He Said / She Said: Temp Jobs Edition

Temp Jobs

Temp Job Trap? Career Success Springboard? He & She Throw Down

Temporary jobs have their own special claim on today’s job market. “Temp jobs” are short or long-term hires and “temp-to-hire jobs” start as temporary jobs and lead to permanent positions; these jobs are sometimes offered by the hiring company but more often filled through staffing companies. Temp workers are 2.8 million strong in the U.S., making up the highest proportion of the workforce in history, a jump precipitated by the recent recession.

Many workers, it seems, have embraced the temp life, turning to temporary jobs when full-time work proves hard to find or to fill an employment gap following a job loss. But is making a living from temp work a curse or a blessing? The irrepressible He and indubitable She take a closer look.

He: Ok, She – I’ve been in the workforce enough to know not to fall into the “temp trap”. Temporary jobs are dead ends, plain and simple.

She: Hold on, He – time has left you behind on that one. Temporary jobs have a workforce foothold, growing 50% following the recent recession, and here in Maine and New Hampshire, your temp trap thinking doesn’t hold water. For example, taking a temp job in the area often means getting in on the ground floor with a great local (or national) company. You get a foot in the door, and when a company is ready to hire, guess who’s in a great position?

And a dead end? I won’t take the bait. Smart employees work temp to learn more about a company or an industry before investing in training or committing to a new career path. If you’ve been laid off or need to switch careers, temp jobs can inspire you to figure out what you want to do next, all while avoiding those problematic gaps in your resume while you seek a permanent position.

He: That’s all fine, but the fact is, pay for temp jobs is always poor – that’s how they get you.

She: Thanks for shining a light on that, He – the truth is, temping does not mean low-level pay and low-level jobs. Just like in the “real” job market, employees take temporary jobs that are in line with their experience. Average pay depends on the industry, but it also depends on what you bring to the table. Plus, if you work an entry-level temp job, you can leverage your position to make a move upward – just the same as a permanent employee would. In fact, that’s where joining a staffing company can really pay off. For example, BONNEY Staffing helps those without a lot of job experience by giving them a chance to be a S.W.A.T (Staff Who Arrive Today) member. S.W.A.T teams work on day-to-day assignments and build up their work credibility in the process.

He: One thing’s for sure: Temp workers are left out in the cold when it comes to benefits.

She: I get where you’re coming from on this one, He. In some industries, employers have a reputation for using temp workers to avoid offering health insurance, retirement, or workers’ comp. But get this: If you join up with a reputable staffing company, you’re their employee, whether your job is short term or long term. They provide competitive benefits just like permanent jobs do – things like health insurance, 401Ks, holidays, direct deposit…

He: Well, I need a real job – a job that lasts a week? That’s a waste of time.

She: Sure, some assignments last a week or two, but that’s a great way for full-time job seekers to explore different types of jobs and gain experience without commitment. And, there are plenty of temp jobs that last several months or even more. Some well-regarded local businesses in this area are notorious for needing to ramp up seasonally, and those jobs can last for weeks or even months. Companies have temporary needs for workers on leave, or just have temporary projects that are long term. If you inquire with a staffing agency, they’ll be upfront with you about their assignment lengths so there are no surprises. For instance, Bonney Staffing just posted over 20 production positions that are six-month, temporary assignments could be temp-to-hire for the right candidates, and include overtime. Is that long enough for you?

He: Uh, maybe. But I’m still not convinced a temp job is for me.

She: Give it a chance. Look, temping is a great way to re-enter the workforce after time off, and it fills those voids in your resume, and that makes you a more desirable employee. And most temp jobs will pad your skillset with things like sales skills, management skills, organizational skills, and other skills things employers look for. And who doesn’t want to earn money while you look for a permanent job? Maybe you should check out your local staffing company, He! 

He: Ok, She…loud and clear. Until next time.  

Do you have questions about temp jobs, temp-to-hire jobs, and permanent hire jobs? Want more information about the benefits of working with a staffing company? Contact your local Bonney location.

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