According to the Department of Labor, Delaware has a workforce of 477,347, and 455,511 of them were employed (February 2016). That also means 21,836 were unemployed, and though this statistic points to a 4.6% unemployment rate, one of the best in the country; there is also something disturbing that lies beneath the surface.
Young, frustrated and not making enough money
42.9% of the 21,836 unemployed are millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000), and among the 455,511 employed, an estimated 75% of millennials work in unrelated fields – that is to say, they don’t work in the sector they went to college for. Working in restaurants, for instance. Because there is no accepted definition of underemployment, it is hard to determine exactly how many. The average college graduate could send 15 job applications and still receive no response. The situation is compounded by employers unwilling to schedule workers for more than 30 hours a week in a bid to avoid providing them with healthcare benefits, as mandated by law. And then there are those who are nearing the end of their careers, but unwilling to quit earlier. The economy is so bad that you can’t find fault with them for not leaving their jobs. Every cent counts.
Why a temp job can be your best option in these trying times
You can work in a field of your choice: There might not be enough full-time vacancies available, but you can still get enough relevant experience as a temp. This can indeed look good on your resume, and helps when you apply for a full-time position later. On the contrary, if you chose to work in an unrelated field, you might also have to answer the question of why you did so in front of your interviewers.
Temp jobs lead to full-time jobs: A temp job is your foot in the door. There are plenty of stories where temps, working in the field of their choice, impressed employers so much that they got promoted to full-time positions. Even if your employer doesn’t have a full-time job for you, he/she is likely to have contacts that could help you land a permanent position elsewhere. Co-workers could also do the same for you and help your career grow.
Temporary isn’t that temporary: In the past, people used to be hired by the hour, or for the day. This has moved on to three-month and six-month long contracts, so it isn’t that bad after all. Something is always better than nothing: The reason why professional work experience is valued more than a college degree is because you learn a lot of things while working. Soft skills like time management, professional etiquette and maintaining excellent interpersonal relationships with your colleagues are not really things you can learn in a classroom. ‘Hard’ skills include learning a lot of new things by simply working – there is a lot of difference between theory and practical application, and only by working a job, no matter in what capacity, do you learn the finer nuances that help you to be more productive.
Temp jobs are also wonderful exit options: You might have studied Accounting in college and gotten a temp job in the same field; but found out that it is not the career you wish to pursue. A temp job provides you with a way out, so it can be useful for determining whether or not it is indeed the right track for your career.