By Ryane Jackson, Staffing Consultant
Q: What even is a contract/temp position? How do they work?
A: The important thing to know about a contract/temp position is that they can be a stepping stone to an ultimate end-goal. There are people who work these jobs their whole life and are called “Career Contractors” but that’s a blog post for another day. Before we dive into why temping/contracting could be a good idea, let’s define it first.
– Temping is the same as contracting so don’t get confused by the two words – they are interchangeable. What is a contract role? In most agencies, when you hear that an opportunity is a ‘contract role’ it means a couple of things. First and foremost is means that you will be working on an hourly basis rather than a salaried basis. Most staffing agencies still offer accrued sick time after working a certain number of hours as well as insurance packages for their contractors that can be deducted in one’s paycheck.
– Being a contractor means that the staffing agency who finds you a job will be paying you directly, not the third party company at which you are working. For example, Staffing Agency ABC finds you a job at XYZ Company. Even though you report to XYZ Company every day for work, your paychecks will still be coming from Staffing Agency ABC.
– Contract opportunities are also usually set to be for a certain amount of time. Some contracts go for three months, others three years, while some can be extremely short term. Your staffing agency should be completely transparent and honest with you regarding longevity of contracts.
Q: Why in the world would someone want to work a contract job instead of a permanent job?
A: Temporary jobs are utilized by a large population. People that would most benefit from temp jobs are:
Someone changing their career path:
– We recently had someone who had worked in Real Estate their whole life come to us wanting to get into Human Resources. They were finding it hard to break into the industry, and came to KNF&T to try to get that their foot in the door.
– We were able to get this candidate an entry level, temp position within the HR department of a local hospital. After working a couple more temp positions in HR, this candidate is going to be on the right track to getting a perm, higher paying Human Resources position.
Someone trying to leave the retail/restaurant industry but doesn’t have any office/corporate experience:
– I recently interviewed someone who worked as a store manager for a variety of different retail stores for the past 10 years. She was tired of working weekends, and wanted a job in corporate America working the standard 9AM-5PM job. This candidate originally came to me wanting a permanent position but I explained that with little experience working in a corporate office it may be difficult to find something on a permanent basis that paid her desired salary.
– We were able to get this candidate a temp job in a corporate office of a retail chain, and within four months she learned a variety of different essential software (like Salesforce, Excel, QuickBooks). With this newly acquired skill set, this candidate went on to get a perm role within an office.
Recent grads looking to jump-start their career:
– Recent Grads should most definitely be utilizing temp jobs. When I graduated college I knew I wanted to be a recruiter but had little experience that related to the industry. I was able to score a temp job for six months that taught me how to use the various software involved and, after working this particular temp job, I was able to get a permanent role being a full time recruiter.
Q: What possible benefits could working a temporary position bring me?
A: A LOT, is the short answer! But let’s expand, shall we?
Temp jobs are great for a variety of reasons. The first being temp jobs move fast. If you need work RIGHT NOW then applying for some temp jobs is the right move. This is especially pertinent for someone who is trying to get a permanent job, but it is taking a little longer than they expected.
Numerous contractors work temporary positions while they are looking for something permanent. It is a smart method, allowing you to bring in some extra money while you’re on the job hunt. In addition, working a temp job while you hunt for a perm job also gives you something new to add to your resume! If you are open with your recruiter that you are looking for a perm job, they may even be able to help look for you while you work their temporary position!
Other reasons to work a temp position are (but not limited to)…
- Learn new professional skills
- Find out what interests you
- Get back to work after raising a family
- Learn new software systems
- Build professional connections
- Break into a highly desired company/industry
- Add new experiences to your resume and make yourself appear more well-rounded
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