Labor and Employment

Temporary Work Suits Many Just Fine

Temporarily out of work? How about temporarily in work? For millions of US workers, temporary work is a perfect fit. For others, it can be a step in the door.

A Temporary Job May Work for You

There are many reasons why people look for a temporary job:

  • When the national unemployment rate hovers between 8 and 10 percent, you may simply need a job to make ends meet
  • Some people don't like the idea of being tied to the same job and employer for 40 or 50 years. A temporary job gives you a change of scenery as often as you want one
  • Inexperienced workers and college graduates get their feet wet in a profession or career and gain valuable experience, and the chance to test out different jobs to help decide on a long term career

Employers Like Them, Too

Of course, employers are in the market, too. The effects of the 2008 recession linger into 2011. Workers were laid off or their hours were reduced to save money. Temporary workers let businesses get back into full swing at lower costs. They don't have to give temporary workers benefits regular workers might receive, for instance.

Find a Job

When it comes to finding a temporary job, it doesn't matter why you're in the market. These tips will help anyone find a job, whether you're a parent looking for some extra cash or a seasoned office manager looking for new opportunities.

And, if it's what you're after, you may even turn that temporary job into a permanent one.

Know Where to Look

You can find job openings in several places:

  • The classified ads in your local newspaper
  • Online services. A simple internet search might locate the perfect job for you in seconds
  • Contact an employment agency or staffing agency in your area. Businesses typically hire them to find workers they need.

When it comes to agencies, give your name to more than one. This increases your odds of finding the right job. You also may get benefits or other perks by working through an agency.

Prepare or Update Your Resume

Tailor your resume for the type of job you want. Employers don't want pages of prior jobs unrelated to their openings. Highlight your strengths and skills making you a fit for the temp job.

Understand Any Hesitance

Workers with years of experience or education looking for temporary jobs may make some employers wonder if they'll quit in the middle of the job. Is the pay is too low; is the job challenging enough?

Make sure businesses and employment agencies understand your willingness to take temporary work, even if you're underpaid based on your background.

Know Your Role

Don't fool yourself: Your job is temporary. When the project you're hired for or the holiday season ends, so does your job. Don't expect otherwise.

If you like where you're working though, talk to your supervisor about permanent positions. Some employers hire permanent employees from the temporary work force, especially when employers spend time and money training workers.

Work Like the Job is Permanent

As a general rule, you can be fired at any time, for any reason. If you do a poor job, regularly show up late, etc., your temporary job may become very temporary.

Doing your job well increases your odds of being re-hired by the employer if the need for workers comes up again. It may also increase your odds of landing a permanent job. Also, an employment agency is far more likely to find work for good, reliable workers rather those who earn poor feedback from employers.

A temporary job is the answer for many US workers. A little preparation helps you find out if it's the right answer for you.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • Shortly after I was hired as temp my boss said I'd be offered a full-time permanent job. I was never offered one but was recently told temporary employment is ending. Am I entitled to a permanent job?
  • Do temporary workers have to take care of their employment and payroll taxes?
  • Can an employer stop me from working for one of its competitors if I only worked for the employer for a few weeks?
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