Temporary and part-time accounting jobs are an increasingly attractive option in today's labor market. For professionals who have recently undergone a career shift or are looking to make a lifestyle change, flexible work arrangements can provide an ideal source of income and unique perks.
Although temporary and part-time employment both offer professional flexibility, it's important to recognize they aren't synonymous. A temp job can be anything from a few hours a week to a 40-hour-plus commitment, but it lasts for only a specific period of time — anywhere from a day to several months. Part-time accounting and financial jobs, on the other hand, require fewer hours per week than full-time jobs but may be ongoing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines part-time positions as 1 to 34 hours per week.
The scenario you search for depends on your personal and family situation — and it can change over time. A full-time temporary finance position might be ideal for a student on summer break or a professional who’s between jobs or exploring new opportunities; a part-time accounting job might better fit a working parent or other professional who can’t commit to a 40-hour workweek.
Whatever path you choose, here are six things that taking temporary and part-time accounting jobs will allow you to do:
1. Access new skills
A big advantage of temporary and part-time work is the opportunity to learn new skills, making you a better candidate for promotion and more marketable the next time you decide to search for full-time employment. Temp workers who sign on with a staffing agency often receive access to a wealth of training opportunities and career advice. Accountemps, for example, offers these resources for bookkeepers, accountants and financial workers free of charge and makes them available 24/7.
2. Test a new career path
A big plus of temporary jobs is the sheer variety of work you can do. Because temp assignments usually last for just a few weeks or months, interim workers get to test out new projects and employers. Working as a temp is a great way to network with a wide range of accounting, bookkeeping and finance professionals, and you can use your experiences at different offices to determine what kind of firm suits you and determine the direction of your accounting career path.
3. Earn competitive pay
You might be surprised to learn that you can earn competitive pay through temporary and part-time jobs. Some accounting and finance professionals even receive access to employee benefits, especially if they are registered with a staffing firm.
This is at least partly due to our changing economy. The United States has seen steady growth in temp jobs in the past decade, and companies now regularly use interim accounting, bookkeeping and finance professionals to fill short-term demands. In fact, in some segments of the industry, a large percentage of individuals hold part-time positions — about 25 percent of people in bookkeeping are part time, for instance. As a result, hourly wages for both temporary and part-time jobs are usually on par with (if not better than) a full-time salary. This is especially true for individuals who possess specialized skill sets, such as CPAs, medical collection specialists, financial analysts and tax accountants.
4. Maximize your flexibility
Temporary and part-time jobs offer the opportunity to better balance work and personal priorities because you're not tied to a traditional full-time schedule. Working parents, students and those nearing the end of their careers, in particular, are often attracted to this type of work for this very reason. Retired professionals may also find interim management roles an attractive reason to return to full-time work occasionally.
5. Build your reputation
Temp and part-time accounting jobs put you in a good position to apply for full-time work if you decide to go that route. Employers often look to existing part-time and temp workers first when filling new positions. The company already knows what the staffers' work ethic is like, how they've performed in the job day to day and how they fit with the organizational culture, so converting part-time or temp workers to full-time status makes the hiring process quicker, easier and less risky for the firm.
6. Make an impact
Even if you're not a full-time employee, the company still relies on your dedication and expertise. Your time may be focused on one tax accounting or bookkeeping project, or the company may have several areas where they need your help. Your manager may even tell you about areas where the company needs help and let you choose, or start you in one direction and then modify your duties as your strengths emerge. Whatever the assignment, carry out your duties as if they were your permanent career, take initiative and add value to every task you accomplish. That’s key to both job satisfaction and career advancement.
Whether you're transitioning to a new industry in accounting, working through a career shift or slowing down for personal reasons, temp or part-time accounting jobs can give you the flexibility you're looking for. When you need help with your search, contact us. Accountemps is an expert at placing skilled professionals with local employers.