Today’s Temping Prospects

Let’s face it – today’s job culture has evolved tremendously, and through its consistent adaptation to meet the fickle demands of modern society, has eventually developed into something unlike the past has ever suggested. Temporary jobs, once seen as “last resort” options, are now gaining more in popularity between both employees and employers than ever before. Job security and stability, once cherished ideals, are concepts that are arguably fast becoming outdated and irrelevant in a world where flexibility, specialisation, and outsourcing are the new names of the game.

Roughly one third of Spain’s workforce, for example, is working at temporary jobs. Europe in general seems to be following a similar direction as well, where one out of seven jobs is now temporary. The empirical evidence and statistical data all depict impressive growth in the popularity of temporary jobs over the years, and collectively they seem to point towards a radically different future ahead in terms of employment.

Interestingly, to many employees, especially those trapped in the mindsets of the older generation, working as a temp might still initially sound extremely unappealing. Most would recklessly stereotype temporary positions with tedious and low-skilled labour, having relatively lower pay and completely lacking in the essential benefits usually available to full-time job holders. Yet what these people fail to realise is that these sweeping generalisations are often dangerously misguided in today’s context and may even prove potentially damaging to one’s career in the long term.

Benefits of ‘Temp-ing’

Temporary jobs, also popularly known as ‘temping’, have several sharp differences as compared to their permanent counterparts. First of all, they’re obviously temporary, but what might be really more important is that they also offer a distinctly different overall work experience for the individual and certain perks that simply cannot be found on any other route of employment.

The Money
Unlike conventional assumptions, certain temporary jobs are actually paying more than their full-time counterparts. From a difference of a lower average hourly pay almost fifteen years ago, temporary jobs today can actually pay up to three times more earnings depending on employee skills and the demand for it. Of course, temporary workers still don’t get the various benefits that full-timers get, such as holiday entitlement, and pensions. Yet, if anything, current trends indicate that the gulf is steadily being reduced, with certain benefits, such as sick leave and retirement funds already available to temporary workers.

Temporary jobs also offer a flexible schedule and a varied work environment, giving workers the freedom to manage their time in ways not normally possible for permanent jobs. This hence makes them highly attractive and ideal for students or people who already hold part-time jobs. Additionally, workers are given the opportunity to enhance existing skill sets while learning new ones as compared to permanent positions where one’s skill set would simply be confined to that particular job.

People who are often unsure or indecisive of which industry and line of work they wish to pursue would especially find temping a favorable option. Temping is a powerful method to sample a wide array of jobs, allowing them to experience work in many different fields while having the reassuring knowledge that they would not end up ‘stuck’ at the job should they find it unsuitable. Temporary jobs also allow people to familiarise themselves with specific fields and build up network effects should they be looking into business and self-employment in the future.

Getting That Ideal Job
A common misconception among the misinformed is an unwarranted fear that holding a temp job is a trap that might eventually hinder their prospects of finding a permanent one. Instead, temp positions actually strengthen one’s resume in times of unemployment between permanent jobs, thus increasing overall ’employability’. Furthermore, what people easily forget is that temporary jobs often hold the potential to lead on to permanent ones, especially more so should vacancies conveniently open up.

Rubbing shoulders
Even if other potential perks of temping fail to materialise, temporary jobs allow the worker to build a network of contacts that in turn increase permanent employment opportunities. Significantly, in today’s highly political corporate world, establishing good impressions and connections with the relevant people from various fields can often play a critical role in the formula for success – something temping allows one to do with great efficiency.

Changing Mindsets

How then should we properly view temporary jobs? Today’s temporary workers are no longer the vulnerable and marginalised portion of society left with few alternative options, but instead the young, savvy generation who are shrewdly prioritising flexibility and networking. Truly, we need to collectively recognise this before the full benefits of temping can be effectively derived and allocated to the fragments of society that need them most.

Hence, the next time a temporary position opens up in a period of unemployment, grasp the opportunity to build extended networks while broadening your horizons. While there are certainly no real absolutes and guarantees in today’s complex world of corporate culture, you may soon find yourself moving up that elusive ladder to success faster than anything else you could otherwise have possibly imagined.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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