Recent news about employment describes what might be seen as a disturbing trend. While new jobs are being created, the area where most new job growth is occurring is in the temporary employment sector. Companies are increasingly turning to temps, contract workers and freelance employees to meet their business needs in what continues to be an uncertain economy. When it comes to finding a job nowadays, "The future is not quite what it used to be." (Paul Valery, French poet) The negatives of an increasingly temporary workforce are obvious, but the challenge of an uncertain future must be met to succeed in the present. As a former client who had a successful career as a freelancer once told me, "We're all temporary workers, but I admit to it."
Are there any advantages to temporary employment for new or recent grads?
Here are four you might consider:
- Learn more about a field and explore possible career options. A temporary assignment can confirm that you want to work in this industry, or not.
- Gain valuable experience as you develop your current skills and learn new ones. Additional training may be available through the temporary agency, or on the job at your assignment, as you take on additional responsibilities.
- Meet new people to add to your network, and develop relationships with employers that could lead to a permanent job offer. Many temporary assignments are now "temp to perm" in nature. Some employers purposely hire employees on a temporary basis, which serves as a probation period, before committing to full time employment.
- Earn a paycheck! Let's be practical - You need to have an income sooner rather than later.
Taking a temporary assignment does not mean giving up on the possibility of full time regular employment. You can continue your search for a full time position, while employed as a temp. At the same time, you are developing your career adaptability and resilience - two competencies needed in times of economic uncertainty.
Learn more about temporary employment, recruitment agencies and placement agencies by checking out the Job Hunting Online Career Guide. Find additional resources for your job search in the Career Toolkit.
Photo: Courtesy Portsmouth City Council