Archive for November, 2012

Should You Take a Temporary Job?

During my job search I went to my chamber of commerce to see what information was available about area companies. I found a list of private companies and government agencies that should have been helpful. What seemed promising at first turned out to be obsolete. After some discussion I was offered a job with the chamber to update the report. The pay wasn’t much, but tempting since I was out of work. Still, I hesitated. Not having considered the possibility of a temporary job and not knowing how to respond, I asked for some time to think about it.

What would you do if you were out of work, desperately needing a full-time position and were offered a temporary, low-paid position? Should you take it? Perhaps.

A temporary job means income at a time when it is sorely needed. On the other hand, the time you spend working at this low paid job reduces the time you have to search for a permanent job. If you’re on unemployment, the amount you receive for the temporary job will be decreased from your unemployment pay. The decision is an individual one. It depends on your specific needs and goals.

Many people turn to contract labor to earn money while looking for a job. Others work as volunteers to get experience and make contacts. Temporaries and volunteers have the advantage of learning about new positions before they are posted, but they get paid less and do not get company-paid insurance and other benefits.

If you need money or more experience, a temporary job may be the answer. Have a clear understanding of how the job will help you achieve your career goals before accepting. If it only slows you down, it may be acceptable. If it blocks you from reaching your goal, you may want to decline the offer.

If you have special skills, consider working for a smaller company on a temporary basis while you continue your job search. Many small businesses hire experienced managers, for example, but can only do so for a limited time. This approach gives you some income as well as a base of operations. You can get more accomplished toward your job search while working in an office than you can at home. Also, this type of project may be listed as consulting on your résumé.

I didn’t take the job offered by the chamber of commerce, but only because I felt it necessary to spend all my time looking for a permanent job. I received two excellent job offers 51 days after my layoff, so I think I made the right decision.


Sidney W. Frost, B.A., M.S.

The author's job-search advice has appeared in more than forty newspapers and other publications around the country. He has worked as a corporate recruiter in information technology and, as an IT supervisor has reviewed many applications and held many interviews over the years in both the private and public sector. His knowledge of the emotional impact of a job loss comes from his own experience as well as training received to help people who have lost jobs and faced other losses.

Mr. Frost is also the author of the Job Seekers' Attitude Adjustment Guide which is available in paperback and Kindle editions as well as two inspirational novels. See http://sidneywfrost.com/ for information. His other blog, The Christian Bookmobile/ talks about reading and writing.

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