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Why temp?

Posted on 7/11/2014 by Jo Hodge

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Temping can provide valuable experience to a variety of candidates, for a variety of reasons. If you are seeking work the temping route can be a way to develop your CV and  gain a footing in the job market. It can be helpful in giving an insight into various organisations and extremely useful if you are undecided on your career choice.

It can also be particularly beneficial if you are returning to work or looking for a career change, and of course if you are on a working holiday or have a commitment on the horizon which would conflict with a permanent role. Temping is a useful way to develop new skills and often you can be put forward for roles that perhaps you wouldn’t be considered for as the role is for a shorter term the client is more likely to look favourably on you and be willing to “give you a go”, a useful tool especially for commercial candidates looking to break into the sector.

There are many different reasons to seek out temporary employment, individuals who do temp work can be roughly “classified” into the following four different categories:

1.  The “Job-Seeker” Temp

Temporary jobs are great for individuals who are currently searching for a job. Temp work provides great experience and is an excellent addition to a CV - it shows that you have a wide skill set and can easily adapt to a changing environment. Furthermore, the flexibility of temporary work allows you to search for a new job while you temp. You can attend or schedule job interviews in between your assignments. With temp work, you can earn money while simultaneously gaining experience and conducting your job search - what more could you ask for?

2.  The “Career-Driven” Temp

Career-focused temps are hoping to further their career through temporary employment. These people may seek out temporary jobs in order to improve their skills, learn about new fields in their industry, and gain experience to help them in a future job. Not only does temp work help you gain this experience, but it also allows you to explore different career paths and find out what sort of life-long career you want to pursue.

3.  The “Career Hopeful” Temp

These temps are “career hopefuls” because rather than bouncing from job to job, they are hoping to land the desired “temp-to-perm” positions. A temp-to-perm position means that there is an opportunity for the position to become permanent if the temp is the right fit for the job and company. In a way, it is like a company’s way of screening job applicants before actually making a hiring decision, thus reducing the cost of employee turnover and allowing the company to see how the individual interacts in a work environment. If a temporary employee can make a lasting impression on an employer, the employer may consider them in any future job openings or even create a new position just for them.

4.  The “Permanent” Temp

While “temporary” work doesn’t sound full-time or permanent, it can actually be both. Temp work is not just for individuals who are searching for a job or looking to gain experience. Some people choose to make a career out of temping. From day-long assignments, to special projects, to assignments that last a couple years, temporary work provides individuals with diverse tasks and the opportunity to gain experience working in anything from small charities and businesses to large charities and organisations. Temporary work is great for individuals who love a changing, stimulating environment.

There isn’t just one “type” of person who decides to temp - anyone can do temp work. No matter who you are, temporary jobs allow for more flexibility than most permanent jobs. If you want to take a month-long vacation to a tropical island, it’s as easy as telling your temporary staffing agency that you will not be working during those dates - there is nothing stopping you (at least as far as work goes).