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How to Make Temporary Job Assignments Work for You


Tags:  Starting a job, Career success, Working mothers, Temporary job

What do you think of when you hear the words ""temporary job assignment?"" One of two things may come to mind.

 

Temporary job assignments can either mean you are working short-term jobs for a lot of different companies through a temporary placement service or you have been asked by your current employer to temporarily work on a task force, cross-functional team or some other special assignment while you continue to handle your regular duties.

 

In the first scenario your assignment may last anywhere from one day to many months. You could be working for a retailer one day and a manufacturer the next. Your hours and working conditions might change, not to mention your responsibilities and boss.

 

In the second scenario the only change is that you have the opportunity to blend a challenging new assignment into your already busy schedule.

 

In either situation the ideal candidate for a temporary job assignment is someone who has great relationship building skills, and is very well organized and extremely flexible.

 

Why Take on Temporary Job Assignments

 

The benefit of taking on temporary job assignments regardless if it is with one or several organizations is that, first and foremost, they are temporary. That means they will eventually end, so if they are not the most glamorous or enjoyable opportunities, at least you have that to look forward to. And in the case of working for a temporary service, you can actually have a say in how long they will last.

 

The second benefit is the opportunity to learn. This is especially true when working for a temp service because you can move from employer to employer and experience a diverse group of assignments. But even working internally on a temporary project, you can gain new skills and interact with business colleagues that you might otherwise not have an opportunity to meet.

 

A third benefit of working through a temp agency is the opportunity to test run companies and positions to get a feel for the fit. This is particularly helpful for recent graduates and career changers looking to enter a new industry or line of work. This also provides the company a chance to see what you have to offer to determine if there might be a future full-time position for you.

 

However, don't overlook the fact that even an internal temporary job assignment may give you a chance to test run another area of the company or explore new career opportunities.

 

A fourth reason for taking on a temporary job assignment, whether internally or externally, is to develop a network. By being part of a new internal team you get a chance to meet, interact and develop relationships with others in your organization.

 

The same is true for working temporary jobs at several companies. You may not ultimately go to work for that particular organization; however, you have a chance to get on the radar of people who might just keep you in mind for future opportunities.

 

How to Find the Right Temporary Assignment

 

If you are considering starting your career by taking on temporary jobs, consider doing some research about the different service firms in your area.

 

Depending on your career focus and skill sets, you can sign up with a variety of agencies. In addition, some employers – entertainment, academia – often times have their own internal temporary pool. 

 

For an internal opportunity, make sure to let your boss know you are open to exploring temporary assignments and have an honest discussion about which ones will best benefit your career.

 

Temporary assignments are a great way to further your career advancement by allowing you to taste a little of what is available without having to make a full commitment. It's a great way to test the waters.

 


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