Done right, temporary employment can be a smart career move, especially for recent grads entering the workforce or those with an employment interruption.
And while there’s never a guarantee that working as a temp will get you hired, the odds are promising.
According to American Staffing more than one-third (35%) of temps were offered a permanent job by a client where they worked on an assignment, and two-thirds (66%) of those accepted the offers of permanent employment.
Temporary gigs give both you and the employer the chance to evaluate if you’re a good match. Here are 4 ways temporary work can be beneficial long term:
1. Expand your skill set
Few roles allow you to expand your skill set as diversely and quickly. As a temp you can start building work experience that will attract future employers. This is especially advantageous if you want to switch careers, change industries or add new skills (hard and soft) to your resume.
Hard skills include specific technical knowledge and training. For instance, if you work as a cheesemonger, you’ll need to learn how cheese is made and stored, the different types of cheeses, and how to safely use knives, slicers, scales and wrappers.
Soft skills include personality traits. Don’t underestimate the value of soft skills, such as dependability, creativity, critical problem-solving, willingness to learn, and open-mindedness. Hiring managers want employees with certain blend of both hard and soft skills.
Tip: On your resume, list the staffing agency as your employer and list each assignment as a bullet point. Otherwise, employers might judge you as a job hopper.
2. Broaden your role
In today’s work environment, you should always take ownership of your career by continually working toward the next step up. As you gain more experience, ask your recruiter about being placed in roles where you can use your newly acquired skills and continue to grow professionally. If there’s a job opportunity but you’re lacking the exact skill set, ask your staffing firm if they offer any courses to help you land the job.
Tip: If you see your dream job, ask if they need any help. Not only will co-workers and managers see you as somebody interested in learning and supporting the team, but when it’s time to leave, you’ll have additional technical and interpersonal skills under your belt.
3. Understand the company
Have you ever considered trying a job on for size? If not, maybe you should. If you’ve ever bought a pair of shoes online, chances are they aren’t as comfortable as they looked. The description was great, the reviews were good, but they hurt your feet every time you wear them. The same can be said about accepting a job without having worked there—you can’t evaluate the fit until you try it out.
Working as a temp gives you an opportunity few job seekers experience. You actually get to test the waters before diving in to see if you and the company are a good match.
Tip: Review the company website before interviewing or starting the job. Check out Glassdoor to read reviews and comments. The more you learn about the company beforehand, the more you’ll fit in.
4. Get to know co-workers
Networking continues to be the absolute best way to find a job. While on assignment, introduce yourself not only to employees in your department, but workers in other departments too. Make a point to get yourself noticed. Impressed co-workers will recommend you to hiring managers, inform you of new opportunities, and help you land the job you want. Don’t be one of those people who only reach out when they need something. With social media, it’s easy to keep in touch with your contacts.
Tip: Every co-worker and supervisor you meet on the job should become part of your professional social network, such as LinkedIn.
When you act friendly, responsible and work hard, you may be able to turn a temp job into a permanent one. At the very least—while working as a temporary employee—you’ll get to expand your skill set, broaden your job role, learn about different work environments, and amplify your professional network—all while keeping the paychecks rolling in.