Temp jobs provide opportunity to get foot in door, prove abilities

your careerWhile looking for a permanent job, you may want to take on some temporary work. There are plenty of opportunities to do so, and one of them could lead to a full-time position – or at the very least, help you pay the rent in the meantime.

In fact, the temporary employment field is among the fasted growing sectors of the marketplace. In June, temporary help services added 10,000 jobs, or 5 percent of the total increase in nonfarm employment, which totaled 195,000 jobs.

Companies often hire employees on a temporary basis first to test them out and see if they’re a good fit. This offers a great opportunity if you don’t  have a recent job history, because through hard work and the right attitude, it’s possible to prove yourself. It will also give you experience to put on your resume, contacts who may hire you or refer you to other opportunities and, if you take the initiative, a chance to learn some new skills.

There are temp jobs of every type, from clerical and data entry clerks to warehouse and factory assembly workers. Although you will actually be employed by the temporary agency, the work you perform will be on site at one of its client companies. And the assignment could last from a few hours to a few months or, in some cases, a year or more.

You can increase your odds of finding work by registering with more than one agency. Registering with an agency is like applying for a job. You must fill out an application and in some cases take tests, which could be typing, English comprehension or basic math. More demanding tech positions will require tests in using specific software applications.

Many temporary agencies are local companies, with branches in a certain city or geographical area. Others operate nationwide or even globally. Some agencies even have training courses, especially in computer and IT, to help their employees improve their skills.

Although some agencies send their employees out to a wide variety of assignments, others tend to specialize, in say office work, accounting or blue collar-type jobs. Labor Ready, for example, is  one of the specialists. With offices in every state as well as Canada, it places more than 400,000 workers in more than 255,000 businesses that include everything from construction and warehousing to recycling and manufacturing.

Manpower Group operates worldwide with offices in 80 countries and territories and places temporary, contract and permanent employees in a wide variety of  positions, including engineers, executive assistants, janitors, warehouse workers and machinists, among many others.

Another way to pick up some extra work, maybe in between temp assignments, is to check the “Gigs” section of Craigslist, where people list jobs for everything from help with moving and yard work to bartending and handyman services. There are new listings every day, and the pay varies widely, but it can help fill in the gaps when you don’t have work elsewhere.

For more information, check out the Choosing a Temp Agency section of the Jails to Jobs website.


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