I was a volunteering at a local hospital and I spent a relatively long time assisting there. (3 months, 4 hours, Mondays through Fridays) I was to report to an employee that I guess I could refer to as "boss" for any issues or questions I had. I ended my volunteer experience when I had to go back to school for the Fall semester, but given my impending graduation in the Spring semester, instead of volunteering, I would like to have an actual job at the hospital.( Something entry level-ish, I was told Phlebotomists was an option for someone like me)

She seemed like an nice person, and from what I was told appreciated having me around.

Should I ask my former "boss" in help getting a job at her hospital? She has worked as a medical profession( nurse ) and now as an administrative position I feel she might have alot of connections or just general knowledge in giving me a leg up in any application. But on the other hand, I almost feel guilty asking her for assistance, I am not sure why. Maybe it is because during my interview for my volunteer position I told her I was considering graduate school for research, and given my "change of plans", it might seem that I was not being forthright with her.

Aside: I only plan to stay at the hospital for maybe 1 to 2 years while I get my affairs in order, should this be included in the discussion with my former "boss"? ( I intend to save up enough money to learn to drive and prepare for a graduate school program in medical technology.)

2 Answers 2


There is nothing wrong about inquiring along the lines of "I'm looking for a job - liked working there - is there something available/who should I contact?"
Do not ask or expect them to speak on your behalf (or hint at that). They may put in a good word for you, but that is an unexpected bonus.

It would be fair to mention your intention of only staying 1-2 years. If they have a permanent position available and you would get it, then leave after one year, you may not get positive references from then.

If you mention this intention it is wise to add that you do this in order to 'prepare for a graduate school program in medical technology'. That is something they may appreciate - they see you have a clear goal in their field.

  • 2
    +1, exactly this. You don't ask "Can you help me get a job?", even indirectly, you say "I want to apply at your company because [reasons], can you point me in the right direction?". That way you don't assume or ask too much and give her a graceful way out if she's not comfortable recommending you for whatever reason. Because you didn't ask for specific assistance, she's free to help you as much or as little as she can and wants to.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 11:48

Your best bet in any job is to leverage your network--and in this case you have an established working relationship with someone on the inside! You certainly should reach out and ask for help. These types of connections are often the best way to get any job.

As for the two year issue, framing is critical. I would personally present it as (1) I loved working here with you before, (2) I'd like to spend at least another year or two here as I develop my career goals, and (3) do you think there's anything here I could do, maybe in phlebotomy or ___? This is asking for help without asking, addresses the 1-2 year issue as a positive (or at least hides it in a s--t sandwich), and focuses on specific actions and goals.

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