While Brexit uncertainty remain a large concern for many organisations, it has provided more temporary or contract employment opportunities across all sectors.
Temporary workers are now an integral part of the workforce, with Jersey numbers are expected to reach higher levels this year than previous years due to the economy being stronger in Jersey and the unemployment figures being at their lowest for almost a decade. In recent years, the temporary employment has expanded to encompass nearly every sector – from construction to hedge funds. Today’s talent pool is extremely diverse, ranging from basic administrative positions right through to compliance officers, accountants, engineers and private chefs - there are plenty of opportunities available in Jersey.
In the current economy, if you have the skills for a particular job, you can find work in that field as a temporary worker. Far from being an unappealing, in-between or lower level option, it is now highly regarded and sought after – both by employers and individuals. The Jersey government are bringing in other incentives for temporary staff which include maternity and paternity cover, which is still under debate and yet to be introduced. It is becoming more appealing for job seekers to have the freedom they want in the workplace and by working on a temporary or contract basis gives you the flexibility to work for more than one employer if you choose to.
Some of the numerous benefits that temporary work can provide include:
Offers greater flexibility
Temporary positions can vary in duration, location, hours, days off etc., giving you greater control over where and when you work. Perhaps you want to further your education, focus on your family, volunteer or learn a new skill. Temping gives you the opportunity to create a flexible work schedule around your current circumstances. According to one interim Executive Assistant, “It is a lot easier to get a temp role than a permanent position, whilst temporary contracts can receive more in basic pay due to the short term contract and uncertainty.”
Allows you to explore different roles and career paths
If you haven’t yet established which direction you want to take your career in, this is your opportunity to explore your employment options. As you do, you will develop a rich and diverse skill set and an adaptable working ethic that makes you suitable for a number of roles and an invaluable addition to any organisation. The Executive Assistant further commented, “Temping is a great way to establish if you like working for the company. If you don’t, you can leave within a week, as notice periods tend to be shorter.” This can work well for the temporary worker as well as the company.
Creates a pathway to permanent employment
Contract employment also gives you the chance to get your foot in the door with a particular company and position yourself as the right fit if a permanent position arises. Over time, your knowledge of the company and the role will evolve, and provided you work hard and are committed, you will very easily become indispensable and therefore ideally suited to fill a future role. This also works in the employer’s favour as they do not need to invest too much time and resources into training a new staff member.
Reflects positively on your CV
Even if a temporary role does not lead to a permanent position, you will still gain knowledge and experience, which will help you to land a long-term role with another company. Many large organisations hire staff on a temporary/interim basis, whether to cover staff shortages, assist during peak season or contribute to a large project. Work experience with a reputable brand can have a positive impact on your CV and assist significantly in getting further work, whether temporary or permanent.
Diversifies your skillset
Temping enables you to apply your knowledge and training in a practical environment as you develop your skillset. As you gain specific industry experience, you get a taste of what it’s like to work in different company cultures and job types in your sector.
Expands your network
Temp jobs are also the ideal way to rapidly and extensively expand your professional network in your niche sector. Every time you take on a new role, you gain new connections. This is highly useful when seeking new employment opportunities, whether elsewhere or within the same organisation. You can also gain access to crucial information and careers advice from your contacts, as well as invaluable, professional references for an application. Further, you’ll learn about internal job vacancies that are not advertised, and will be able to capitalise on your network to gain access to these hidden opportunities.
Not without its benefits
While many will think that temporary employment comes without the standard benefits a permanent position offers, it is far from that. A temporary position for a skilled professional can offer retainer bonus, holiday pay which is a statutory benefit in Jersey, overtime pay, freedom to pursue a hobby and can offer equal financial security that is required for a mortgage or other financial commitments.
While temp jobs are inevitably temporary, they can do a great deal for your career in a multitude of ways. They give you the chance to explore new career fields and break into a new company, all while expanding your knowledge, refining your expertise, enhancing your employability skills and determining your long-term career plans.
Article first published in Jersey Evening Post, on 3 April 2019