How Temporary Work Can Jump Start Your Career


Have you considered what a temporary opportunity can offer you as a student or recent graduate?

Temporary or contract work is often dismissed as precarious employment, but it can provide you with the opportunity to gain work experience, build your professional network and get a foot in the door in your industry.

Temporary can mean anything from specialized projects looking for a specific skill-set and within a specific deadline, to personal leave coverage and vacation coverage.

“An assignment can range from days to several months,” says Julie Chandler, Division Director of Accountemps.

“Many [people] actually like the flexibility. If you’re looking for a temp-to-full-time benefit, a lot of organizations use this opportunity to evaluate the person to see if they can be a long-time fit for the company. This includes evaluating an employee from a personality perspective but also from a skill perspective.”

According to Julie, there are five ways for temporary workers get off to a good start: “Get on the same page and set up a game plan – students can contribute quickly if they know what is expected from them ahead of time,” she says. “Knowing who you are reporting to is also a part of the process that can make you a successful candidate and, most importantly, doing your research before you walk through the doors.”

Even as a student or recent graduate, you can be strong a candidate if you know what the ‘job role’ consists of and make sure to stay in contact with your manager, Julie adds.

This will help you get consistent feedback that can shape you as a professional, while also maintaining open communication with your current employer. Sharing constructive feedback and working as a part of a team is a skill that is strong and transferable.

With temporary work, you can gain more experience that can make you more marketable in the future. Julie recommends that you approach every assignment with the same commitment that you would at a full-time job because you never know when a temporary commitment may become a full-time opportunity.

Julie’s top 5 tips for success with temporary work:

  1. Do your research before joining an organization.
  2. Have realistic expectations — know you have to go into an organization to prove yourself.
  3. Maintain open communication with managers and ask for more detailed feedback and additional responsibilities to guarantee a greater probability of success on-the-job.
  4. Try to develop yourself even more, allowing the manager to see how you work and opening doors to move yourself forward by really understanding the team dynamic.
  5. Always look at temporary work as a potential long-term position. This is your way to showcase your talent and how you are as an individual!

Would you take a contract position?

Here’s what these TalentEgg-ers had to say:

Photo credit: @rild

About the author

Laura Vazquez is a recent Political Science graduate. While at the bilingual campus of York University, Laura was exposed to journalistic experience, inspiring her to pursue writing. Laura also has experience working in the Sales industry and Not-for-Profit Sector. Aside from writing, Laura’s passions include politics, volunteering, learning languages, culture and sharing ideas or opinions with others. Get in touch with her through LinkedIn or Twitter at @lauravazval.