You may have some preconceived notions about temporary work. Maybe you love the inherent flexibility or the opportunity to gain experience in a lot of different work environments. Maybe you’ve always steered clear of temporary jobs based on an assumption that employers prefer to exclusively see long-term roles on your resume. (Just a myth, by the way!)
The truth is, temporary employment opportunities can be just as meaningful and impactful as full-time ones. The perks of working on a temp or freelance basis are slowly being realized by both America’s workforce and employers. In fact, a 2019 study showed 35% of Americans work freelance in some capacity, and that number is increasing in younger generations.
Everyone’s ideal work style is different. Some prefer to seek full-time employment, and others want to stay in a more transitional place – seeking short-term temp jobs or freelancing for multiple companies at a time. This year, millions of workers redefined their list of must-haves for a new role and turned to the flexible world of freelance. The job market has also experienced a shift, with many more temp and freelance opportunities cropping up across industries.
These temporary jobs can be really helpful in building a career, broadening your career path, or even discovering a new passion!
What’s the difference between Temporary and Freelance jobs?
Temporary and freelance opportunities are both non-permanent, at-will job offers – though the length of assignment and hours worked per week will vary depending on the position. While sometimes used interchangeably, generally speaking, the terms are understood to mean the following:
- Temporary Jobs.
A temporary job is a short-term opportunity to work with a company. You may be covering for a full-time employee if they are sick or going on extended leave, providing support during a busy holiday season, or just helping out for a defined period of time.
- Freelance Jobs.
Freelance talent is often brought in on a short-term basis to help with a specific project or to offer a specialized skill set. Freelancers can work on a W-2 for one company, either on a part time basis or for 40 hours a week. Some freelancers, though, identify as self-employed and prefer to be paid as an independent contractor, working with multiple clients at once on a project by project basis.
At Career Group Companies, all of the temporary and freelance talent we place works on a W-2. This is a huge perk for many freelancers – and one of the reasons making the switch to temporary work is less daunting than you might think!
The Benefits of Temp & Freelance Work
It will help you define your ideal work environment.
Since your assignments will be short term, temporary work allows you to try out different industries and work environments before committing to one career path. You can see whether or not you feel at home in a corporate office or if you enjoy the fast-pace of a boutique startup. All of this is good background knowledge for your professional growth, and can help further define your ideal work environment going forward!
It will allow you to gain valuable industry experience.
If you are just starting out in your career or are considering a career shift, temporary work allows you to learn the skills you need to be successful in your industry. After working multiple freelance or temporary assignments you’ll realize that you’ve gained transferable skills in a variety of industries that can help further your career. This kind of experience is a great way to build a diverse resume! Hiring managers will love seeing that you’ve worked with top firms or that you have experience with complicated software, and it will help you stand out from the crowd.
It will help you build a portfolio or book of work.
If you work in a creative industry, freelance opportunities are a great way to build a portfolio or body of work. Freelance jobs for creatives are abundant, as many companies will bring talent on to help with a special project or initiative. Accepting freelance opportunities will help you develop your unique personal aesthetic and challenge you to grow and learn new skills. Plus, it will give you valuable insight into different industries, channels, and mediums – ultimately helping you to develop a speciality or niche. Many high-level creatives work exclusively on a freelance or contract basis for this very reason!
It will get rid of your employment gap.
For many unemployed candidates, temporary work is a great alternative to job hunting full-time. To start, it can help fill the time gap in your resume. If you ideally want to find a full-time position in the long run, temporary work can also help to supplement your income while you’re interviewing. This alleviates the pressure to take a full-time position you aren’t interested in simply to lighten your financial burden. Plus, you may be surprised how often temp jobs can turn into full-time positions if the client is looking to bring you on permanently.
It will allow you to work on personal projects.
Focusing on a side hustle? If you are an actor, blogger, or small business owner, temporary work is a great way to make money while working on your other passions. If you’re working as a freelancer, you could build your own schedule or be selective about the assignments you accept. This means you can plan extra time for things like auditions, business meetings, or photoshoots. Temporary work helps pay the bills while you build in time to work for yourself. Just be honest and transparent with your recruiters about your schedule – remember, they’re here to help find the right opportunity for you.
Temporary work can help you navigate career transitions and grow a fantastic career in any industry. There is so much opportunity to build your resume while discovering your ideal work environment. Plus, there are more temporary opportunities out there than ever before! As companies recover from the pandemic, many are turning to freelance or temporary hires to get important projects off the ground or keep up with increasing demand. This could be the perfect time to make the switch to life as a freelancer, consultant, or temporary employee!
At Career Group Companies, we are excited to see hiring return to its pre-pandemic vitality and have a ton of full-time and temporary positions available. Next time you’re looking, ask our recruiters if they think temporary work is a good fit!