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Using Temp Jobs to Facilitate Career Change

When most people think of temping they think of a part-time, dead-end job for people who can’t find a career position. However, temping can be a very effective way to break into a new career field – even for experienced professionals. If you’re considering a career change and are willing to consider breaking into the industry via temping here are few suggestions:

Select A Good Temp Firm

Selecting the right temp agency can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to use temping as a strategy for breaking into an new industry. We highly recommend choosing a temp agency that offers specialty placements. A temp firm that provides specialty placements will typically specialize in temp place in just one industry. For exampe, a general temp agency may place temp workers in retail, administration, secretarial and finance. A temp agency that provides speciality placement would only focus on finance — and would likely work with a lot of companies that are seeking only finance professionals. While any temp job can help you break into an industry working via a specialty temp agence will make it much easier to find the career position you’re looking for.

Always remember, a temp agency does not work for you — they work for the companies they represent. While a temp agency makes some money from your initial placement, they’re more interested in building their reputation, generating more client referrals and getting a placement fee (a “conversion bonus”) if you end up staying with your new employer permanently. In short a temp agency wants to place the very best candidate possible with each of their clients.

Make sure to get to know your placement officer. The more your placement officer knows about you the more likely they’ll be able to find you a good fit. Make sure to emphasis to the placement officer your transferable skills, any special job qualifications and that you’re flexible. Remember, the placement officer’s primary goal is to make the client (your future employer) as happy as possible, so do everything you can to position yourself as a good candidate.

Getting Placed

Make sure not to get ahead of yourself. Frequently, a temp my try to aspire to a different position once hired. Remember, you were hired to fulfill a specific position. Make sure you focus on performing to the best of your ability the position you were hire for. Trying to climb the corporate latter quickly shortly after being hired to fill a temp position will usually backfire. Be patient. Be diligent. And be professional.

Use your temp position as an opportunity to learn. Anything you’re able to learn from being a temp will help break into the industry — whether it be with your current employer or another employer down the road. As temp you have the opportunity to learn the inner operations of your firm. You’ll be able to research the industry, observe business processes and glean information from conversation with your boss and other employees. Your most valuable asset as temp — both to you and your employer — is to watch and learn.

Get involved in your company and the industry. Make sure to attend company sponsored and industry events whenever you can. If your company is sponsoring a special event ask your boss if you can attend. Take every opportunity to get involved and learn more about the company and the industry.