If a job search is taking longer than you'd like, here are some reasons to take a temporary job in the meantime.
My temping story
In the spring of 1998, I was living in a small studio in Jerusalem's German Colony after having made aliya and moving to Israel in January of that year. Having over 6 months to kill before I would be recruited into the Israeli army and with my savings dwindling, a temporary job offer came out of nowhere.
Conducting telephone surveys.
Yip-pee, was my first thought.
As I had just received my Bachelor's of Science in computer science, this temp job seemingly had nothing to do with my hitech career plans. Plus, it didn't sound like fun – quite the opposite – and I didn't think that I'd learn anything useful.
So what to do?
Why temping can be a good job search idea
Some benefits that I should have considered…
By opening yourself up to the temporary job market, you increase your chances of getting a job, period.
Whether at temporary job placement agencies or at the hiring companies, temp jobs are a good way to meet new people and grow your job search network.
A little income is better than none and some countries allow you to take temp jobs while still receiving unemployment benefits.
A temp job is a quick way to get some experience in a field you're lacking.
A temp job can let you try out a new career direction, especially for people who aren't sure what their profession should be.
Being productive in a work role will keep your spirits up and help you otherwise avoid job search depression.
Temporary placement agencies are responsible for sending qualified temps to client companies. As a result, the placement agencies will often train the candidates they think can do the temp job.
Many temp jobs are part-time, leaving your schedule partly open to continuing with your longer-term job search.
A temp job is a great way to learn about a company from the inside, helping you to decide if you even want to be a full-time employee there.
Easier to hire
Costing less than full-time employees, temps are appealing to companies in hard times. “Lowering your barrier to entry” means that as a temp you could get hired by a company that couldn't afford to hire you otherwise.
Full time job offer
The “temp-to-hire” situation is when a company brings in temps to test their skills in filtering candidates for full hiring. Another nice situation is where the company is so happy with your temp results that they decide to offer you a full time job.
Do temporary jobs improve workers long-term labor market performance?
A 2007 survey tried to answer the above question and discovered 4 more reasons to take temp jobs:
- Temp job workers subsequently do better in the labor market.
- Temp job workers have a higher chance of subsequently working for higher wage firms.
- Temp job workers provide a productive stepping stone to more stable employment.
- Temp job workers can develop useful job skills.
I didn't take the telephone survey job, at first. But I thought it over and realized that all things considered, the pay was good for the work in question and I was only needed part-time; there would be no mind-numbing 8-hour days on the phone. Finally, since the job offer arrived without requiring any more effort on my part, I changed my mind and did take it in the end.
Turns out I was right and wrong. The job really wasn't fun, but I did learn a few useful things and more importantly, met a lot of new people in growing my future job search network.
And if it hadn't gone well, there was no need to mention the temp job on my resume anyway.
Related articles from around the blogosphere
- Temping During a Job Search
- Temping Tips For Graduates
- 3 Tips to Getting Temp Jobs
- Is finding a job through a temp agency a good idea?
- Consider the Options: The “Temp” Route
- The flip side: How Entrepreneurs Get Value From Temporary Workers
- Life and Work in a Temporary Job
- How Temp Jobs Can Help You Survive (and Thrive) in Tough Economic Times
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