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How to Look for a Temporary Job

by Grace Ferguson, studioD

In a declining economy, a temporary job is better than no job. However, reasons for seeking short-term employment vary by person. Obligations at home, for example, might not allow you take a full-time position. Or maybe you started your own business, and for now, need an additional source of income. You can find a temporary job if you know where to look.

Industry and Pay

Before you seek temporary employment, figure the type of work you want to do. You might want to stay in your current field or you might be willing to explore a new industry. In addition, determine the pay rate you want and whether it is negotiable. Knowing the type of work and pay that you will accept helps you narrow down the types of opportunities.

Past Employer

If you left a past employer on positive terms, call to inquire about a temporary position. For example, the company might have a special project that requires a short-term commitment. Explain that you are specifically looking for temporary work. Say that you enjoyed working for the company and would appreciate the chance to do so again. Provided you left the company in good standing, your employer may likely hire you for the position over a new candidate.

Staffing Agencies

Employment in temporary help services grew between 2012 and 2013, with the industry adding 186,000 jobs in that 12-month period, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the best ways to obtain a temporary job is through a staffing agency that offers the type of employment you are seeking. Employers save time and money by using staffing agencies. They do not have to do the legwork to find suitable workers and they do not have to pay those workers benefits. The staffing agency matches your skills to the job before assigning you to the position, which saves the employer on training costs. If you are keen on staying in your current industry and position, a staffing agency might be your best bet. You must go through the agency’s application and testing procedures before starting a job.

Approaching Companies

You may find temporary work by approaching companies yourself. Narrow down the places you are interested in and call the human resources departments. Explain that you would like to work there. If you cannot get HR on the phone, leave a message for the appropriate person and follow up by email. An alternative would be to visit the company in person and request an application form.

Utlizing Resources

Tell everyone you know you are looking for temporary work and ask them to keep an eye out for you. In addition, use all available resources, such as newspapers, the Internet, public bulletin boards, and radio and television ads. Look in malls and stores particularly during holiday seasons, as retailers tend to hire more during this time. Check restaurants, distribution and warehouse centers, domestic employers, government agencies, event planners and anywhere with clerical or simple industrial jobs.

About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.

Photo Credits

  • Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images