Are you transitioning out of the military and looking for job security? Temporary jobs are probably fairly low on your radar, but here’s why you should get a temporary job and why they are worth it!
“Should I take a temp job?”
- The temporary industry is booming. CareerBuilder statistics indicate that the number of temp jobs grew by 57 percent between 2009 and 2014. A growing trend to “test-drive” employees, sluggish optimism regarding business growth, and workforce structuring in response to government policies are all factors that have led to changes in traditional workforce arrangements. It is estimated there are more than 3 million temp jobs out there, so you are neglecting many job options for veterans if you are not exploring them.
- The jobs aren’t just secretarial. There are a growing number of high-tech industries that have expanded their temp workforces. The three fastest-growing occupations for temp hires in 2014 were computer system analysts, financial accountant and auditors, and management analysts. Heavy vehicle operator temp jobs are predicted to increase by 14 percent, and temp maintenance and repair workers earn almost $20 an hour.
- They give you valuable skills and connections. Have you ever heard the adage that it is easier to get a job once you have a job? A temporary job gets you out there in the civilian workforce, interacting with people in your industry and establishing your credibility and reputation. The temp-to-hire phenomenon is very real, and any temp job will give you the chance to showcase your skills while learning new ones and position yourself for upcoming opportunities.
- Temping is ideal for transitioning military personnel waiting for college. Many transitioning personnel separate three or four months before their college course begins. It can be difficult to find an employer willing to take you on for anything other than a low-level customer service job for this type of time frame. But for a temp job, you are perfect. Your employer isn’t concerned you will disappear next week if you get a full-time job offer. Make sure you read 5 Good Answers to ‘What’s Your Desired Salary?’
So here are 5 Tips to Help You Get a Temporary Job Fast!
1. Your resume and interview approach needs to be different.
Temp work is short-term. Your employer is looking for someone with a project or task mindset. Your resume and interview need to highlight flexibility in tasking and a goal-oriented mindset. Read 6 Keys to Resume Effectiveness for more insight on writing a resume that gets results and best interviewing tips for military veterans.
2. Temp jobs aren’t just through staffing agencies.
Any organization that receives grant funding will have short-term, project style work that is an ideal fit for a temp hire. Research non-profit organizations or government agencies to identify opportunities and approach them directly. If you have expertise in an area they are short-staffed in, hiring you as a temp may be the solution.
3. Work can be patchy.
You may receive one or two weeks of work, then nothing for the next two. It is common to register with more than one staffing agency or company. Be professional and let them know when you have been contracted by another agency, but get back in touch and let them know when you are available.
4. You need to read the fine print.
Temp jobs may not give you healthcare coverage if you do not meet the minimum hourly requirement. Temp job agencies may also place strict stipulations and time frames on your future employment with their client companies, prohibiting you from accepting a full-time job offer with a client company for as much as one to two years. We wrote a post about how to negotiate a job offer, which might help you as well.
5. Your employment time frame may be short, but your performance needs to be stellar.
Remember that your one-week stint at an employer might be an opportunity for them to “test-drive” you as an employee. Do your best, no matter the time frame or task. You never know where the next door will open. Make sure you learn how to avoid all work distractions to maximize your productivity.
Temporary jobs may not seem like the best option as you are getting out of the military, but remember they may be your steppingstone and open the door to your next opportunity.