Seems like contract work or temping gets a bad rap. There is a world of value in working in a contract/temporary role especially if you are available (meaning unemployed). Job seekers are laser-focused on getting the perfect permanent job with fabulous hours, great location and excellent benefits. What happens is the unemployment benefits clock starts ticking and many find themselves taking a job they aren’t excited about and probably would have never even considered if desperation hadn’t set in.
Before I began my journey into the world of recruiting and staffing, I decided to enlist as a contractor. I was in my late 20’s and at a crossroads. I had just left my job as a customer support specialist and had no idea what I wanted to do. I started temping as an assistant for one of the big four consulting firms. I remember when I met with the recruiter, I loved her energy, bustling office and was intrigued with her line of work. The recruiter placed me as an assistant, and unfortunately, it was not my cup ot tea. I wasn’t super detailed or organized and the office was too quiet for my taste. What I did like was the idea of temping and trying on a few different jobs before I settled on a career choice. So, I registered with another agency, and they asked if I was interested in interviewing for a recruiter role. I did and got the job. Since then, I’ve been presented with a number of fantastic opportunities, as a contractor while expanding my private practice and it’s quadrupled my network, knowledge and experience.
How do you find the right agency? What is the best way to get started? Remember that staffing agencies make their money on placing people, you are their bread and butter. However, they are looking for candidates that fit their clients' needs and have the right skills.
1. Do your research. Find out what staffing firms would be the best fit for you. What types of positions do they staff? Who are their clients (industries)? What area do they service?
2. Be flexible. The more agreeable you are, the better the chance you have of being placed. Someone who is open to industry and type of work and ready to go tomorrow has a much better chance of being contacted for a job than someone who has restricted hours, location and type of work they are willing to do.
3. Treat your meeting like an actual interview. Many job seekers do not treat their meetings with recruiters as real interviews. You should. Present yourself as a professional and highlight your areas of strength as well as your value. It will resonate with your recruiter, build excellent rapport and increase your chances of gaining a contact role quickly.
Contract work keeps your skills intact while helping you build your network and it can even lead to a permanent opportunity.
Kelley Dadah is Career Coach certified through the ICF as well as a Certified Resume Writer. For the past decade, she’s helped hundreds if not thousands transition successfully into fulfilling careers.