How to Use a Temp Job to Engineer a Career Change

by placers on August 2, 2016 in Job Search Tips, Workforce


Many people would prefer permanent jobs to temp jobs. However, for those who are looking to switch fields, a temp job can be an excellent segue into a new career. They are generally easier to obtain than permanent positions, so this would be a quicker way to break into a new industry, with less competition with people who are already in that field and have a natural edge.

If this sounds like a good idea for you and your desired career change, it is important to select a high-quality temp agency. You can shop around for a temp agency that has a strong reputation and has successfully placed multiple candidates in jobs that took them into new fields.

Make sure that your recruiter at the temp agency knows everything that you have to offer this new industry. Even if you do not directly have experience in that industry, think of all of the skills and experience that you have acquired and how that could potentially apply to this new line of work. It helps to remember that these individuals do not work for you but for the hiring companies; they are looking primarily for the candidates that will best satisfy these companies. As such, make sure to put your best foot forward with your recruiter and show that you would be a desirable candidate for this position in a relatively unfamiliar field.

It helps to mention:

  • Transferable skills
  • Any successes or awards that indicate an ability to do well in this new field
  • Professional contacts in the new field

Once you are hired, even if you have higher aspirations within the field beyond this specific job, make sure to always do the best that you can. Avoid trying to climb the corporate ladder right after being hired and focus on doing a great job at your current position. A strong reference from your employer or hiring manager will take you a long way towards getting a job that you see as more ideal in that industry. Additionally, soak up all the knowledge, information, and skills that you can. Make sure to grab ahold of every chance you get to learn about the company and the industry. Observe what is going on around you and become involved with work activities. Even if these are just lunches or softball games, they are invaluable opportunities for you to learn about what goes on in the industry and simply to network with people who can help you move up in the company or the industry in the future.

As you can see, a great deal of value can come from taking a temp job, especially if you are interested in switching fields. This is a relatively easy way to get into an unfamiliar field. Once you have gotten the job, a big part of your move into that industry has been done, and you now need to keep going by impressing your boss, learning all you can, and establishing contacts that can help you in the future.

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