Workplace Trends

Developing Your Career

Job Search Strategy: Advantages of Taking a Temporary Position

By James Greenway on September 30, 2012

With unemployment figures inching down at a snail’s pace, many job seekers are considering the benefits of a short- or long-term temporary position. And with good reason. Not only does it fill gaps on your resume, it keeps you connected and it could also be the entry into your next full-time position.

Many employers who remain reluctant to hire full-time employees until the recovery picks up steam rely on staffing firms to help them manage their workforce needs. In fact, a recent CareerBuilder survey found that 36 percent of companies say they will hire contract or temporary workers this year. That figure is up from 34 percent for 2011, 30 percent for 2010, and 28 percent for 2009.

What are the advantages of accepting a temporary position?

  • Keeps you in the workforce. A temporary position gets the job seeker out of the house and back into the daily “swim.” Potential employers think favorably of candidates who show initiative and are eager to work.
  • Offers additional networking opportunities. Working within a new organization gives the temporary worker access to a diverse range of people and an opportunity to expand his or her business network.
  • Increases your marketability. Learning additional skills and technology while broadening your experience in an unfamiliar industry can give you the edge in a competitive job market.
  • Fills gaps in your resume. A temporary job can be incorporated into your resume and help bridge the gap between one full-time job and another.
  • Gives career changers a chance to test out a new field. If making a career change, you may not be ready to work in your desired position, but a temporary job in your targeted field will educate you on the industry and provide the opportunity to see if it lives up to your expectations.
  • Provides an inside track to full-time employment. Many companies give candidates a trial run by bringing them onboard via a temporary position. Once the temporary employee has fulfilled the obligations of his or her agreement, some are offered a full-time position. The organization has tested the candidate’s work quality, productivity, and personal “fit”; the candidate has assessed the merits of the job, the dynamics of the team, the manager’s style and the organization’s culture.

If you’re currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, check with your state employment office to see how a temporary position may affect your eligibility. But if your job search has stalled – or you just want to try something new – perhaps the bustling world of temporary or contract employment is just the answer.

One Response to “Job Search Strategy: Advantages of Taking a Temporary Position”

  1. Beverly Shepard

    I fully agree.

    I accepted a temporary position (three months) at a Fortune 200 company. It has been one of the best experiences of my career.

    The contract is nearing its end, and I am seeking contractors (companies that place for temporary positions). If anyone has any suggestions for companies – and contacts at these companies – please forward them to me. (

    Marketing and / or Communications Positions
    Virginia, metro Atlanta, Charlotte

    Thank you.

    Beverly Shepard
    757.406.4659 (M)


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