Accounting specialists are finding part-time and temporary employment an increasingly attractive option in today's labor market. Part-time accounting jobs offer unique perks. For those accounting and finance professionals who have recently undergone a career setback or are looking to make a career or lifestyle change, flexible work arrangements can provide an ideal source of income. Even better, there's a strong demand for such work: A recent Accountemps survey found that one-third of CFOs use temporary assignments to evaluate potential hires.
It's important to recognize that, although temporary and part-time work are both ways to gain professional flexibility, they aren't synonymous. A temporary job can require anything from a few hours a week to a 40-hour commitment but lasts for a defined period of time. Part-time accounting jobs, on the other hand, involve fewer hours per week than full-time jobs but are ongoing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, defines part-time work as 1 to 34 hours per week.
Whatever path you choose, here's how temporary and part-time accounting jobs can help you:
Access to new skills
An advantage of both temporary and part-time jobs is the opportunity to learn new job skills, making you a better candidate for promotion and more marketable the next time you decide to test the employment waters. Temporary workers who register with a staffing agency may even receive access to a wealth of training opportunities and career advice. Accountemps, for example, offers these resources free of charge and makes them available 24/7.
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The thrill of the new
A big plus of taking temporary accounting jobs is the sheer variety of the work you can do. Because many temporary assignments last for just a few weeks or months, interim workers are always exposed to new projects and employers. That makes this career option a great way to network with a wide range of accounting and finance professionals and use your experiences at different workplaces to determine the right career path for you.
You might be surprised to learn that you can earn competitive compensation through temporary and part-time accounting jobs. Some accounting and finance professionals even receive access to employee benefits, especially if they register with a staffing firm.
In a recent survey, nearly seven in 10 accounting and finance professionals said if they were given the opportunity to go back in time and change their career, they would stay put. Read more about their reasons.
Employers are extending traditional perks to temporary and part-time accounting workers in some instances because more and more people are working in these roles. In fact, in some segments of the industry, a large percentage of individuals hold part-time positions — about 25 percent of bookkeepers are part time, for instance. At the same time, the U.S. has seen steady growth in temporary jobs, and employers now regularly use interim accounting and finance professionals to fill short-term demands. As a result, hourly wages for both temporary and part-time accounting jobs are usually on par with — if not better than — full-time salaries. This is especially true for individuals who possess specialized skills.
Flexibility to the max
Temporary and part-time accounting jobs offer the opportunity to better balance work and personal priorities because you're not tied to a traditional full-time schedule. Parents, students and individuals nearing retirement, in particular, are often attracted to this type of work for this very reason.
The opportunity to take on more
Temporary and part-time accounting jobs put you in a good position to pursue full-time work if you eventually decide to go that route. Employers often look to existing part-time and temporary workers first when filling new full-time positions. Managers know these professionals — what their work ethic is like, how they've performed in the job, how they fit with the corporate culture — so converting part-time or temporary workers to full-time status makes the hiring process quicker, easier and less risky.