The job market is tough right now, but you don’t need me to tell you. Finding work is particularly difficult for young people who are starting their careers, as well as for those who are older and who are trying to move into a new career.
You can feel like you’re stuck in a dead end – you need experience to get the job, but you can’t get the experience without work. However, many people find that the answer to their problem is temptation.
How the interim works
Temporary work (“time”) agencies find workers for companies that need people to be covered in the short term. The company benefits because it does not incur all the administrative costs related to the publication of an advertisement, the maintenance and possibly the training of a new employee. You also save money by paying a flat hourly rate to the temp agency, which issues a paycheck to the temp and takes care of all payroll deductions and benefits.
The temp agency looks for workers and places them in the right company, and the temp is only posted as long as necessary; It can be for a few days, a few weeks or a few months. I know people with computer skills who have worked temporarily at the same company for years.
The good news
Here’s the good news: Temporary jobs in the United States are on the rise, and experts interpret this trend to mean that employers are starting to think about hiring. The shift to more temporary hiring indicates that employers are ready to test potential candidates for permanent jobs. What this means for you is that a temporary job could very well turn into a permanent full-time job.
Choose a temp agency
There are many types of temp agencies. Some specialize in a particular industry, such as IT or accounting. Others specialize in certain types of jobs, such as office or management. Some even offer medical and vacation benefits. Consult with several agencies before deciding which one to work with, and be sure to ask the following questions:
- Do you charge placement fees or does the employer pay the fees?
- How much time usually elapses between homework?
- Do you offer training?
- Does this offer an advantage?
- What is your placement rate?
Don’t work with an agency that charges you a fee for the location. Most agencies collect their fees from the employer.
When working with a temp agency, expect to be interviewed as you would any other job. You may also need to take a typing or computer skills test. Consider yourself lucky if the agency is willing to provide you with free training.
Work with your temp agency
Once you have chosen an agency to work with, you need to sign a contract with them. Make sure you read all the fine print and ask questions about anything you don’t fully understand.
Under the contract, you agree to become an employee of the temp agency. Any job offer, whether temporary or permanent, must go through the agency. Don’t assume that you can build your own relationships and subvert the agency to get a job.
Benefits of interim
1. Get exposure
Interim gives you the opportunity to see what the different cultures of the company look like and what you prefer as an employee. Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment? Do you like to sit at a desk? Do you like working with the public? Now is the time to find out what you’re good at and what you really want from your job.
You can also learn about career areas that you would not otherwise be exposed to. For example, I once went to a medical company office and discovered a unique medical specialty that I had never heard of. This type of exposure could make all the difference in choosing your future career.
2. Make contacts
As a temp, you will be represented by an agency with more contacts than you could develop on your own. In addition, the agency has inside information about who you hire and what you are really looking for. When you work with an agency, you come with a seal of approval and you are one step ahead of the applicant on the street.
3. Transition to permanent employment
Once you are in place, the employer has a chance to see you shine. Don’t be surprised if what started out as a week-long assignment turns into a permanent job offer. When that moment comes, you will know if this is a business you want to stay with for the long term. You don’t have to accept the offer, but if you do, be sure to let the temp agency know.
4. Enjoy the flexibility
Most temporary jobs are 40 hours a week as long as they last, and when you’re done with your homework, you can take time off if you want. Just make sure you maintain a sufficient presence on the working group that the temp agency remains interested in working with you. If you keep disappearing, they might decide you’re too flaky.
5. Acquire skills and experience
I have met several people in recent years who have been made redundant and are now trying to move on to a more lucrative career. Taking classes at your local community college or adult education school will teach you new skills, but nothing teaches you quite as well as personal experience.
For example, you can take a QuickBooks course at a local community college. And because QuickBooks is used by about 95% of small businesses in the US, you’ll likely end up with plenty of places where you can further refine your QuickBooks experience and gain ancillary experience and expertise in the process.
A combination of classroom work and work experience is the perfect way to prepare for a new line of work. If you can prove to the temp agency that you have basic skills, chances are they’ll put you in jobs where you can work under supervision and further improve your skills.
There is a downside to everything, and that includes temptation:
- May feel isolated
- You can be treated like a second-class citizen at work.
- There is a lack of certainty about income.
- You may not have health insurance, pension plan, or paid vacation
Temptation doesn’t have a lot of downsides, but if you enjoy the security of a regular job and the camaraderie of a constant circle of co-workers, then temptation can be a letdown.
Temptation isn’t for everyone, but it could help you gain visibility in a saturated and uncertain job market. In addition, it will prevent you from having unpleasant gaps on your CV. And if you’re re-entering the workforce or just entering the workforce, a temporary job might be one of the few ways to open the door to a permanent position.
Have you tried temptation? What are the advantages and disadvantages that you encounter directly?