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The pros and cons of temping

The pros and cons of temping

If you’re currently between jobs and there don’t seem to be any suitable permanent roles out there, it may be worth considering temporary employment. It’s not for everyone, but it might just work for you!


The pros


  1. Temping is more flexible. Depending on your contract, you may be able to fit temporary work around studies, family commitments and holidays. Often you can choose how many hours or days you want to work, and you can switch from role to role more easily than permanent employees.
  2. It’s more varied. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, so if you like change and love meeting new people, temping could be right up your street.
  3. You can learn new skills. Each temporary role will have a different way of doing things and different systems in place. This can really help to broaden your skillset and may give you the skills and experience you need for a permanent role.
  4. It can act as a useful taster. If you don’t know what you want to do next, temping can be a handy eye-opener. You may find that you’re not suited to the industry or role you were targeting, or you may fall in love with the job and focus your energy in that field.
  5. It will bolster your CV. Temping will help you fill out a sparse CV with lots of roles. Some may be more relevant to your desired position, so focus on these when putting your CV together.
  6. You can make important contacts. You can use your temporary role as a networking opportunity. You may even make a few great friends at the same time.
  7. It can give you a foot in the door. If you’re struggling to get into a particular industry, temping can give you that much-needed introduction. Make sure you work hard and become invaluable to the firm, as you never know where it might lead.
  8. You have rights. Some people think temporary employees are more vulnerable, but you are entitled to decent working conditions and benefits such as holiday allowance and sick pay.
  9. You can explore new places. You could stay with a friend in another location while you take on a temporary role or head overseas for a few months to really make the most of your flexible status.
  10. Temping may be less stressful. Permanent employment can become all-encompassing and stress levels often run high. You may be stuck with a particularly difficult boss or colleague. As a temporary employee, you’re less invested in the business and can move on if things are not going well. You may also have a better work-life balance, which can help to keep stress at bay.


The cons

  1. You may feel isolated. In some companies, temporary employees are treated differently and can feel as though they’re not really part of the core team. You may be excluded from key meetings or social events because you’re a temp.
  2. There is a level of uncertainty. If you’re used to getting a regular wage every week or month, temping can take a bit of getting used to. You may be paid on sporadically, particularly if you’re moving from role to role or if the work is intermittent. This can make budgeting more difficult and cause financial worry.
  3. You may be paid less. If you’re working fewer hours or in a role in which you have less experience, you may have to take a salary cut. However, it may be worth doing this in the short term provided you can pay the bills.
  4. You may miss out on work benefits. As a temp, you may not be entitled to join a workplace pension scheme, bonus plan or private medical insurance policy. Sick, holiday and maternity/paternity pay can also vary depending on your contract type.
  5. It can be overwhelming. You may find the constant change a bit much. As well as remembering new names all the time, you may have to learn how to use a wide range of systems and equipment.
  6. You may be given the jobs no one else wants. Some temps find that the company they’re working for have saved up all the unappealing jobs for them. Mundane tasks like photocopying or shredding can quickly become dull, and may also take you away from the rest of the team, which could make you feel less valued and repected.
  7. Your boss may be unprepared. Often when temps turn up they find that no proper arrangements have been put in place. You may not have a desk or computer, or perhaps no logins have been provided. Or maybe you’re asked to complete a task without any training, or they’re so busy they don’t have time to explain what they want you to do.
  8. You may have to travel a lot. If you’re moving from place to place, you may find yourself in the car or on public transport more frequently. This can be time-consuming and costly, so factor that in.
  9. It’s not as stable. While flexibility can be a major benefit, it can also be a worry if your job isn’t consistent. Perhaps you have full-time work one week but no work for three weeks after that. Or maybe your contract comes to an end just before Christmas and nothing new comes along until January. You may need to be more organised and set some money aside if you’re planning on temping.
  10. You may end up disappointed. If you end up working with a great team and loving the job, it can be really disappointing if the role is only short-term. Manage your expectations and do everything you can to become indispensable!