Time to walk the dog – The pros and cons of temping
Temporary working and short-term contracts have a lot going for them and may be the right solutions for many workers. Choosing temp work can be a lifestyle choice that enhances your work-life balance if you do it right. That said, temporary working isn’t always an option at all, and for others, it only makes sense in the short-term. The important thing is to consider whether this is an option that works for you.
Temporary working is a permanent choice for many businesses and workers.
What we mean by that is the requirements of the working world have changed for many businesses. It is not uncommon for a company to work with temp working as a permanent operational choice. Project work and the rise of the ‘gig economy’ approach means employers sometimes simply do not need the traditional 9 – 5 workforces anymore. As a result, there are some excellent job opportunities available.
Temp working is about your lifestyle as much as the available work. Work-life balance matters because it is important for your emotional and physical wellbeing. Temping puts you in control of where and when you work—assuming that the work is available where and when you want it, of course. Undoubtedly, the biggest worry people have around temping is the concern of the available roles suddenly drying up. Yes, that is possible, and it has happened before, but right now, the opposite is very much the case. If you are thinking of temp work, then the first thing to do is speak to your recruiter about what is available around the hours and jobs you want to work in.
It gives you time back. Many people choose the temporary option if they are in a situation where working the usual hours is difficult or not possible for them. Caring for others or childcare requirements are two very good reasons for wanting a job that supports your other commitments. For some, though, it is simply that they want to focus on other aspects of their life such as building a new business, travelling, charitable work or just less stress so you can spend more time with the family, relax more and take the dog for a walk.
Temporary jobs pay more over the short term. We need to be very clear about what this means, though. While it is true that some temp roles pay more per hour than permanent roles, there is a downside. In the run up to Christmas, for example, you may be able to build up cash very quickly by temping, but the time you can do that for will be limited. If you have periods of not working, the overall pay for a permanent worker soon catches up.
Temping could allow you to decide on your actual career. If you are unsure of where your career path is heading, temping offers the opportunity to experience different jobs and work environments. It isn’t unusual for people to temp until they find something they are really interested in.
It could ease you back into the workplace if you have been away for a while. If you are returning after a period of illness, giving time to childcare or any other reason, and you want to ease yourself back into the workplace, temping is a great option.
So, there are a lot of benefits to not having a permanent contract. The freedom it offers alone makes it worth considering. As we said at the start, though, it isn’t for everyone. Permanent may well be less exciting and less flexible, but it does have security and consistency. The guaranteed pay packet at the end of the month and the long-term job are not things to be discarded lightly, particularly if you have a partner and children to consider. There is also the long-term advancement and training that often comes with permanent working to throw into the mix.
In the end, the decision to become a temporary or permanent worker is about how it fits with your lifestyle and budget as much as it is about the available work.