The Advantages of Temporary Work
Jobseeking advice for those considering temporary work
Many people may not have considered temporary position, but there are many advantages to temporary work. For those who have never considered it, remember: with a strong CV and the right attitude, temping can open many doors. It may lead to the permanent job of your dreams, or you may find that temporary work is exactly what you're looking for!
Advantages of temporary work
1. Step on the ladder
"I need a job to get experience, but I need experience to get a job..." Well, temporary work is an excellent way to build the experience for a new career path. Many employers are willing to offer people a temporary post on personal recommendation, or give someone more of a chance than they might with a permanent post. This can negate the need for a particular background or skill set, and provides jobseekers with valuable new experience for their CVs.
Find out more: How do I get a job with no experience?
Don't forget: you may be expected to hit the ground running, particularly if you are filling an interim position. Be prepared, and work proactively to fill the gaps in your knowledge.
The most obvious benefit of temping is the flexibility. Short term assignments, fixed term contracts, and shorter notice periods appeal to many, and the flexible nature of temporary work can be a big plus for those who find it difficult to commit to a permanent post.
Don't forget: temporary work still requires commitment, and should be treated as such. A good reputation will lead to more work, but the opposite is also true...
Of course some people prefer the consistency of a permanent job to the flexibility of temp work. But the lack of certainty with temporary work can push the pay rate up. Particularly with skilled contract work, pay can be exceptionally competitive (and far higher than for equivalent permanent roles).
Don't forget: for non-contract temporary workers, it's important to remember that Agency Worker Regulations mean that after 12 weeks in 'the same job with the same employer, you are entitled to the same basic terms and conditions as "comparable workers" - employees doing the same job in the same workplace'
The variety of temporary opportunities that arise can be an advantage to those who like diversity day-to-day. While many permanent jobs offer plenty of variety, temporary workers might find themselves moving between departments, assisting on multiple projects, and working in a variety of different environments. This can be invaluable for learning new skills, as well as providing an excellent opportunity to meet a broad range of people.
Don't forget: if you wish to move from temporary work into permanent employment, you will need a decent level of experience. If this is the plan, try to ensure your work is relevant to the area you want to move into.
5. Interim measure
Simply enough, taking a temporary or short-term contract position is a brilliant way to keep fresh and 'stay in the game' if you find yourself out of work. As well as furnishing your CV with new skills, it demonstrates a proactive nature and willingness to work that employers value highly.
Don't forget: there are plenty of reasons to take a temporary position, so don't rule it out. Keeping your CV fresh, gaining experience, and meeting new people are all things that will be of benefit to the enthusiastic jobseeker.
How to get temporary work
Most good job search facilities will allow you to separate into temporary and permanent vacancies. Take a look at our currently open temporary jobs »
All REED branches have dedicated temporaries consultants who know the requirements of their specialist industries and are well placed to help you find the right temp role. For more information, contact your nearest REED office »
Finally, don't forget there are plenty of other ways to find (especially temporary) work. Use social media, for instance your LinkedIn tagline, to advertise the fact that you are looking for temporary work, and capitalise on word-of-mouth by letting your friends know what kind of work you're after. It may only be the first step on the ladder, but it's a step in the right direction!
For other advice have a look at our other sections:
Or explore the full range of articles in our career advice section.