Fight the Fear: How to Make the Move from a Permanent to a Temporary Job

January 13 2020 , 0 Comments

Temp work

As the job market grows, we’re seeing more and more companies offering professionals temporary jobs instead of permanent.

However, if you’re new to the concept of ‘temping’, changing from an ongoing assignment to something more casual and short-term can be extremely daunting.

With this in mind, here’s a complete guide on how to overcome your fears and successfully make the leap from a permanent to temporary job. See you on the other side!


Temporary job vs permanent

Before delving into the ‘how’, it’s important that you identify whether temporary work is right for you or not.

At the end of the day, there are many benefits to both types of employment. On the one hand, permanent work offers security, peace of mind and non-monetary benefits such as a pension and wellbeing schemes.

It’s the equivalent of a warm cosy blanket on a cold wintery night, giving you the platform to progress in a company and be a part of something. You can create meaningful friendships with colleagues, advance into new roles and build up your salary over time.

Generally speaking, a permanent job is better if you like to know where you stand and like the structure it brings to your day.

That’s not to say permanent work is all sunshine and rainbows. In comparison, while temporary work won’t give you the month-to-month security and a guaranteed wage, it does allow you to take full control of your career.

Think of it this way, if you don’t enjoy working for one company or in a particular role, your short contract will allow you to try your hand at something else before you know it. There’s a freedom with temping that you can’t get when you’re committed to one company.

From a development point of view, working for multiple companies and with different professionals will not only guarantee that every day is unique, but it’ll also allow you to learn new things. Think of all the technical and transferrable skills you can attain along the way.

The final reason why moving from permanent to temporary work is positive is the flexibility it brings. Fancy taking an extended holiday? Want to spend more time with your family? Waiting for your ‘dream job’?

Suddenly, you’re in control of your destiny and can prioritise your quality of life. Forget the nine to five slog, you’re the master of your fate.


How to switch from a permanent to a temporary job  

Feeling inspired? Now ‘the why’ has been covered and the cloud of doubt is starting to subside, it’s time to look at ‘the how’. For you to successfully make the leap and transition into the world of temping, you must follow these steps.


Adapt your CV for temp jobs

Before you can go shouting from the rooftops about your new-found desire to land a temporary job, you need to adapt your CV accordingly.

The same principles taken from this 5 steps to an amazing CV guide of writing for your target audience and keeping it succinct still apply. However, certain tweaks will make your application stand out more to a hiring manager.

For instance, words like ‘flexible’ and ‘fast-learner’ become increasingly important as employers will want a temporary employee to hit the ground running when they join.

You must also keep your experience on your CV relevant. Once again, employers looking for temporary employees need assistance immediately, so they won’t always have the time or resources to help you learn on the job. Amend your CV to suit the role advertised and it will show the hiring manager that you’re ready and raring to go!


Prepare in advance

One of the best ways to overcome your fears of switching from a permanent to a temporary job is being prepared.

If you’re currently in a permanent role, think about creating a strategy or a ‘plan B’ before temping. This includes saving up your money in case you have a gap in employment and working out how much you need to make ends meet.

Have you got money for rent or your mortgage stored away? Are you on top of all of your bills?

It pays to brainstorm what areas of your desired industry you’re strong in as well. What kind of life skills or accomplishments make you a good fit for certain temporary roles? Is there a particular reason why you want to temp? If so, have you explained this in your cover letter or to the hiring manager?

Thinking about these types of questions will give you a better chance of being noticed and excelling in an interview.


Update recruiters about your situation

The final step towards making the switch from permanent to temp work is to form relationships with temp recruitment specialists and get registered in their database.

Having a professional assisting you will take a lot of the weight off your shoulders. If you make the right impression by adapting your CV, explaining your decision to change and avoid the things that annoy recruiters the most, they’ll work tirelessly to help you.

Start by searching for recruitment agencies that specialise in temporary work on Google and connect with some of the key employers on LinkedIn. You can then start the conversation, discussing what hours you want, the industry you want to work in and the salary you’re looking for.

Finally, don’t forget to constantly update your availability on job boards, CV databases and LinkedIn, as this makes you more searchable to recruiters.


Final thoughts

And that’s it! Follow all these steps and you have nothing to worry about when making the transition from permanent to temporary work.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. At the beginning of 2019, there were around 1.54 million people in the UK temping. With the flexibility and opportunities it brings, a temporary job should be treated as an exciting journey, rather than a daunting prospect.

Good luck! 


Mark is one of the founders of Temps4Care. Every day he and the Temps4Care team work together to ensure care companies are able to work efficiently with a full staff supply by providing temporary care workers. He has a genuine passion for recruitment and the care industry.

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