Everything You Need to Know About Temping

As COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing down, many people are frustrated and confused about their careers. The current economic crisis has many of us considering a side gig or temp work, either to make ends meet or to acquire needed skills before changing to a new industry or field. To help you make an informed decision, here’s what you need to know before taking a temp job.

What Is a Temp Job?

Temp jobs, or temporary jobs, are short-term jobs with a company, either for a short-term contract or a defined short-term period. For example, many companies are hiring temporary workers for the holiday season. A temp job could also cover a full-time employee’s position if they are sick or out on leave for an extended period of time. Temp positions normally do not include employee benefits, but some temp agencies offer benefits to employees who have worked with them for a certain period of time.

Temp Jobs vs. Part-Time Jobs

If you are deciding on whether to take a part-time or temporary position, it’s good to know the key differences between the two. A part-time job is a permanent position at a company with no defined end date. Since a part-time employee is employed by the company they work for, they may receive certain employee benefits. A temp job is a short-term contract with a company through a temp agency for a certain amount of time or until a project is completed. While a temp job could be for full-time hours, temps are generally paid less than permanent employees.

[SEE: 12 Best Part-Time Jobs to Pay the Bills.]

What Are Temp Agencies?

Temporary employment agencies are a type of recruiting or placement firms that specifically help companies hire employees for short-term contracts. The agencies handle the recruiting, screening and interviewing process. Job seekers do not pay any fees to work with a temp agency since the fees are covered by the companies looking to bring on temporary staff.

If you are interested in working with a temp agency, you can speak to your network connections to find out if they recommend any. If someone you know has worked with a temp agency in the past, ask them about their experience. Research any recommendations online by visiting their websites. Use Yelp or other online business review sites to see who is listed in your area. When speaking with the temp agency, ask them about what markets or contract types they specialize in. Are any benefits included in the temp jobs? Once you choose a temp agency, you will provide them with your resume and have an interview. Once you are approved by the agency, they will contact you with temp jobs that match your skill set.

[READ: 5 Job Hunting Tips.]

What Does Temp-to-Hire Mean and How Does It Work?

In some cases, temporary positions can lead to a permanent hire position within the company. This is often a stipulation of the temp job, but this may also happen by impressing the company during your short-term contract. Temp-to-hire positions can last up to six months with the possibility of the employer extending the contract further or permanently hiring the employee. If the employer and the employee agree to a permanent position, then the short-term contract would end and there would be paperwork to bring on the person as a full-time employee.

[READ: Who Is Hiring? 5 Industries to Start Your Job Search.]

When to Pursue a Temp Job

With COVID-19 affecting so many industries, temp jobs are a nice way to keep your skills sharp and help pay the bills at the same time. They are also a good choice for someone considering moving into a new industry or someone deciding what their next career move should be. It’s also a great way for new college grads to gain experience that they can add to their resume. While it’s generally recommended to try to find temp jobs that best align with your skills, the pandemic has thrown that out the window to a certain extent. There is nothing wrong with taking a temp job to support your family, even if it’s not your first choice. You can impress a future hiring manager by showing them that you worked in an unfamiliar field instead of not working at all. This also highlights your dedication to your family, which is something that many can admire during this time.

Networking Opportunities

Temporary jobs can lead to new networking connections, opportunities and good references if you stand out as a worker. All of this can help you in your pursuit of a permanent job position. Make sure to keep track of the positive feedback you receive while working a temp job, since this can also be used on your resume and future job interviews.

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Everything You Need to Know About Temping originally appeared on usnews.com

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