There was a time when temp jobs were considered a stop-gap when you were out of work and couldn't find a "real" job.
Today, more companies are outsourcing or scaling back on their permanent workforce to boost profits and decrease costs.
The result? Workers and skilled professionals looking for a cradle-to-the-grave career with one company has increasingly become a thing of the past.
Welcome to the new normal.
The good news is that more major temp agencies are now offering paid vacation time, sick leave and other job perks to retain skilled workers placed in long-term temp assignments that may last for several months to years.
More good news? As demand for temporary workers has increased, so have pay rates with average earnings ranging from $12 - $20 an hour or more depending on your skills. Unskilled workers, high school graduates, or women returning to the workforce often also find agencies offering free software courses, customer service training and even dress for success classes to help temp workers increase their chances of finding work.
Getting hired for temp work - the basics
Heard of any company today that doesn't own a computer? If you haven't already mastered Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, take an online office tutorial to at least become familiar with the most in-demand office applications.
Web design, computer troubleshooting, or any kind of customer service experience will also help to increase your marketability and strengthen your position as a valuable asset in the growing temp market.
The work you're offered may range from hired help positions in mom and pop shops to major temp positions with giant corporations.
In either case, employers are probably eyeing a best fit to see if you're permanent employee material. That said, it's always best to take each temp position seriously, if only to increase your reputation with your temp agency who will always give the plum assignments and special consideration to their "star" employees.
How to find the right temp agency
Read newspaper classifieds, surf the Web, or ask friends and family for recommendations on temp agencies that offer in the kind of job your looking for. Some concentrate on general office work while others may specialize in accounting and finance, the hotel and restaurant industry, or seasonal construction jobs.
Finally, always remember that temporary staffing agencies should be expected to live up to the same levels of courtesy and customer service they expect of you. If that's not the case, find an agency that does.
Around the Web, discover more on the current outlook on the temporary work industry, advice on where to look and how to apply, along with the potential pitfalls and the greater benefits of using temp work to help launch a full-time career ...