Temping has traditionally been seen as a poor alternative to getting a “proper” job. But in increasingly volatile economic times, employers are switching to taking on temps for many different reasons. From their point of view, being able to hire staff on a weekly basis gives them the flexibility they need in their business. In most cases, the temps are employed by an external agency rather than by the client business. Although there are lots of benefits to a business, what’s in it for you as a worker? Is signing up with a temp agency worth consideration?
Gaining Work Experience Quickly
If you need a quick cash injection after graduating, or need to fill up your CV a bit with proof you’ve been doing proper work, then temping can be the perfect solution. The main advantage to temping is that agencies often get you into work straight away. Most will ask you to go in for a chat, talk about the type of work you’re interested in, complete a few tests and wait for the call. Starting work the next day isn’t unheard of, if you’re flexible.
Even if the temp work isn’t something you want to do long term, you can put a positive spin on things for your CV. Any type of work can show you’re reliable, trustworthy and can work as part of a team. And if you really don’t like the work, the agency will usually be able to switch you into another, more suitable position.
Temp to Perm
Agencies may also advertise vacancies on a “temp to perm” basis. This means that although the vacancy is temporary initially, there is the possibility that it might become permanent in the future. This could be in a couple of months, or anything up to a year. It’s usually only a good idea to take on a temporary to permanent position if you’re interested in working for the company in the long term. If not, look for purely temporary work instead. Even if a job isn’t designed to be permanent, being inside an organisation as a temp might give you access to vacancies which aren’t advertised externally. A longer term temping position also allows you to develop relationships and start networking with your colleagues.
On Your Best Behaviour!
One of the key pieces of advice for any temp is to always have your eyes on the main prize of getting a permanent job. This means giving everything your best effort, even if you’re just temping in a basic admin position. Do a great job, and the agency are more likely to put you forward for a more challenging position in the future. Your boss in the admin department might know of a vacancy in marketing or engineering which you’re a perfect fit for. None of this is going to happen if you resent your position as a temp, turn up late and only do the bare minimum needed to get by.