Is temporary work a good idea?

by | 16.03.20

Like anything else there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to becoming a temporary worker. Being a temp can be the perfect solution to career and/or personal needs, or temping may simply provide a way to pay the bills until a permanent job is found. Temp jobs typically last from one day to several weeks. Sometimes particularly if you have been unemployed for more than six months a temporary job really can be your best option. We have listed for you some of the advantages and disadvantages of doing temporary work and hope these help you to make a decision:


The temporary job you are offered is exactly the type of job you are looking for, it is the perfect opportunity for you to gain experience in the field you really want to work in – what is there to lose?

By doing temporary work you have an income stream while your ‘real’ job search continues. We call this a ‘salary continuation plan’ you are earning money whilst still being on the job market and the pay is better than Job Seekers Allowance!

Sometimes by accepting a temporary role you gain the opportunity to ‘test drive’ a job, an employer, a profession or an industry. This ‘test drive’ allows you to make more educated decisions in relation to your future career.

If you want to move your career into a new field obtaining temporary work in that area is always a good start and allows you to gain some good experience whilst potentially opening doors in new areas that may not be open naturally for you.

It is better to have something on your CV rather than nothing, employers can be very dubious about candidates who have not worked for some time and often interested by people who have adapted to their situation and have done some work rather than sat at home and watched daytime TV

Sometimes doing temporary work opens the door to a permanent job, we call this “temp-to-perm”. This is very common as it gives both you and the employer the opportunity to work together and to test one another out. If you obtain a “temp to perm” role it is unlikely you will be unhappy in it.



Temp jobs are by definition often short term, usually for less than a month, often less than a week. If you only want a long term role you should concentrate on obtaining a permanent position, but remember don’t be unemployed for too long.

Many temps feel isolated and believe they are not respected by other employees. This will vary from organisation to organisation and the corporate culture that exists within Companies, but it can happen sometimes so be prepared.

You are not going to be a millionaire by doing temporary work. Most temps are not paid top dollar for what they do, but you are getting paid. Without question you will probably have to take a pay cut to do temporary work but it could be worthwhile.

Depending on the Agency you are working for you may find that you don’t receive any benefits ie: holiday pay, access to a pension scheme. Generally it is a good idea to work for an Agency which pays you on a PAYE basis rather than as a Contractor that way you will be eligible to normal employment benefits.

You may feel tied into a job and believe that it effects your ability to find a permanent role, but if you are sensible you can do both things at the same time, it’s just a case of thinking of others as well as yourself. Be honest with your temporary employer, tell them you are really looking for a permanent job and you may have to attend interviews but you will try to make these either early in the morning or at the end of the day. Honesty really is the best policy.

It is very likely in a temp role that you may not get much training and you will be expected to just get on with the job. This can be very daunting, so to be a good temporary worker you need confidence and the ability to quickly learn new processes. This type of experience can be scary but it is very good for your development and proves you are self-reliant and able to think on your feet.

The good news about temporary work is that by definition it is temporary. The atmosphere, people and duties will change with every job you undertake. So if one job is not nice the next one may be wonderful. The bottom line is it’s a balancing act, for some people being a temp is perfect for them, for others being a temp is hopefully a short term gap until they find the perfect permanent job.

Happy Job Seeking