Placement agencies, recruiters and informational interviewing…

TLDR version: Looking for advice on working with a placement agency, recruiter or doing info interviewing with employers. Have a BA, significant work exp and looking for growth. I think being out in the country has blinded me to what might be possible for me career wise. Looking for advice, recommended articles or other resources to put me on the right track.

 

About 5 months ago I was hired into a position with a company in the insurance industry which I thought was relevant to my experience. I had applied at the company's corporate website many months ago but a recruiter contacted me via linkedin and asked if I was interested in my current position. It /sounded/ like a small step up from where I was at and I had been looking around to get out of my then job for at least 8 months. I had been to many interviews but everything that I had been interested in paid less than what I was currently making at the time. (I live in a semi rural area and there isn't much around… I couldn't afford to move unless my new job was at least a minor pay increase). Suffice to say I was very "stuck" at old position and tired of employer jerking me along so I jumped and applied with the recruiter. However, after getting through two interviews and halfway through a two month training I realized the new position, despite being a small pay increase, was certainly not going to help me or satisfy me.   For one, I should have been a bit concerned when I was the only holder of a BA in my 20 person training class. (Not trying to be elitist, but I worked really hard to pay my way through my undergrad and it was a bit of a red flag that perhaps I wouldn't be using or growing skills I needed.) Most in my class were internal hires who held customer service jobs prior. In a week or two of training I could tell the culture didn't fit my goals. It was like going back to high school with the goofing off, cliques and utter lack of professionalism. Further i was concerned that the position itself wasn't what I had been given to believe. I had been told by both recruiter and during interviews my duties would be negotiating settlements, dealing with federal regulations and significant research. I was excited because that matched very well with my previous experience and seemed like a step in the right direction. That was a very generous fib.

So here I am, feeling a bit hoodwinked and after 5 months on the mind-numbing job and making a move to this city that I am ready to explore other options. While I am grateful to finally make a change of any sort I am already very confident that anything beyond 6 months of this position will not help me much career wise. So I am looking around and trying to identify possible next steps. I signed a year lease last month, so any position out side of an hour and a half radius wouldn't be much of an option for a while. But I feel I need to get back on the horse and ride or I will end up stuck like previously.

 

So, what is some good advice for working with recruiters or locating new opportunities? A person I know recently recommended I reach out to a placement agency. I had always assumed placement agencies were for short term secretaries or security guard type positions. Since Ive done a lot of that sort of work already and am looking for tangible growth I had never tried one. In fact, not even sure I know any besides the local day labor type places arpund town to reach out to…. I am finally coming to realize that I need to get out of my state to much hope of moving forward in life. Trying to find a recruiter or placement agency and learning what that experience is like sounds like a reasonable goal.

 

Could anyone with some general advice about getting started with a recruiter or placement agency reach out to me or comment on their experience? I am pursuing other options in the mean time, including a couple community college classes to broaden my skills in an area I felt weaker in and continuing to apply for state and local jobs.
 

Thanks for reading and any advice!

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