When you’re out of work and looking for a new role, you’ll often hear from others “why don’t you just do some temporary or contract work?”

But taking on temporary assignments isn’t as straightforward as some might think, and not all job seekers will find it a great fit.

We asked Ioana Bucsa, one of our temporary placement consultants, to explain what job seekers should consider before they jump into the world of temporary and contract employment –

Temporary and contract placements are ideal for candidates who are currently unemployed and available right away. That being said, not everyone is suited to temporary work and can be a good contractor. Why? Even though temporary or contract work offers an immediate opportunity to earn some income, changing jobs and environments often is not easy.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to see if temporary/contract work is right for you:

  • Am I available to start right away with almost no notice at all?
  • What type of length of temporary assignment or contract would suit my needs?
  • Am I comfortable enough to change environments and teams very often, sometimes every week?
  • What is my expertise that can be useful going into a company on a temporary basis? Am I an expert with specific computer programs?
  • What have been my accomplishments so far in my career that would differentiate me from another candidate?
  • Can I apply my experience and expertise with little or no training?
  • Do I enjoy working on my own and with tight deadlines?
  • Do I like meeting new people every day and don’t mind being “interviewed” every day?

From our experience, if you are matched with the right company and the right opportunity on a temporary basis (regardless of assignment length) it can be a great way to show the potential employer your capabilities and be hired permanently.  A temporary role can act like a probation period, you need to start your assignment with the attitude that this is a new role in your career. You need to perform at your best, show your expertise, be open to learning new skills and processes, and be a team player. Show that you care and are genuinely interested in working there permanently: embrace their mission and values, understand how departments work together, and stay abreast of industry news.

Becoming a valuable employee, temporary or permanent, does not happen overnight. It involves continuous communication, being proactive and taking initiative. Going the extra mile and working harder show you are truly part of the team and the old saying “he/she is just a temp” will no longer apply.