Post Academic

The Pros of Temp Jobs

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on December 20, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionThe number of temporary jobs in this economy is rising, while the number of full-time jobs is staying flat. That may seem like a bummer, but a temporary job could be perfect for a post academic. A temp or contract worker is much more likely to go from temp to full-time than an adjunct is to go from part-time to tenure-track prof.

You have nothing to lose by going the temp route. Not all temp jobs are Dilbert-esque wastes of time. I’ve had a few temp jobs, and not all of them resulted in full-time gigs, but I got one of the best full-time jobs I ever had by starting as a contract worker. These tips might help you turn a temp gig to your advantage.

Calculate the right hourly wage. The big downside of a temp job is the lack of health insurance, of course. Some of the bigger agencies will let you buy into a plan, but you usually have to be working for them for a while. You can offset the financial damage by asking for a higher hourly wage. Since the company that eventually hires you as a temp doesn’t have to pay your benefits, chances are good that you will get the money you want. Just set a budget, determine what you’ll need to get by and don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Contact multiple staffing agencies. Some staffing agencies are better than others. Usually, all you need to do is look up an agency and ask for an appointment. Just tell them your specialty (coding, editing, whatnot), and they’ll ask you to come in and take some computer-based tests. I am not endorsing any companies, but, if you’re wondering where to start, two of the bigger names in creative work are Aquent and the Creative Group, but there are a lot of other agencies that might offer a niche that fits your skills better.

More after the jump! Image of a cubicle farm by Asa Wilson from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license.