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  1. #1
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    Hey guys, I was wondering if having 5 jobs in 2 years will hurt my chance of becoming a firefighter? There were 2 jobs where I worked for less than a month and a half consecutively. I quit the first job because I wanted to stay around my father at home due to his health issue and I didnt have much time to work. I quit my 2nd job because it wasnt for me, tele-recruiter for blood donors. How would I go about this?
    any help would be great, thanks in advance!


  2. #2
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    they say honesty is the best policy. or you could try not putting those jobs on the application and hoping they don't find out. but if they do, see my first sentence for an explanation of how you screwed yourself. we all have to find our niche in life, and I think if you are a good candidate, and you explain clearly your reasons for leaving (if asked), then hopefully your other virtues will outshine any perceived negativity from the multiple jobs.

  3. #3
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    ok thanks. i did screw myself with multiple jobs. i just didnt realize how boring some of them were and i was just desperate for a job on a couple of them. hah

  4. #4
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    List it on your applications. Omitting information is equal to lying in a background investigation. You will not move on pass backgrounds under those circumstances. With the explanations you have given you will not have any issues by telling the truth. Everyone is human and the board will see that. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    There is nothing wrong with having different jobs before starting into your career. A lot of people have an assortment of short term jobs before getting hired because they are trying to work around going to school and testing. Some jobs and employers can be flexible and others will not. I have worked with a lot of people that have had even more jobs in the five years before getting their dream job and it hasnít affected their chances.

    BKDRAFTís advice is right on, you never want to leave something out of your background. If you had taxes taken out of your pay it would be no problem for a background investigator to find the job in your past. You would be eliminated immediately.

    But you can use every job you have had in the past as a learning experience. In an oral interview, someone who has had a number of different jobs over the years has a better knowledge base to draw upon. Having the same job for a long time shows you are loyal and dependable, but it will not hurt you to have moved around. As long as you were not fired or asked to resign for doing something wrong, you can draw from those experiences.

    If you think about it, years ago we used to try and hire 18-19 year old guys, or guys in their early 20ís returning from military service. 20-25 years ago we started having problems doing that, because a man is not a man at 18-19 in our society any more. Most departments started hiring older people, and as they did they started seeing a huge benefit. We have people with a greater maturity level, they have had time to gain education, and work experience and come to us with a greater all around knowledge base. If we were to go to a second alarm fire, and have all of the people and equipment that comes with it, if something out of the ordinary happens, there is a good chance in our group; we have someone with a greater knowledge of the problem. We could have a person who worked in photo processing, an animal control officer, a diesel mechanic, worked in a gas station, a person who worked as a dolphin trainer ,ranchers, farmers, a minister, secretaries, nurses, professional athletes, people with masters degrees in chemistry, professional scuba divers, pilots, and a former police officer. Those are just the people I know of. The I.Q. of our group has grown because of all of the things we have done in our past.

    I think presenting the jobs as they were and giving an explanation, will be more than sufficient. Hopefully you learned something from every one of those jobs, even if you just learned what it was you didnít want to do. I know of a few people who left jobs and school to spend time with their sick and ailing family members it has not hurt them, if anything it has given them a lasting life experience

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
    www.myfireinterview.com
    (707)869-1330

  6. #6
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    Yes, you will be questioned about multiple jobs. Five jobs in two years rasies a red flag with the background investigator. This is unusual. Questions arise about stability, commitment and the ability to get along with coworkers. While you explained two of them (and they seemed like reasonable excuses), you knew about these jobs before you took them. What about the other three?
    Smaller departments who lose firefighters to larger departments will be particularly sensitive to someone who has a pattern of leaving jobs.
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  7. #7
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    Paul is right that you just need to have a good reason for each job. That is not a bad thing, in fact it is a good opportunity to talk about what you did and what you learned. But it shouldnít hurt you.

    I started asking candidates I coached a few years ago how old they were when they got their first job. After more than 400 people, not one has said they were over 18 when they started their first job. To be able to keep the same job through high school, college, and the testing process would be tough, and who would want their high school job when they were over 20?

    A few weeks ago I coached a guy who was in his early 20ís and had had a number of jobs. He had his high school job, went to college and worked there, had a summer job at home and then another two at school the next year. He then worked a month at home in the summer and then started a seasonal position with Cal-fire. He got his EMT and then medic and worked for two different companies on an ambulance. He came out number two in his chiefís interview with a major department in a test that started with thousands. I see this as being the normal history in candidates I coach. Not only having a lot of jobs, but also turning those jobs into a fire job in their interviews. You just need to know how to showcase them properly to get the maximum points for the work you have done and the things you have learned.

    Good Luck, Capt Rob
    nrtc@sonic.net
    www.myfireinterview.com
    (707)869-1330

  8. #8
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    very great info guys, thanks!

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    I too had multiple jobs. It hasn't hurt me anywhere so far. In fact, I just recently got a conditional job offer with a large city department on the East Coast. However, I never had any gaps in employment. I just worked a lot. At one point I was a full-time college student with four jobs. I guess my situation was a little different, but you should be fine. You get a chance to explain yourself with everything during your background.

  10. #10
    Forum Member AZFF25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reebokHCFR View Post
    they say honesty is the best policy. or you could try not putting those jobs on the application and hoping they don't find out. but if they do, see my first sentence for an explanation of how you screwed yourself. we all have to find our niche in life, and I think if you are a good candidate, and you explain clearly your reasons for leaving (if asked), then hopefully your other virtues will outshine any perceived negativity from the multiple jobs.

    Hope they don't find out? All the potential employer needs to to do is run the Social Security Number through the Social Security Administration, and all job's that you worked will show up granted it was not an "under the table" type job. Any job's worked where you provided the employer with a SSN will be found.

    The truth is the best policy...explain as you did to us here on the board and you have an explanation for multiple job's in short amounts of time.
    __________________
    "Too many freaks and not enough circuses!"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZFF25 View Post
    Hope they don't find out?
    yes, hope they don't find out. like the guy who was hired as a ff/emt and was in medic school and his emt certification had lapsed months prior. neither the school nor the fd who hired him realized he wasn't an emt. anyone's state certification status can be checked within minutes at a public state of florida website. stuff happens, mistakes are made.

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