Is temping the right way to jump start your career?

Think twice before you cross a temp position off your list.

When you’re looking to start your career, it’s easy to skip over temporary job listings. But before you set your filter to only full-time positions, consider the possible benefits of temping.

“A lot of young people want to get their dream job right away, but it’s more of a marathon than a sprint,” says Andy Teach, author of “From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time.” “It’s something that everyone should consider, especially in this economy.”

Here’s why you may want to give temping a chance.

It can lead to a long-term position

Plenty of employers treat temp positions as an opportunity to test-drive a potential full-timer. But even if the project has a very limited time frame, you still have the chance to network with managers who may have openings. “Find a company you really want to work for. If it’s a great working environment, it’s worth just getting in there,” says Teach. “You have to think long-term — you’ll be down the hall from the people you want to talk to.”

You’ll get an honest preview of the job

There’s nothing worse than making it through three rounds of interviews only to realize that the management structure is worse than the coffee. “When you interview for a job, you never really know what’s waiting for you,” says Teach. “Temping can give you a priceless insight.”

There’s no commitment

If you settle for the wrong full-time gig, you’ll have to give notice — and hopefully not navigate a no-compete contract — if a better job comes along. The same isn’t true for temporary positions. “If it doesn’t work out, you don’t have to worry so much about loyalty,” says Teach.

Get LinkedIn

Been ignoring those LinkedIn reminders to complete your profile since you signed up two years ago? Log in and fill it out immediately, advises Teach: “Employers are looking at it — they’re really checking it now. For some, it’s like you’re invisible if you’re not on LinkedIn.”


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