to a close but then I run the risk of finding myself with no job at all for several months, which will reflect badly on my CV, and my landlord might kick me out if she knows I have gone unemployed) or staying in post.

What are your thoughts on that? Has anyone been in that situation before?

Many thanks
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Re: Attending interviews whilst on full time permanent contr

Postby purpledot » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:29 pm

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I understand your question. How awkward has the situation become since you let your manager know you were interviewing elsewhere? If it was just that awkward conversation, then I'm not sure I would consider leaving until I had a new job. Many supervisors will have been in this position, for instance when they are asked to be a reference for someone's DClinPsy application, and will be aware that people may not want to work as an assistant for the rest of their career, particularly when its acknowledged that the service is understaffed, which isn't a great situation for anyone to want to stay in.

(Also to add, if your manager has made the situation awkward past that initial conversation, then this is probably something which should be raised with another senior member of staff).
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Re: Attending interviews whilst on full time permanent contr

Postby MariaJay » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:57 pm

Would it be possible to discuss this during supervision? You could ask if there are any research opportunities for you to undertake in your current post. I've asked this question in my past AP roles which led me being involved with service evaluations, gathering outcome measures, maintaining databases etc. Although I have a MSc in Research Methods, I found that being able to add these to my applications helped me get my RA post.

This could be a win-win for you and your manager? You could gain some research experience to add to your future RA applications, and your manager may feel a little more secure knowing that you'll be staying for a little while longer (not to forget the benefits your findings could bring to the service).

Regarding attending interviews, I'm sure your manager will be aware that you'll want to progress in your career/interests and won't be with their service forever!
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Re: Attending interviews whilst on full time permanent contr

Postby msc22 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:23 pm

Hi purpledot,

Many thanks for your reply. I am really sorry if my post was not clear.
I have had no difficulty telling my supervisor (clinical psychologist) that I wanted to leave. She doesn’t work in the same team as me, so when I leave it’s not going to make that much of a difference to her. Besides she is familiar with the level of competition around finding a job as an AP, and that APs may not want to work as an assistant for the rest of their career. However, the conversation was a bit awkward with my manager (nurse) in that we are understaffed at the moment, we are a very small team (3 members of staff), and when I leave it’s 1/3 staff gone. I feel guilty that I am putting my manager through this amount of stress around not knowing when she is going to lose me, and also my job interviews sometimes fall on a day when we have very important assessments going on and I am needed. I feel this situation is awkward in that it is like saying to my manager that working with her is only a second choice (I’d prefer to work elsewhere), which I feel uncomfortable with in the long run, that’s why I do not want this situation to carry on for too long.

Hi MariaJay,

Thank you for your reply. What you are saying is actually a really good idea. I should look into this a bit more :)
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