You have an excellent degree, a flawless résumé, and relevant professional experience. But you always seem to find the appropriate job. What should you do: accept temporary work or wait for the right job to come along?
It might be challenging to locate the ideal permanent employment, whether you are a fresh graduate or were laid off when your former firm downsized. Fortunately, there is one option: working in temporary roles. Indeed, in the years after the 2007 recession, temporary workers have grown in popularity among firms seeking an easily expandable workforce without the additional expenditures of benefits. It’s worth noting that, according to the American Staffing Association, staffing firms in the United States placed an average of 3.2 million temp and contract employees per week in 2014. This represents a 5.4 percent increase over 2013.
Clearly, there are numerous positions available for persons who do not want or are unable to secure full-time, direct hire employment. But it’s not just the increased hiring of temporary workers that makes it vital to consider temporary labor. It is critical to note that temporary roles provide a number of distinct benefits that can benefit your circumstances and career:
- A psychological pick-me-up. According to Aaron Guerrero’s article in U.S. News, “10 Reasons to Take a Temporary Job,” if you’ve been out of work for a time, a temporary position can offer you the psychological boost you need to know you’re capable of getting a job. Furthermore, it can provide structure and a sense of significance.
- The possibility of earning money. Earning a wage, even if just for a few months, is usually preferable to filing for unemployment. In many circumstances, your salary will be much larger than your unemployment benefits.
- Maintaining employment on your résumé. Nobody wants to see blank areas on a candidate’s résumé, and most of us will go to any length to prevent them. Temporary jobs, even if they aren’t directly relevant to our chosen career, can help fill in the gaps and demonstrate to employers that you’re driven and prepared to work.
- Possibilities for gaining work experience. Many businesses don’t hire permanent staff to keep their overhead low—but that doesn’t mean the temporary workers they hire aren’t skilled. Contrary to popular belief, contingent workers are becoming increasingly valuable assets since many highly qualified people, such as engineers and life sciences specialists, prefer to work on a project-by-project basis. It is totally possible to obtain a temporary job in your professional field that will allow you to gain valuable work experience.
- The opportunity to try out different industries. Temporary work allows you to experiment with other industries. For example, if you are an IT specialist, you may work in an e-commerce company, a healthcare organization, and a call center before settling on your preferred field.
- The ability to test the waters at a certain company. If you’ve always wanted to work for a certain company, taking a temporary position will allow you to see what it’s like to work there. Furthermore, it can help you get a foot in the door when a permanent position becomes available.
- The opportunity to update your knowledge and develop new skills. The hardest part about being out of work is that your knowledge might quickly become obsolete. A temporary job allows you to flex your professional muscles while also learning new abilities that will help you advance in your career.
- Increase your professional network. According to Kerry Hannon’s Forbes article “Why Temporary Work Is Worth It,” working temporary jobs allows you to create and expand your professional network. And the contacts you build can help you find out about other career prospects and serve as references for future applications.
Given these benefits, it’s clear that temporary labor might be a viable choice when a permanent contract is out of reach. Furthermore, if you discover a staffing firm that can consistently put you in positions that match your expertise, you may be able to obtain the benefits of a permanent contract.