It can sometimes be much harder to find a job if you don’t have one, as opposed to looking for a job whilst you are still employed. Temporary work often serves as a useful interim experience for those looking for full-time employment, even aiding in the pursuit of better jobs in many cases.
It’s becoming more important for both employers and those in the job application field to know about temporary work as the UK has seen a major bounce back in the number of temporary workers from 2020 to 2021.
The number of temporary workers domestically has soared up to nearly 2 million in the past 3 years, recovering from a downswing begun in 2014. Part of the reason for this could be attributed to more work being carried out online than ever before.
The post-lockdown era has also seen an increase of over 57% in the number of temporary workers active in the country from abroad!
Whilst temporary work comes with a host of benefits there are also considerations which may negatively impact some individuals.
It is important to acknowledge that temporary work can be a good thing for both businesses and employees, but does this come with more drawback than you may have imagined?
Firstly, let’s give a brief definition of temporary work so the pros and cons can be better understood.
Temporary Work: A Definition
Temporary work is commonly referred to as ‘Contract’ or ‘Freelance; work and can see individuals employed for as little as a single day or for extended periods of up to a few years – all under the remit of one employer.
While businesses generally increase the number of temporary employees rather than placing them on permanent contracts during times of economic instability, this is not always the case.
The ability to chop and shift structures much more easily without incurring the high costs of redundancy – instead, they simply do not renew temporary contracts – allows them to be much more creative.
If you have a specific expertise, then becoming a contractor may help you to earn a substantial amount of money in a relatively short period of time.
Companies are always looking for individuals to manage and work on projects for a set period of time.
Temporary Work: The Advantages
Temporary work comes with a large number of benefits which has only grown with the introduction of the internet and other software upgrades over the past decade. The main benefits include:
Potential For A Permanent Position Further Down The Line
Whilst the job which you have applied for may only be temporary with contracts lasting for a few months, there is always the potential for the position to become permanent if you have proved your capability to the company and the team around you.
In fact this is a common approach used by workers who want to be employed by certain businesses. When a business places the advert for temporary work, they will be looking for a member of staff to help them out whilst they are short staffed.
Whether this be because of sickness, maternity, low employee numbers, or just a busy period in their business. Providing you can show the employer that you are capable of performing within the job role, and you can bring much more to their business, they may be inclined to offer you a permanent position.
If it is not the right time for them to be hiring someone full time, then they may know of and refer you to other local businesses which are looking for a new full-time worker.
Keep in mind…just because it is a temporary job at the start, doesn’t mean that is going to be like that all the time.
Gain Skills And Knowledge In A New Environment
Your temporary job may be completely different to any occupation or role you have ever worked in before, but with a keen interest you will gain practical experience which will be invaluable in helping you bridge the gap between professions. Without having this experience and knowledge it would be much more difficult to apply for a job within the different field.
Applying for a temporary contract will allow you to experience new industries and jobs without having to spend the same number of resources and commitment to a full-time job.
It isn’t unreasonable to want to try heading down a new career path which is completely detached from the job or area you already have experience in.
Many job-seekers can become too worried to apply for roles in other sectors for fear of being stuck for a significant period of time in a permanent position. A temporary position remedies this issue.
Temporary work allows you to break out of your comfort zone whilst also not requiring the commitment of a full switch – this way you can develop a broader set of skills at a more relaxed pace.
On the other hand, if you have broadened your horizon and enjoyed your new career plan, then you can start hunting for a permanent position within this industry.
Not only will you have gained a better perspective of the job roles and industry in general, but you can now add your skills and experience onto your CV which will help boost your chances of gaining a permanent position.
The Option To Leave
Having a temporary job means that you are not tied down to anything and you have no commitments towards the business which you work for.
If you have taken on a temporary job when a permanent position becomes available in your desired sector, you can then hand your notice in at your temporary job and attempt to transition smoothly to a new role.
Of course, this can depend on a number of factors. Often with temporary jobs, you are there to cover a busy period or someone off sick. This means that if you leave early, you could be leaving the business short staffed and struggling. However, you may have signed a contract in which it states your start date and specifically your end date.
Certain businesses will allow you to terminate your contract early if you have gained a new job and agreed to work a designated notice period.
Once you have discussed with your current employer when the appropriate time to leave is, you can then contact your future employer and arrange a date for you to start.
Not all temporary contractors will allow this, but some may offer you flexible hours along with flexible shift patterns.
Due to you only being in a provisional position, your boss may be more lenient with you which means these jobs can work around a very busy lifestyle. Many will allow you to choose your hours during the day as well as the number of days you work.
However, if you decide to only work two days per week, these two days being half days each, then you can only expect to receive for the time worked. Which can be a large pay cut if you have gone from a full – time job to temporary.
Source Of Income Till You Are On Your Feet
If you have just moved to the area, and you are looking for a new job but there is nothing available for you, but you need a source of income. A temporary job may be able to help you out.
Moving to a new area where you do not know anybody can be very daunting, especially if you need a source of income but cannot find a steady job. Temporary jobs can be often easier to find whilst you are searching for somewhere and will offer you some income until you find a permanent position.
Or perhaps you are not living in your area for long but need a job to keep everything ticket. A temporary job can be perfect for this as you won’t be as hesitant or have as much trouble leaving the role when it comes to you moving away again.
No More Gaps In Your CV
If you have recently lost your job or left without another job to go too, you will be unemployed for an undetermined period of time before you find another job.
Not only does this leave you with no income, but you will also be left with a gap on your CV where you have been unemployed.
During your interview for a permanent position, your interviewer may ask questions about this and the reasons you were unemployed. By finding a temporary job whilst you are searching for a career role, you will ensure that there are no gaps in your CV and will avoid any awkward conversations!
Getting Your Foot In The Door And Your Name Out There
Having a temporary job may not always translate to a permanent position but it can help to get your foot in the door and your name out there in the industry.
If you have enjoyed the industry which you have worked in during your temporary role, you are already one step closer to getting a permanent position in the same field.
Your current boss may know other businesses which may be available in taking you on as a permanent member of staff. Even if it may be a temporary position, always take it seriously and try your hardest because you never know where it may take you.
Temporary Work: The Disadvantages
Temporary work may sound positive and worthwhile but there are disadvantages which comes with this option as well.
No Job Security
Having a temporary contract will offer you no security within your job and you may never know when your position may end. A temporary job can last anywhere from a few days to a month, sometimes they can last longer. Once you are not needed there, your contract may end, and you are asked to leave.
This can leave you without a job and no source of income. You may be able to find another temporary job once your current one finishes but it may come with a risk of how soon you can find one which is asking for an immediate start.
This position alone may lead you to feeling anxiety, so make sure to network and also look at alternatives should you be quickly turned over.
Lower Pay Grade
Not only will you potentially be on lower hours than the rest of the team who are permanent, but you may also be on a lower pay grade than everyone else.
People who have worked for the business as a permanent member of staff may have had the chance to work up the pay grade.
Due to a temporary worker only being there for a short amount of time, they will be more than likely offered the National Minimum Wage for their age category.
This can leave you struggling if you have been on a higher salary in your previous employment and have higher expenditure that can be offset.
Unlikely To Progress Up The Career Ladder
Similar to the things we have already covered, there is less chance of you progressing up the career ladder. The likelihood of you progressing up the career ladder during a temporary job is very unlikely due to you not being there long enough.
You may also find that you are not offered the opportunities to progress due to you not being permanent.
Your employer is going to offer them positions and the training to the staff members who are going to be there for a longer timescale as opposed to someone who may only be there for a month.
This can be quite disheartening as you may be putting in the same effort and commitment, if not more, only to not be offered the same prospects.
Temporary Jobs Can Be Shorter Than You Think
You may expect your position to last longer than it actually will. A temporary job can be much shorter than you first anticipated and only last up to a couple of days.
This means that you will not be able to budget or plan properly and will only receive a restricted level of income before ending up fully unemployed again.
Fortunately, not all temporary jobs are so short, and some can last up to a year if you are covering a maternity cover.
It is important to find out how long your temporary role is going to last prior to taking it on. You may need to put further plans in place if it is only going to be a very short-term solution.
Struggling To Fit In With The Team
Due to you being new to the team and only being there for a short time, you may find it difficult fitting in with your team. However, not all workplaces are like this and hopefully the one you work with will be warm and welcoming during your time there.
A problem you may find whilst working as a temp is being excluded from staff meetings during the day. A lot of critical business information is usually brought up during these meetings which non staff members aren’t privy to knowing.
This means that you will probably be asked to complete a task whilst these meetings are carried out.
A temporary job can suit some people but not others and can have benefits for one person but not somebody else. It is important that you do plenty of research prior to applying for any temporary jobs and make sure that it is the right decision for you.
Whilst you may think it has plenty of disadvantages, there can be a lot of benefits to come from working temporarily and it can open so many new doors and offer many opportunities for your future!