Why a Temporary Job Should Be Your Next Role

Around 36% of the U.S. workforce holds a temporary or contract job, amounting to tens of millions of employees across the nation. Temporary positions are not just administrative or entry-level—they can be found in nearly every industry. Some companies turn to temporary staff when they need specialized help. Others use contract workers to help handle a seasonal spike or to replace an employee taking a leave.  

Amidst rumors of an economic downturn, 85% of U.S. business owners are planning to implement a hiring freeze, a new study by Fiverr revealed. To deal with skill gaps and help support full-time staff, 78% of those owners indicated they would look to bring on contract talent.  

If you’re contemplating contract work, check out some of the advantages: 

 

Try something new

Taking contract positions offers the opportunity to try out different industries and experience different workplace cultures, management styles and responsibilities and projects.  

Research has proven that regularly learning new things reduces stress and builds resilience. Rather than getting stuck in one role, full-time contract work offers variety. Research also shows that workers who are purpose-oriented are more likely to excel in their roles, so taking a temporary role—or a few—provides the variety necessary to find an industry, company or mission to get behind.  

Expand your skillset

Temporary jobs present opportunities to learn new skills. Especially for a recent graduate with little work history, pursuing temporary work helps add marketable skills and experience to the resume. For those further along in their career, a contract role presents the chance to brush up on the latest skills. Here are some of the most desirable qualities in an employee today, and how a temporary job can foster them: 

  • Adaptability. Because of their short-term nature, temporary jobs encourage adaptability when moving from role to role, learning new skills and working with new people. 
  • Communication. Changing supervisors and teams requires excellent communication skills. Taking on new roles requires self-advocacy and willingness to ask questions. 
  • Initiative. With a set timeline for the role, it takes initiative to learn the job, take ownership of a project and turn it around in a timely manner.  
  • Contract work also presents the opportunity to learn new hard skills, such as how to maneuver software. Different companies use different software, whether it be their internal communication program or their CRM system. The ability to work with different software and applications is an important skill in an increasingly digital world.  

Build your network

Take advantage of being on the inside. Be confident and proactive about creating relationships from day one. Coworkers have valuable experience to learn from—they can offer feedback, help with navigating the new position, share insights from their time at the company and give advice. Later on, they can serve as references or offer introductions to people in their own network.  

A strong network pays off—connections made now can turn into more job opportunities later. If another position comes up within the company, a strong tie increases the chances of being brought back on. There may even be opportunity to work cross functionally. 

Stay employed

Temporary jobs also show a commitment to keeping a job. Rather than having to explain gaps in a resume, a temporary job can be the perfect bridge from one role to the next. To a hiring manager, consistency across a resume will demonstrate dedication and a desire to work. Plus, if caught in an unexpectedly long job search or a layoff, a temporary job can provide a steady income while on the hunt.  

Some contract work only lasts for a couple of days, but other roles can last for weeks, months or even years, depending on the assignment. These types of positions can provide long-term job stability.  

If the end goal is landing a permanent position, accepting a temporary job can be an effective way of getting there—many employers offer temporary-to-permanent roles. These positions are a great opportunity to determine if the company would be a good long-term fit. The employer gets the same chance to test the waters. Evaluate communication styles, management practices, team dynamics, company culture and personal feelings about the position. 

Work flexibility

Independence is a major draw to contract work. For travelers and professionals who live in secluded areas, remote contract work leaves no ties to one particular location. Some temporary roles can be done on the contractor’s terms, especially for specialty experts in areas like technology or media. Project-based contract positions often have more opportunity for flexible scheduling, so long as the project gets done within the allotted time. Even scheduling vacation time is easier—just leave some time between contracts. Plus, there is no need to worry about someone covering.  

 

From learning new skills, to getting schedule flexibility, to expanding your network, contract work offers plenty of benefits. Keep things fresh and try out a temporary role.  

Are you interested in pursuing a temporary job? Let our temporary staffing professionals help you find the perfect match! 

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