If you’re having a difficult time finding a job or just recently left a job and beginning your search, consider working a temp assignment(s). Working as a temporary employee at a company has many benefits as I describe below. I’m always amazed when people say they don’t want to work temp because they’re looking for full-time job only to find out that they’ve been looking for a full-time job for months.
Do you consider yourself a good worker? If so, I will guarantee that you will find a full-time job if you work temp.
What does it mean to be a temporary worker?
It means that you’re employed for a specific amount of time ex. a couple of weeks, a few months, a year. You’re not an employee of the company but rather an employee of the employment agency that places you at the company. It also means that you don’t get benefits through the company; however, some employment agencies offer benefits after you work a certain number of hours.
It used to be that doing temp work meant doing grunt work and the reason so many people didn’t want to work as a temp. That’s not the case anymore. Companies hire temps for many reasons. Sometimes they have projects that need to get done and they don’t have enough full-time staff. So they hire temps to help them meet their deadlines. Current employees get sick or sometimes go out on leave and the company needs someone to fill in. Then there are seasonal jobs, like at the end of the year for the holidays.
Here’s a little known secret. Many companies specifically hire temps expecting that they will bring them on full-time. Sometimes you’ll know upfront that the company is planning on hiring the position full-time if you’re being hired under a temp-to-hire arrangement. Normally as a temp-to-hire, the company will convert a temp to full-time after 90 days.
Benefits of working temp
Following are some of the benefits of working a temp job:
- Ability to see if you will like the job – I think it would be great if we could all try the job for 30 days before deciding if it’s something we want to do. Perhaps there wouldn’t be as much turnover. Working as a temp is an awesome way to see if you want to do that job. If you don’t, at the end of the assignment just say thanks and move on. Be sure to stay to the end of the assignment though before leaving. You don’t want to get a reputation of not being reliable.
- Ability to see if you will like the team – Working temp gives you the opportunity to meet your team members. It might be that you decide you don’t fit in with the team. There’s nothing worse than taking a job and realizing that you don’t like the people or they don’t like you.
- Ability to see if you like the company – Fitting in with the company culture is one of the main reasons people either stay at a company or decide to leave. As you’re working your temp assignment ask questions about what it’s like to work for the company. Does the company treat employees well and whether the other employees like working there.
- Will you like the commute – If it’s a long commute to the temp job it will give you an idea whether or not you want to do the drive every day.
- Provide extra cash while you continue to look for a full-time job – Savings running low? Work a temp assignment. It’s stressful enough looking for another job. But if your money is running low, you might end up taking the first job that comes along. Working temp will give you some extra cash until you find the job that’s the right fit for you.
- Gives you something to put on your resume – Even though you’re looking for a full-time job, working temp will allow you to avoid having long stretches of unemployment on your resume. Companies like to see that you were willing to stay busy.
How to go about finding a temp assignment
While some companies might hire a temp direct, the majority of companies use employment agencies. So how do you go about finding an agency to represent you? It’s easy really. There are thousands of employment agencies.
Following are some ways to go about finding an agency:
- Conduct an internet search – Go to your favorite browser and type in ‘list of employment agencies’, or ’employment agencies near me’. You can also type in ‘best employment agencies in (city).’ If you want to find agencies specifically in your city.
- Chamber of commerce – Many local agencies register with the chamber of commerce. Go to your local chamber website and search the list of businesses.
- Career fairs – Some agencies normally have a booth at the local career fairs.
- Job Postings – As you search for a job on-line, you’ll notice that many jobs are posted by employment agencies. The type of job posted gives you a good idea whether the agency represents someone with your skills.
In the industry, there are certain temporary agencies that have a nationwide presence and are commonly known. They include:
Before you let an agency represent you, you’ll want to do a little homework. It’s important to know if the agency is the right one for you. Following are some questions to ask the agency:
- What type of professionals do you represent? – Make sure they represent someone with your skills.
- Do you place people in temporary assignments? – Some agencies only place people on what’s called direct hires…basically full-time jobs.
- Do you offer benefits to temporary workers? – Find out how many hours you would have to work to qualify for benefits.
- Who pays your fees? – Only work with agencies where the company pays the fee.
- How many temp assignments have you placed in the last six months for professionals with my type of skills? – If it’s only been one or two it might mean that they aren’t the best agency for you to go with.
- How long have you been in business? – If it’s under a year, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work with them they just may not have built up their client portfolio yet. It might take longer for them to contact you with a job.
I recommend signing up with at least three agencies. More than that and you could have the agencies getting into situations where more than one agency submits your resume to the same company. You might think that’s great but this puts the responsibility on the company to decide which agency got your resume there first. Companies don’t like getting in the middle of a tug-of-war over a candidate. They just as soon not speak to you and move on to the next candidate.
Registering with only three agencies assures that at least one of them will be working at one of the companies but there’s a lower probability that two or even all three will be in the same place.
The next time you find yourself unemployment try working as a temporary. Who knows you might like the variety of work and being at different companies that you make working temp your full-time job.