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Industry Spotlight: Finding a Temporary Job

kerry-lawsAlthough hiring activity in the UK is beginning to pick up, many people are still finding it tough to find full time employment. So instead many candidates turn to temping agencies to help them find temporary work.

Kerry Laws is currently temping for a banking firm on the South Coast. She tells Jobulo about her temping experience and offers some job search advice.

Tell Us About Your Career Background

I have worked in a variety of positions and industries. I have worked in the hospitality industry and held jobs in bars and restaurants and I have also spent time in the entertainment industry, performing live gigs in a variety of different venues. One of my most recent positions was working as a Teaching Assistant at a local school before I decided to start temping.

Tell Us About Your Current Role

I have worked on and off as a temp for the same company for over six years now. It’s a fast paced environment and I enjoy working as part of a close-knit team. My role as a Valuations Test Analyst means that I use a bespoke system to test valuations. There is a lot of administration work involved and we deal with a variety of processes including creating test approaches and test scripts. I work to meet strict deadlines and we have regular production meetings based on the projects we are working on.

Why Did You Get Into Temping Work?

I have held a number of temp positions and I have always found them really interesting. You get to meet new people and work with different companies and it can be quite fast paced. I think people start temping positions for a number of reasons. It is relatively easy to get into and is a great stop-gap while you’re looking for your ideal job. It’s nice to know that you are handing over the responsibility of finding a job to someone else too – the recruiter. It’s their job to keep you up to date with new vacancies and find you work so the job search aspect is relatively stress free. Some temps earn more than perm staff. But it does depend on what is more important to you. Many people like job security so like to be in permanent positions. But temping provides an hourly wage and gives you the opportunity to leave a role fairly quickly if you need to.

What Is The Main Difference Between Working in Temporary Employment and Permanent?

Some temp staff can actually earn more than permanent staff as you usually get paid weekly. A lot of temps might feel like they are treated differently at work but I don’t think that’s the case – I wouldn’t know who is temporary or permanent in our division! Temping can be very flexible as you work day to day and you don’t have to work to long term objectives or have yearly appraisals. But that can also mean you don’t get bonuses or perks like permanent members of staff do. I don’t think temping is for everyone – many people see temping as a risk so it does depend on the individual.

Can You Go From Temp to Perm?

Yes – I haven’t personally but I know a lot of people who have. Temping is a good way of getting your foot in the door and gives you the opportunity to get noticed.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Wanting to Work in a Temporary Role?

The first thing is to have a nice looking CV. Ensure it covers everything the employer might be looking for. Sweeping statements are great – try and include words like adaptable, flexible and self motivated. You then need to find a temping agency – a few minutes on Google should show some local results. Ensure when you meet the recruiter that you turn up on time and dress appropriately. They will be representing you and talking to employers on your behalf so it’s crucial that you are professional. Ask the recruiter as many CV and interview questions as you like – after all, they will be earning commission from the work you do. Technically they are not your employer – you are theirs. It’s also a good idea to speak to a variety of temping agencies to maximise your chances of finding work.

What Tips Would You Give to Someone Wanting to Get Noticed in a Temporary Role?

Starting a temp job is no different to starting a permanent job. You will be trained and learn the key aspects of the job – the only difference is you submit a weekly time sheet and will be paid hourly. So you shouldn’t treat it differently – if you want to make an impression you still need to show a keenness to learn and an interest in the job. You need to get involved with your team and learn what they are doing too. You should also make it clear to your manager that you would be interested in any permanent vacancies if they become available so they know what your career objective is. It’s also crucial that you take on new challenges and always push yourself!