It’s almost fictional nowadays that a hopeful graduate will enter a company and stay there for life, and in return for their lifelong hard work? The promise of job security, a gradual increase in salary with comfort and ease and retirement; done.
Except this isn’t the 80’s and we’re not our parents’ generation.
Around ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace job survey. This isn’t due to short attention spans or the inability to progress within a company, but more so it’s the nature of the job market in today’s world. The swapping and changing ‘try-it-on-for-size’ type of employment works for Millennials, who want a variety of skills from a variety of jobs, and this is where temp work can help.
From the employer’s perspective, hiring temporary workers makes sense in many circumstances. They can staff up for a short period of time, especially retailers at Christmas, and can do so without the price tag of healthcare, bonuses and other benefits.
But temp work doesn’t just have to be beneficial for employers and here’s why you should consider it.
Learn new skills
One size doesn’t fit all; this is especially true in the jobs market. You may find that different companies use different systems to get the job done, even if they’re doing the same work. This is where you can get a grip on what type of work you prefer doing and find out what you’re good at. By spending time temping across various roles you can learn new skills and see how different companies operate and communicate. Tip: Say what you’ve learnt from both companies and how you can tie their successful methods together in a new job; employers will like that you’ve taken something away and tried to use, apply and improve it.
Busy? You can say no
One of the biggest benefits of temporary jobs is flexibility and control and this is the art and joy of some temp work- you have freedom to choose. Not having a fixed job may be scary at first, but it’s easy to become addicted to the freedom and flow of doing temporary work when you want. You are in control of your career and its path, and it’s far easier to take career breaks, fit your job around your life, work from home, and freelance from time to time. Just don’t say no too often as there are these things called bills and someone’s got to pay them.
It’s all about the contacts
Ever heard the saying ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? Sadly this can be more true than expected and many companies will hire and promote internally before reaching outwards, so temping could be one way of getting remembered and a ‘know how’ into a company; a foot in the door if you like. If you haven’t done so already then start building up your professional network via temp, part time and permanent work, and get a LinkedIn account, go on, do it now. Whether it’s for references or meeting people who may be able to help you further down the line, temping can really lengthen your contacts book. Have you gone and created that LinkedIn account yet?
Keeps your resume alive
Alarm bells usually ring for employers if they see a large gap of unemployment on your CV so why not keep your CV alive and fill the gaps with temp work? This could range from paid temp work, seasonal work, or even volunteering for a period of time- at least it shows you’ve stayed active and picked up more new skills. It fills in the gaps and keeps the money flowing while you search for something else.
You’re still protected
It’s important to remember that as a temporary employee from the day you start you still have worker’s employments rights and are entitled to benefits. After twelve weeks in the job you qualify for the same rights as someone employed directly. This is known as ‘equal treatment’, so things such as sick pay, holiday allowance and regular pay. You are also expected to be given the same quality of working conditions as your permanent colleagues. For those of you who like the small print, you can read it here at GOV.UK.
I’m a temporary worker, get me out of here!
In need of an adventure? I know the feeling, if you want to experience a new way of life and different cultures then think big and get out of the UK, it’s possible. Creative industries give you the option to go freelance so you can take your work to a destination that suits you best; and your skills learnt in any type of employment will be valued in and out of the UK, so it’s worth a shot. It’s not forever either, so you can test out different roles in different places and not be tied down to something permanent, so if you change your mind it’s only a temporary position so you won’t harm your career.
Chances to prove yourself- Get your name remembered
You don’t want that Bridget Jones moment where you’ve been mistaken for Brenda for the whole job so try and get your name remembered, nobody wants to be overlooked. If you are after something more permanent, many temporary jobs can lead to permanent positions, particularly if you prove yourself to be invaluable to the company, so just because you are a temp, doesn’t mean you can’t ask question, suggest ways to improve the company and give feedback. Never turn down a good temp role just because you want a permanent contract – you never know where it might lead…
So who knows, this year’s Christmas temp job could possibly lead to a managerial role in a few years’ time- give it a go!
Written by Stacy Owen