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Friday, July 27, 2012

Temping your way to Happy

Like test driving a vehicle, temping is your opportunity to 'test drive' a job before you make a serious commitment. Benefits are clear to employers, but people choose to be temps and freelance for a variety of reasons. Combining the benefits with your requirements, you can temp your way to happy!

The unemployment rate resting at 8.2% for the second month in a row the traditional way of finding work isn't cutting it. Many have created their own small businesses and switched their skills to freelance-only contract work. 

While some may say this type of work unpredictable, many are seeing the benefits of choosing path of least resistance. We reported last week that Temp work is on the rise based on June's employment numbers, and we wanted to dig a little deeper and investigate why people are choosing this route in their career path?

Top reasons we found? Money, flexibility, skill-building and potential permanent placement.

The Test Drive
Long time temporary worker David Shea advises on analyzing each placement, "All jobs should be considered independently, and on their own merits, as to what they offer, and what they require of you to change/sacrifice. Be flexible, and you will find yourself more often employed than not."  

Trying a new opportunity as a temp, you have to put your best foot forward and are then an easy and obvious choice if/when your position may become permanent. Michelle Tillis Lederman, founder of Executive Essentials, a corporate training and coaching company believes that doing temp work dissolves an employers belief that certain tasks will be 'below' you and also gives the impression of work ethic and a good attitude. Can we say HIRED?!

Skills Built
Every job will require a different set of skills. Many entry-level jobs are mostly skills you can perfect, while picking up a few new skills as you go. "Having a temp job will often allow you to learn many new skills to add to your repertoire, in addition to honing and increasing your current skills. These sometimes involve soft skills, such as customer service, time management, attention to detail, etc. But often, you'll learn hard skills as well, such as how to operate new technology, or learn new software, which is a great benefit to highlight on your resume," says Shea. A good question to ask yourself is, what will this job teach me? 

FREE lancing
Choosing to be a freelancer, contract/shift based worker means you are in charge. Business depends on your own schedule and motivation. "I chose temping because a permanent position in a corporate environment felt like a noose around my neck. Being with the same company for 15 years seemed like a death sentence to the 20-something artist in me," said Stefanie Petersen, 41 in article "Take this temp job and love it."

Freelancing allows to you follow your interests more specifically. Internet and Fashion Entrepreneur Loren Ridinger gives on her blog the top reasons she chose to do freelance writing. "I get to spend more time with my friends and family (no 9-5). I decide which projects I want and which projects just aren’t the right fit. I can work right from my own home (even in my pajamas!). I can always look for more freelance opportunities. I get to write about the things I love!"

What are your major selling points for temp and freelance work? Why does it work (or not work) for you?

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