This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy thru these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Temporary work (or temp work) refers to work done for a company on a short-term basis.
Many times employees are hired through a temp agency. The company contracts with the temp agency to find employees to do a specific job for a set period of time.
Temporary job assignments can be in any kind of field and for practically any task:
- You may be in an office, outdoors, in a factory, a warehouse — you name it.
- You may do more complex “skilled” labor or you may be doing repetitive “unskilled” labor — like assembling parts, or packing boxes.
Temp work may be a smarter option for you than you think!
What You Need To Do First
It’s a good idea to research a temp agency before signing up. See what workers say about the staff, service, and honesty at the agency.
After you choose the temp agency, you’ll have to complete the agencies screening process.
Once you’re hired by the agency, they will attempt to match you with a job that fits your needs.
Here are some of the pros and cons of temp work:
“Pros” To Temporary Work
- Allows flexibility to travel and pursue other things in life while still earning a bit of money. This can be a great source of income that doesn’t bind you to working every single business day with limited vacation time (two weeks, for most jobs in the United States).
- Provides a variety of locations, assignments, and you won’t get sucked into company politics and rat races. You might prefer temping to ordinary jobs because it allows you to work without being at one place too long.
- Can be a great way to cover a few bills if you have your own commercial venture or small business. New ventures can be difficult, and it often takes a while until they’re really profitable. In this case, temping allows you to focus on your own venture.
- Can be a good way to network — because you’re working in a variety of businesses in different temp jobs. If you’re struggling with a job search, temporary work can open doors. Often, firms will try you out an employee as a temp first, and then hire you to work for the company full-time if they like you.
Unlike many internships, you can get paid during this “company testing period”. Sometimes the company will pay a “buy-out” fee in order to hire the employee directly (and before the contract is over).
- Is almost always readily available. Depending on your experience, there are some temporary work positions that are always available.
- Can pay pretty well. While you won’t earn a fortune, you can expect to earn a living wage — sometimes better. Temping can pay as well as $10-13 dollars an hour. This may or may not suit your needs or lifestyle. However, a frugal person can do very well with temp jobs!
“Cons” To Temporary Work
- You won’t receive company benefits. If you’re hoping for a 401(k), paid holidays, paid sick leave, and bonuses, then temp work isn’t for you. If you don’t work one day, then you don’t get paid. That’s that.
- You won’t have health insurance coverage. In fact, one of the reasons companies prefer to hire temp workers as opposed to part-time staff is because they don’t need to pay for a health insurance plan — they can just pay for the labor.
You may be in a position where you’re covered by your spouse’s plan, or have an affordable monthly rate. If not, be aware that some temp agencies offer group plans for their workers — which might help you get a more affordable monthly premium.
- Sometimes the workforce looks down on temping due to misinformation. Some companies find that their full-time staff members do not treat temps with the same respect that they give their employees, and they don’t always train temps well.
However, temporary workers are a valuable source of information about the company because many times they have a bird’s eye view, a fresh perspective, and real-world experience.
For some, not having to adhere to a full-time schedule for all but 2 weeks (vacation) of the year may be a great fit. Temp work — even for a short while — may fit your lifestyle needs very well.
Still Unsure If Temp Work Is For You?
- 10 Fastest Growing Temporary Work Assignments
- How To Be The Best Temp At A Company
- Temp Job Interview Tips
- Pay & Benefits You Can Expect From A Temp Agency
My very first job after college was as a Career Counselor — helping college graduates choose their ideal career and plot a course toward their dream job. Ever since then, I've been helping others streamline the job search process — by focusing only on what's most important and ways to stand out from other job candidates. As an entrepreneur myself who works from home full-time, I'm especially passionate about helping others fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams. When I'm not helping people find ways to get paid doing what they love, you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).