Everything you need to know about temp jobs

by Harry Shelton
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One absolute truth of the COVID-19 era economy is that you never know when your current place of work might shut down. Many people have recently found themselves out of work, with a fair number attempting to figure out how to make their living in new fields. One popular choice among those looking for new work is temp work, a type of employment that definitely requires a bit of further investigation.

What is temp work?

A temporary job is just that – a short-term job, usually entered into on a contract basis for a pre-determined period of time. Temp jobs are often gained through working with a staffing company, but they’re also very common in fields like retail and landscaping. Temporary positions run the gamut of potential jobs, ranging from those meant to fill temporary staffing needs to those that are potentially tryouts for full time positions.

The difference between a temp job and a part-time job

While they might sound similar, temp jobs and part-time jobs are actually quite different. Part-time jobs are usually permanent positions, but positions in which an individual isn’t considered a full-time employee. A temp job, on the other hand, might require you to work full-time hours but typically has a defined end-point.

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Working with a temp agency

Many people who seek out temporary jobs do so through a temp agency. These agencies, also known as staffing or placement agencies, have contracts with companies who are looking for short-term workers. The temp agency does all of the work that a typical HR department would do for the hiring process, but it isn’t actually a part of the company for which temps will end up working.

As you can imagine, there’s quite a bit of difference between working with a good temp agency and with one that isn’t quite so good. It’s very important to do some research to find out the reputation of an agency before you work with it and to check out any testimonials of those who have been placed by the agency. It’s usually a good idea to contact a temp agency and to find out a bit more about them before submitting an application, with a special emphasis on figuring out in what kinds of fields they typically place their clients.

Can temp job become a permanent job?

One of the goals of many people who seek out temp jobs is to end up with full-time employment. There are absolutely jobs where this might happen, but those in which such a move is most likely are the temp-to-hire positions. These jobs essentially use the temp period as a try-out for a potential employee; if an employee impresses the business, he or she might be brought on as a permanent worker.

When does a temp job make sense?

Temp jobs make sense in a variety of different conditions. It’s a good way to keep paying the bills while you’re looking for a full-time position, of course, and it’s also a great way to test out a new industry if you’re thinking about changing fields. Temp jobs also work well as resume builders for new graduates and as networking opportunities for those who are looking to make connections in specific job fields.

It’s also important to remember that a temp job is just that – a job. While many individuals might prefer full-time employment, it’s often true that a temp job is a better choice than not being employed at all. Temp jobs bring with them not only the benefits that come with getting a paycheck, but those that come with having contacts both within the company in which the temp works as well as with the temp agency. If you’re stuck trying to find a job in the current COVID-19 economy, finding a good temp position might be the right move for you.

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