The Difference Between Temp Jobs and Gig Work

If you’d like to learn a new skill, choose the job and company where you want to work, work on your own terms, and have a more flexible work schedule, the gig economy may be your answer. In recent years, the number of gigsters (or flexible workers) has skyrocketed and continues to grow at a staggering rate.

Whether it’s due to generational trends (both millennials and retirees place a high value on work satisfaction), use of technology to post and find gigs, or the economic climate we live in, the gig economy is the wave of the future and here to stay. But what’s with all the buzzwords? Gig economy, flexible economy, gigs, temp jobs, flexible jobs, temping, freelancing…these are just some of the terms humming around the gig economy. It can be confusing!

Let’s start exploring by learning the difference between temp jobs and gigs. Both temp jobs and gigs can be a path toward gaining new experience and earning money fast. They’re also a great choice if you want to get your foot in the door for a permanent job and explore the culture of a company before making any long-term commitments. However, there are significant differences between temp jobs and gig work. Learn their differences, and you’ll be able to choose which works best for you and your lifestyle.

Temp Jobs

Companies in need of short- or long-term workers on a temporary basis, typically use a temp agency. They use contracts to fill jobs with skilled workers in order to complete a specific assignment. The company pays the temp agencies (not the temp employee), and the agency pays the temporary worker. Most agencies deal within a particular profession or industry, such as healthcare, information technology, accounting, etc.

How Do Temp Jobs Work?

Usually the temp job lasts 3, 4 or even 6 months. Sometimes, the temp agency keeps a pool of their own employees who go to different locations to complete different assignments. These employees receive benefits like vacation, health, unemployment, sick time, etc. Other times the temp agency uses contractors (non-employees) to fill the position. Contractors are not entitled to the same benefits as full-time temp agency employees.

Many temp workers enjoy the flexibility of the temp jobs, working on a variety of different projects for different companies and industries. It’s a great way for employees to build their skill set quickly and boost their resumes. For those temp workers who do a good job and like the work and company, it often leads to full-time employment with the company.

Gig/Flex Work

With gig work, you choose the job and company and work on your own terms but the big difference between temp and gig work is the length of a gig job versus the length of a temp job.

How Do Gigs Work?

Gigs are usually quick shift work, like working in hospitality, warehouses, performing specific personal services for clients such as dog-walking or housekeeping. Gig work usually represents a small portion of a worker’s income. Some gigs are recurring, meaning you might bartend 2 nights a week or unload shipment for a large company once a month.

Members of the workforce with full-time jobs who want to add to their income can easily pick up gig work in the evenings or weekends. Some gigsters work a variety of gig jobs for different companies to earn enough to allow gig work to be their full-time employment. However, most gigsters use the work as a side job to supplement their full-time employment.

What’s Right for You?

Temp jobs and gig work can potentially turn into a longer or full-time job, and with both, you’ll be able to test the business culture to see if it’s a good fit before committing to a full-time position.

If your resume needs a boost, both gigs and temp jobs are ideal to add new skills and experience, and either way, you’ll gain new skills and be able to work on your terms!

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