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How temp work lets you try before you buy

In this feverish recruitment market, maybe your perfect career will take some time – and experimentation – to find. So how about temp work?

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Posted On May 11, 2023 

The jobs market is buzzing. Opportunities for employees are exciting, dynamic and… perhaps a bit overwhelming. The digital revolution, green skills, hybrid working - navigating through the modern world of work can be daunting. But there is another route.


Up to 6% (1.9 million) of the UK workforce is temporary, while more than 15% (4 million) of workers in France are on temp contracts. In the US, temp work accounts for a more modest 0.9% of employment, but that’s still 3.1 million people - nearly triple the number back in 1990 and trending upwards.


9 million people can’t be wrong. There are good reasons to step off the permanent path and tread the temping track for a while.


One such reason is to try before you buy. If you think a career in education, technology or law might work for you, temporary contracts will enable you to research that sector while getting paid. That applies to choosing the right company size and culture too.


While internships traditionally let younger workers – or at least, those privileged enough to be able to live without pay – try their hand at different professions, for many, it’s just not possible.


And for more established workers weighing up a bold career shift, temping can be a great strategy. The pandemic prompted many of us to take stock of our lives. As a result, 22% of working Americans changed their careers.


A brave move is to be applauded, but what if it doesn’t work out? According to one survey, the “Great Resignation” has become the “Great Regret,” with 80% of job-swappers now regretting their choice.


Temping can be your testbed; a route into an industry - or even a specific company - which allows you to check out workplace culture, see how a role fits your life, your values, your salary needs. A series of exploratory temp jobs doesn’t harm your resume, either, in the way that several broken-off permanent jobs could. You will undoubtedly broaden your skillset along the way.


What’s more, you won’t be the only one trying before buying – in the current scramble for talent, there's a good chance your temp job could become a permanent one if it’s the right match!



Connect with a LHH recruiter today to learn more about temporary opportunities!