5 Common Myths About Temping, Debunked!

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Among the biggest issues with temping is that it suffers from a huge image problem! There are so many rumours swirling around that it is enough to scare away even those who could genuinely benefit from temping. On the other hand, the fact is, more companies are preferring to employ temps in the current scenario as it enables them to maintain a flexible labour supply and respond to changing market conditions. On the candidate side, a number of highly qualified and vastly experienced professionals are becoming increasingly open to taking up temporary work due to the freedom and opportunities it provides. 

When it comes to your career, it would be unfortunate to overlook an entire range of job options due to inaccurate information—or worse—plain misconception. Here is a list of some of the most common myths related to temping you will often hear. We separate fact from fiction to help you better understand what temping is, and isn’t, so that you can take the right decision while planning your career. 


  • Temping is low-level, low-paid work


This may have been true decades ago, but the idea is completely outdated now. There was a time in the past when temps mainly filled administrative roles and performed light industrial work, but that began to change long ago and these days temps are hired for many skilled jobs including accounts and bookkeeping, marketing, software development, human resource etc. 

These days, it is also possible to find temps advising companies on sensitive matters like business operations, change management, and mergers. Many highly qualified professionals are preferring temporary roles nowadays due to the freedom and independence it offers.  


  • Temping can only be a short-term option


Although temping is mainly regarded as something that candidates only take up when they are between (permanent) jobs, when they have other responsibilities, such as raising a toddler, or when they are pursuing college courses, it is not unusual to come across professionals who temp right through their working lives. 

One of the reasons these ‘career temps’ prefer temporary jobs is that they can choose the periods during which they want to work. They often tend to attach themselves with a single temping agency, which gains a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and helps them find suitable jobs. 

The phenomenon of temping has seen a mostly upward trend over the years, and the pandemic has made the curve rise even faster. You can look forward to many more professionals taking up temping as a long-term option in future owing to greater temping opportunities, fewer opportunities for permanent work, and a desire for freedom and flexibility in their careers. 


  • You can work less hard in a temporary job, compared to a permanent one


There is a misplaced notion that it is okay to give less than your 100% in a temporary job, but nothing can be further from the truth. You need to put in as much effort in a temporary job as a permanent one—perhaps even more—as there is the additional pressure of generating ROI in a limited period of time. It is expected that you follow all the etiquettes of a permanent job—dressing appropriately, turning up on time etc.—to help maintain decorum and professionalism at the workplace. 


  • Temps don’t get access to employment benefits


This is one of the most pervasive myths regarding temporary employment. The reality is that access to benefits depends on the company that is employing you. For example, many temping agencies provide employment benefits such as health insurance to their workers after a fixed period of time, such as 90 days. The best temping agencies provide employment benefits that are comparable to permanent jobs. 


  • You can’t include temp work on your CV


If you have temping experience, you should absolutely list it on your CV. In fact, temping is widely recognised as a good way to help you avoid employment gaps on your CV and thus avoid uncomfortable questions from recruiters. You can list your temp experience just as you would a permanent role, with designation, organisation name, location, duration, and key achievements, but should add that it was temporary next to the designation. 

If you have held multiple temporary jobs under one agency, mention the agency as your employer, and list all the different jobs you have held through them. Under each role, mention the details you would normally list for a permanent role, like organisation name, duration, and key achievements. Add a line under the employer name to explain your link with the agency. 

Get the True Picture

Some other myths about taking up temporary work relate to the lack of training and development opportunities, and fewer networking opportunities. Both notions are completely false. If anything, temping rewards employees with greater opportunities for training and skills upgradation, and provides a more fertile environment for networking, compared to permanent job positions. 

It is true that there is a certain amount of job instability with temping, but that is the inherent nature of the arrangement. Being correctly informed about temporary work will help you get the true picture and enable you to consider it in your career plan if necessary. 

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