Are Temp Jobs the New Career Track?

by Krantcents · 27 comments

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Over 40% more people hold temp jobs now than in 2009!  I recently read an article called Careers Are Dead which says the labor market has changed to temporary or contract work.  Temporary jobs used to be a stop gap solution for companies to fill positions as well as for people who desired flexibility or were between positions.  Is this just temporary or the new reality?

Some may think this is just a sign of the economy, but I think it is longer lasting.  This has been in the works for years.  It is one way to reduce the expense of hiring and retaining employees.  Just think about it, benefits are becoming very expensive!  Companies can contract with an agency and have a supply of employees and reduce their hiring expenses.  They can replace employees easier as well.

School districts are not hiring employees thanks to state budget issues in most states. How do they fill openings?  They hire substitute teachers who are paid less and must meet various criteria to get any benefits if at all.  Other professions that are in high demand have taken the same tactic too.  Hospitals are hiring Registered Nurses through a registry where they work on a per diem schedule.  This saves money in benefits and helps meet the demand for nurses.

If it stopped there, you may think it is isolated!  It is not isolated to industries or professions.  Temporary employment or contract work is a growth industry!  Staffing jobs is 6% higher year to year in first quarter of 2012.  The jobs ranged from clerical, industrial, health care, information technology, engineering, accounting, sales/marketing and legal.  In other words, everybody is vulnerable!  This is not new or related to the economic issues of the last few years.

It is domestic outsourcing!  I just coined a new term, but it is true.  It is a lower cost solution to uneven demand or economic volatility.  It doesn’t stop there!  It gets around all the costs of having a permanent staff.  The longer you are a permanent employee, the higher the cost of retaining you.  Employer costs are increasing and it is out pacing productivity increases.  You don’t have to be an efficiency expert to realize it costs more to have permanent employees

Are you ready for the new economy?  What are you going to do about it?  Starting a staffing company may be a choice!  Being your own boss is a solution, but not the only one.  This new economy of domestic outsourcing means you need to rise above your competition or look for new ways to find permanent employment.  Employers have the opportunity to see how you work before they actually hire you.  It is a great way to reduce their risks.

What you should do?  Temporary work is a great way to sample a lot of companies to find the one you want work for permanently.  Imagine you have an assignment at Google or Apple!  After you demonstrate your skills and abilities, let them know you are interested in coming aboard.  The company does not know that you want permanent work just because you are there.  This is your chance to impress the employer, bring your “A” game!

Be on time, go above and beyond, good soft skills are valuable and network.  Networking is not just at industry meetings, it is something you should be doing all the time.  This is an excellent opportunity to add to your network.  Most job opportunities are  not posted or public!  Better yet, you could get job before they even start the search.  In many companies, the manager has someone in mind for the job when they post the opening anyway.

Final Thoughts

This may be the new economy, but it does not have to be you!  The economy is difficult and you may not have a lot of choices.  Even, if you are unemployed or a new college graduate, you need to have goals and a plan.  You may have to take opportunities that may not lead anyway other than just a paycheck, but you need to look beyond the moment to find a way to your goals.  A temporary job may increase your opportunities, if you use it to your advantage.  I used opportunities to reach my goals, you can too! Temp jobs may be the new career track, but it is also a opportunity leading to permanent work too.

Photo by: photologue_np




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