Bridge the Gap With, Part-Time & Temp Work

If you are like most job seekers, you have trouble even getting a callback, let alone a job. Two of your most pressing problems get progressively worse the longer you go without working: your starts to run out, and if employers see you as chronically unemployed, it can make landing a job even harder. Keeping yourself afloat with a part-time or temp job in the short term can help make you more viable for better jobs in the long term.

Why Part-Time and Temp Jobs?

As the old saying says, “Something is better than nothing.” Even though a part-time or temp job isn’t the full-time gig you are looking for, it still comes with a check and even the potential for partial benefits. Part-time and temp jobs also leave you with at least some free time to continue the search for your elusive full-time job.

Working on a part-time or temporary basis might make the job search shorter than you expected. Employers often hire part-timers or temps to help with overflows when they see a temporary spike in business. If that spike ends up turning into sustained growth (which every business owner will try to make it do), part-time or temp employees who already know the ropes will be the first place they turn when full-time positions open up.

Even if part-time and temp jobs don’t lead directly to full-time opportunities, they at least add to your employability by narrowing the gaps in your employment history. When an employer sees that you have spent the last nine months working, they see you (rightly or wrongly) as more committed than a similar candidate with nine months off the job. Besides, there is no rule saying you have to mention that the job you currently work is part-time.

A part-time or temporary job inside your field will deepen the experience you can cite on your résumé, while a job outside your field will demonstrate a broader skill and experience set. No matter what, a part-time or temp job can’t make you look worse than no work at all.

What kind of part-time or temp work can I get?

The range of jobs that employers are looking to fill on a part-time basis is pretty surprising. Just browsing the part-time section on my local craigslist page reveals everything from ice cream scoopers to Java developers to experienced civil litigation lawyers.

Companies hire temps because they are experiencing an unexpected surge in sales, or a new project has come up, or some of their regular employees are out sick, resulting in a backlog of work. Temp work can be in manufacturing, warehousing, retail, office, and service sectors. Even professional jobs like accounting, nursing, and engineering have occasional temporary openings.

Where Should I Look?

Looking for part-time work is the same as looking for full-time work. Most of your search will be online, at the places that you probably already look. Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder all have part-time filters that will display only the available part-time positions. You can find a link to part-time opportunities at the bottom of the jobs column on any craigslist city page. Scroll through the full variety of jobs. You never know what you might find that would be fun or interesting to do for a few hours a week.

Most of those sites also have links temporary positions, but temp jobs are easier to find through temp agencies like Manpower, AppleOne, and Act-1. Employers prefer to work with agencies because they don’t want to go through the hassle of advertising, interviewing, and checking backgrounds to for a temporary worker. Temp agencies take care of all that for employers before the temp ever shows up at the job site. Some temp agencies also offer benefits to long-time or high-performing temps.

While temporary and part-time work probably won’t pay all of the bills or provide you with the benefits and perks of a full-time job, they are a good stop-gap to keep money rolling in and to keep your résumé alive.

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