The Perks of Temp Work

The numbers of temp jobs have been showing relatively healthy gains during the employment market’s very sluggish recovery. And many experts see the increase in temporary employment as a good sign that the recovery will continue–companies often hire temp workers as a way to increase production or development without the financial obligation that full-time employees bring.

But the rise in temp jobs isn’t beneficial only for companies–it can also be a great option for job seekers.

“Obviously it brings in an income, but there are many benefits to temp work,” says Tiffany Crenshaw, a cofounder of CareerMoxie.com. Here are some benefits to consider when you evaluate a temp job:

Test-driving a job
Ever wish you could test-drive a job before fully committing to it? Temping lets you do just that. “Temping allows you to assess whether an opportunity and company culture really ‘fit’ you,” says Crenshaw. “Since fit can often be hard to ascertain in an initial interview, I like to think of temping and consulting as a 30- to 90-day interview resulting in a much better understanding of what the position really entails.”

Potential to go full-time
Another huge perk of temping is the potential for any role to go full-time. “The employer has a chance to evaluate your performance prior to making the expensive investment in hiring you full-time,” says Crenshaw. “You have an opportunity to try on lots of different jobs, industries, and companies until you find the one that feels right, without wreaking havoc on your resume. This can be a win-win for both you and the employer.”

Something productive to do
“Some of my unemployed candidates will turn down temp assignments because they want full-time work,” says Crenshaw, though she tries to steer candidates away from doing that. “If a job seeker can do something, versus sitting idle during the job hunt, it can be beneficial,” she says. “It shows potential employers that you took initiative and didn’t just sit around.”

Keeping busy and showing initiative aren’t the only reasons temping can be good for you while you search for a job. Temping can also “keep your mind fresh, keep your skills sharp, and build your self-esteem up,” says Crenshaw.

Try something different
Why wouldn’t you want to give something new a shot? “If you have an opportunity to temp somewhere that you may have never considered, you have an opportunity to do something different,” says Crenshaw. “You may discover a new industry that you want to be part of.” Plus, you’re getting paid to get valuable on-the-job training within your new industry instead of having to spend extra time and money on additional schooling.

BYOB (be your own boss)
Temping gives you the freedom to call the shots. In a our site poll conducted in March, 22 percent of respondents said that the biggest advantage to temping is the schedule flexibility. “You can decide what you’re going to do, what your rates are, and when you want time off,” says Crenshaw, and that’s something that the average job cannot do for its employees.

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