CONTRACT AND TEMPORARY JOBS:  Good career move or not?

As the economy continues to improve, I have noticed an increase in Temporary and Contract Jobs.  Oftentimes, the company wants to see how well you perform the job before offering you a permanent position.  Other times, a company just needs some short-term help – possibly to fill-in for an employee on medical leave or to complete a short assignment.  In addition, many large companies maintain their own in-house temporary agency to use when convenient.

Should you consider and/or accept a Contract or Temporary Job?

YES!  And for at least six solid reasons:

  1.  Many temporary and contract jobs become permanent. In fact, they often are referred to as “temp-to-perm” jobs.
  2. You need not stay the entire term of the contract, and in fact, you can and should continue your job search while working the temporary position.  If two months into a contract job, you receive a full-time, permanent job offer, you can go to the contract company and tell them that you have a job offer.  Allow them the opportunity to counter-offer, for a permanent position there and/or with increased compensation.
  3. You are keeping your skills current – perhaps even gaining additional and useful experience that will make you more marketable for your next job.
  4. You are making good networking contacts at the contract company.
  5. Your supervisor at the temporary position could be a reference and recommendation for future job opportunities. 
  6. While working at the company, you may have access to the company’s internal job postings – jobs available to current employees but not yet publicized outside the company.

There are two potential downsides, however:

  1. You may not have the time to devote to a permanent job search, or just may become content to stay.
  2. Healthcare and other benefits are generally not included.  However, I note that many agencies that specialize in placing contract and temporary positions will offer them.

Overall, I feel the advantages of working temp far outweigh the downside, so definitely add this resource to your career search.