THE PROS AND CONS OF WORKING LIFE AS A TEMP
If you’ve spent some time browsing the job ads, you’ll have noticed that a lot of opportunities are temporary. The fact is many employers like the flexibility of temporary work. Organisations can bring in extra staff to help during peak periods, for example, or an employee with a particular skill set to work on a short-term project. But what are the advantages of temping for the employee? And the downsides – are there any?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working life as a temp.
Opportunity to experience a range of roles and working environments
Temping can be great if you deal well with change and/or don’t know where your work preference lies. As a temp, you can test the water without feeling that you are making a big commitment, plus gain heaps of experience in the process.
Filling out your resume
If you’ve been out of work for a while, your resume is probably looking a bit bare. Temporary assignments can help fill the white space. And they’ll also show future employers that you really are motivated to re-enter the workforce, especially if you can highlight some of the skills and experience that they are looking for.
Temping assignments vary. You may work a five-day week, every Monday for two months, or a one-off gig of a few hours’ duration. Obviously for some people, temping is the main or only source of income. For others, such as freelancers or budding entrepreneurs, the flexibility of temping is attractive; they can gain extra cash/keep their skills ticking over, without ongoing commitment.
A route into a permanent role
Yes, there really are temp-to-perm roles out there! As a temp, you’ll get to know an organisation and its people from the inside. And they’ll get to know you. Little wonder that temping is often referred to as “try before you buy” . . . for both parties.
Lack of stability
Temp roles rarely last forever. If you are relying on temporary assignments as a regular source of income, you may come unstuck. If you’re prepared to take on a variety of roles, however, you should be OK in the current climate. Employers are crying out for staff to bolster their teams, especially in retail, hospitality and accommodation.
As a temp you’ll likely receive a higher hourly rate than employees on a permanent contract, but this loading is intended to cover you for personal/carer’s leave, annual leave, etc. If you fall sick for a couple of days or go away for a long weekend, you’ll notice that hole in your weekly wage.
Limited learning & development opportunities
Training varies from one organisation to another. As a temp, you may not be eligible for company learning and development opportunities. The onus could be on you to keep your skills up to date or upskill. And this may come at a considerable cost to you in terms of time and money.
To be successful as a temp, you need to be able to hit the ground running. You should be able to walk into a new assignment and be immediately operational. So, if you prefer to ease your way gradually into a role, it could be advisable to pass on shorter-term temp assignments.
If you’re in two minds about temping, you’re not alone. Working life as a temp can be varied, rewarding and fulfilling, but it can have its downsides too. Our advice: have a think about what you want to achieve professionally and personally in the short- and long-term. And then consider whether temping can help you reach those goals.
At Optimal Recruitment, we offer temp, temp-to-perm and permanent opportunities! To find out more, contact our professional team today on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 8416 4181.