Temping, it could be the best career move you have ever made.

The default method of employment in the UK was to be a permanent employee and historically becoming a temp has been seen as a poor alternative but things are changing

Temping, it could be the best career move you have ever made.

The default method of employment in the UK is to be a permanent employee and historically becoming a temp has been seen as a poor alternative however with the change in employment practices and the push towards work/life balance, temporary working has become the career of choice for many workers.

Certainly, temporary recruitment has its advantages for the employer. For a business that needs to bring in extra skills or capacity for a short period of time, it can often be a lifeline, but are there any advantages for the employee?

In the UK, alongside many other court decisions and pieces of legislation, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 means that temporary workers have the same rights and benefits as their permanent colleagues. This means that there are few disadvantages to taking on a temporary job, especially in the short term and many people choose to make it a full-time career.

Initially many people come to temporary working as a stopgap between jobs. Perhaps they have been made redundant or maybe they are waiting for the right opportunity to come along but the fact remains that a temporary role is a good way of keeping body and soul together for an interim period.

Often a temporary job will pay a better salary as a way of compensating the worker for a perceived lack of stability. This has the useful side effect of making it an excellent way of providing better work/life balance.

Many people use temporary jobs as a way of working intensely for a period and then taking a block of time off to start a business, travel or look after children.

This lifestyle approach to a career can be a great way for people to retain their enthusiasm for work whilst still achieving things they want to that may not necessarily prove as financially rewarding as they would like.

Temporary working also has significant career benefits too.

Moving from job to job gives the employee a much wider range of sector and role experience that can be used to bolster a CV making them in turn much more employable.

Because the person is often employed to complete a specific task or project it is the case that their working life is made up of many more exciting and high-level tasks than a permanent employee in a corresponding job.

A temporary worker may take a project role every six months and so after a period of two years or so will have four successful roles on their CV. The permanent colleague will be unlikely to have experienced that many projects staying in one company for the same length of time.

There are a number of soft skills that the temporary worker also learns naturally as they move from company to company and job to job.

Being a temp means that it’s important to be able to integrate quickly and to have a focus on achievement. The temp will develop ways of clarifying what they are to do and planning how they will go about it. These are clearly valuable traits and will prove desirable if they decide to later look for permanent work.

Rather than employing a permanent person immediately, many companies seek to bring in a temporary worker initially as a ‘try before you buy’ option; only appointing permanently once they have proved their worth. Whilst this method of temporary recruitment may seem weighted in favour of the company, in fact, it offers the same benefit for the employee. If a permanent job offer is made the worker already knows the company, its culture and whether they wish to stay or not.

As the temporary worker gains more experience and moves up the ladder they may choose to make the move into the lucrative world of interim management or consultancy.

These roles are generally for highly experienced specialists who can add exceptional value to a company very quickly. This naturally means that they are highly rewarded and it is a very desirable career path for many people.

In the past, there have been a number of tax advantages for the temp, especially where they work through their own Personal Service Company (PSC). To an extent, these have been limited in recent years somewhat by changes to the tax regime but it is still the case that there are benefits over the traditional PAYE route.

Lastly, people who choose to make their whole career in the world of temporary or interim working report a greater sense of control over their own destiny, almost as though they are choosing what work they do rather than having it forced upon them. If they wish to work they can, if they wish to take the summer off then that is an option also.

For businesses, temporary recruitment has been a useful method of finding good employees quickly but for temporary workers also it provides many benefits, some material and monetary and some that are more lifestyle and attitude.

If you are thinking about your next move then why not consider taking on a temporary role? You may find you enjoy it.


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