4 Ways to Use a Temp Position to Gain Valuable Job Experience

4 Ways to Use a Temp Position to Gain Valuable Job Experience

Job opportunities come in all shapes and sizes and just because they may not look like a traditional way to gain valuable job experience it doesn’t mean you should discredit what you might gain from them.

If you’re scrolling through open positions and see mostly temporary or contract roles, our advice is to be intrigued and consider it.

There are many benefits to stepping into a temporary role that can be beneficial to your career.

1. No Commitment Necessary

Much like summer jobs while still in school, this step is great for exploring what kinds of roles and job environments you might like. It’s helpful to learn what you like and dislike in work place environment, the kind of co-workers you team with best and what job duties you’re motivated to take on. Taking this approach enables you to identify interests before being invested in a dream job. Many fields have various career paths; this is a good way to find the one that you are best suited for. It takes the pressure off knowing that you don’t need to commit to a long-term position before you feel ready.

2. Build Your Skill Set

The truth is you have to start somewhere so why not a contract or temporary position. For recent college students –you often can’t get a job without a certain level of experience and you can’t get experience without a job. It’s the classic chicken and egg dilemma and taking this kind of position can absolutely solve it for you. Gaining experience takes time and patience. Hands-on learning outside of the classroom is essential and will help you get closer to finding that dream job. Every team and organization will teach you something. You learn from these experiences and take away new skills from each company and position you try.

3. The Reward Can Be Worth The Risk

When you’re at a point in your career where you’re trying to shift into a new role or career path, it can feel like you’re going backward instead of forward.  For example, you may have to take a pay cut, accept having less comprehensive responsibilities, or even have to face a probationary period again without any benefits. It can be scary, but try to see it as taking the necessary steps so you can establish yourself within the organization. Keep an open mind as you explore new territory. In cases like this, taking a risk in the short term can pay off big. 

4. Expand Your Professional Network

Each time you take on a position like this; use it as a way to build professional connections. Get to know the leadership in the organization. Ask about their career history and for introductions to people in their networks. Learn about the customers the organization does business with. Take note of the different office environments and company cultures. Where do you feel most comfortable?  What organizational structure do they have? What are their values? Do they have a clear mission statement? Become involved: There will be opportunities to represent these organizations at social and community events and this is another good way to make new professional connections that could lead to other job opportunities in the future. 

About the Authors

Angela Milkie-Stokes

Angela Milkie-Stokes, Resource Manager

Angela brings a mix of Human Resource knowledge and Student Affairs experience. She enjoys advocating for people with specific needs in the workplace. Angela can speak conversational Spanish and played the flute for more than 10 years! In her free time, she likes to read, be outdoors and spend time with friends.

Angela Milkie-Stokes

Monica Sweeney, Resource Manager

Monica weaves her enthusiasm and infectious energy into all she does to help represent the Alaant brand to visiting clients. Her entrepreneurial spirit serves her well and she even owned her own cupcake business as a senior in high school. She is a proud Siena College grad where she studied management and entrepreneurship.

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