Smart SpendingSmart Spending

6 reasons temp jobs can be awesome

Pursuing only career positions might not be your best move. Here's why a temp job might be great for you and how you can get one.

By Jun 5, 2013 9:30AM
This post comes from Louis DeNicola at partner site

It seems that every month the official job report tells a different story. First it's all bad, then we're slowly climbing out of the recession, then there's a retreat. For all the back and forth uncertainty, the simple fact is you need a steady income to sustain yourself and your family.

Image: Young business woman with her colleagues working in call center © Daniel Laflor/the Agency Collection/Getty ImagesFor many people these days the temp agency is a surefire way to land a job, even if it's part-time or short-term. For employers facing ambiguous economic signals, temporary workers provide the necessary labor without the cost of benefits or the complicated process of letting someone go if work dries up.

If you're shying away from a temp job while continuing your search for a full-time position, don't. Here's why you should consider pursuing both routes simultaneously. 

1. They're working for you. Temp agencies, also known as staffing agencies, respond to the needs of their paying customers -- the companies that hire them. However, they get paid only when a candidate has been placed. Add your name to several temp agencies' databases and be politely persistent about keeping your resume at the top of the heap. You'll have a team of people working toward your gainful employment.

2. It's a chance to test out different industries. Although companies may regard you as a temporary employee, they're also your temporary employer. This might be a negative if you're looking for stability, but if you're unsure what type of job you want, nothing beats the chance to jump from company to company and experience different environments and responsibilities. Many corporate training programs offer entry-level employees the chance to move between departments, so design your own rotation by lining up temp jobs in different industries. This strategy applies to recent graduates and anyone considering a new career. 

3. It can lead to full-time and repeat employment. Sometimes companies are interested in hiring someone new but want to test the candidate without the commitment or paperwork. These positions are called temp-to-hire. If you want your temp job to turn into a full-time job you'll need to be a quick learner and a hard worker. Be sure to tell the staffing agency this is your goal so they can set you up with an appropriate company. Even if there aren't any temp-to-hire positions at the moment, taking short-term work is a chance to build your professional network. 

If your assignment is with a company that needs extra seasonal help and you work hard, the company may call you directly with an offer next year. Once the staffing agency is out of the picture and not taking a commission, you may be able to negotiate a higher wage.

4. They're not just for unskilled workers. A temp job doesn't necessarily equate to unskilled work. A number of temp agencies actually specialize in placing skilled workers in companies that need extra manpower. For example, Accountemps, an offshoot of a much larger professional services firm, places people in accounting, finance and bookkeeping positions. Other agencies specialize in placing computer programmers, paralegals or skilled trades workers.

5. Benefits. One of the downsides of temp jobs and part-time work (and one reason many employers have cut work hours) is that you probably don't qualify for company benefits. That said, temp agencies often provide benefits packages for workers they have placed. Accountemps offers free training, group health, life, and disability insurance, a benefits and retirement program, and tuition reimbursement. Adecco, one of the largest temp agencies, also offers medical coverage, a 401k, job training, and career counseling.

Smart Spending on the go: Get our app for Android or iPhone

6. No empty spaces. It can be hard to explain prolonged periods of unemployment to a potential employer. Fill the gaps and keep your skills fresh by taking on a few temporary assignments. Supervisors from your temp job can also be references once your assignment is wrapped up.

More from
Jun 12, 2013 1:22PM
There are both pros and cons to using temp agencies, as the article above talks about. However, people that are unemployed should consider this option of employment in their search. For many in the US, unemployment is a way of life in today's economy. This is made evident by the most recent BLS statistics. As of May 2013, 7.6 percent of people nationwide faced unemployment. Temp agencies solely focus on placing people with companies that need temporary workers, which could potentially help some of those that are unemployed, at least temporarily. Other sources of jobs for unemployed workers include websites such as, classified ads, and networking with friends and/or family.
Jul 1, 2013 5:45PM

This is an interesting article and very helpful for any unemployed person considering temporary work.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in a May report, "employment in temporary help services continued to trend up over the month, and over the past 12 months the industry has added 186,000 jobs.  I especially think temporary employment is great for people returning to the workforce or changing careers.  A great resource for landing one of these job is Granted dot com.  they have over 88,000 temporary and permanent jobs listed.

Jun 5, 2013 2:42PM
Please, enough with the nonsense articles!  Thank you
Oct 21, 2013 12:18PM
I definitely think that temp jobs are awesome. I found a great one through Bear Staffing and it has been nothing short of amazing. I think you all should check them out.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.