Working in temporary positions can be a great way of staying up to date with your industry, adding experience to your CV and bridging gaps between jobs. Many people make the decision to work almost exclusively in temporary positions and some employers believe that they can add immediate value to a project.

But, whatever your reasons for taking on a temporary position, it’s a career move that’s well worth considering as you can gain insight into how different organisations operate within your industry. As a temp you’ll be able to alleviate workload but might not be expected to have specialist expertise. If you do have a specific skill set you might be more desirable to certain organisations, and many companies may offer their temporary staff a permanent position when their initial contract is over.

If you’re finding it difficult to find a permanent position because you don’t have enough relevant experience or want to develop your skill set in multiple areas, temping provides the perfect setting for learning. You also get a ‘taste’ of the organisation and the people you can expect to work with. If you’re still interested in a permanent position after you’ve done some temping, you might find that employers are more likely to hire you because of your experience.

To make the most of working as a ‘temp’, you’ll need to be:

  • Adaptable and flexible: This is perhaps the most obvious attribute, but it’s very important if you’re marketing yourself as a temp. You cannot work effectively as a temporary member of staff if you’re unable to settle very quickly into new surroundings or will only work set hours.
     
  • Able to work under pressure: Temps are mostly brought in when there is a deadline to meet or an increased workload that the regular team cannot cope with. So, ideally you would be someone who thrives under pressure.
     
  • A good communicator: Communication skills are desirable in most jobs anyway, but as a new member of the team you’ll need to be able to convey yourself efficiently and listen to your colleagues in every organisation you join to avoid making mistakes.
     
  • Capable at handing over projects: There may be times when your contract ends before you’ve completed the project you’re handling, so it’s important you’re proficient in handing-over and have a strategy in place that will help the team continue after you depart.

When temping, make sure you think ahead and stay in touch with your recruitment consultant as his/her clients may have new assignments coming up.

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