6 Advantages of Being a Temporary Professional

One of five game-board tokens on a running track finishes ahead of the rest

Job layoffs and college breaks often prompt people to find temporary work, but those aren't the only reasons to seek short-term employment. Becoming a temporary administrative professional can be a critical steppingstone or long-term strategy for establishing a successful career. Here are six key advantages to working as a temporary professional:

1. Gaining industry experience
Many candidates would like to work in a particular field but lack the appropriate background and experience. If you have the right skill set, however, employers may hire you for a temporary role that utilizes those skills. The temporary work can give you a chance to gain industry knowledge. Then, later, you can leverage that experience to obtain full-time employment in the industry.

2. Learning new skills
Working as a temporary professional is a great way to gain new skills on the job. "You can learn the methods and tools of different industries," says Brenda Arce, vice president of OfficeTeam. For example, you might learn about software programs commonly used in an industry you'd like to work for.

3. Expanding your network
You can also build relationships with a whole new network. "Even if you're working on a project that's strictly temporary, you're able to meet a lot of new managers in that company – and they learn about you," Arce says. "Those connections just might open doors for you in the future." Be sure to connect with key contacts on LinkedIn once you establish a relationship in the office so you can stay in touch later.

4. Avoiding a gap in your resume
If you are laid off or leave a job unexpectedly, working as a temporary professional can not only keep your skills sharp and help you maintain your income but also allow you to avoid an employment gap on your resume. "Employers like to see that candidates have been constantly working because it shows they're responsible and want to take on new projects," Arce says.

5. Transitioning into a full-time position
Companies often hire administrative professionals under a temporary-to-full-time arrangement. This means the person is first hired on a temporary basis. If the assignment goes well, and the company's need is long term, the professional may receive a full-time employment offer. Not only is a temporary-to-full-time employment strategy a chance for employers to see you in action before tendering an offer, but it also provides a great way for you to discover whether you like a particular job, the corporate culture, your coworkers, your manager's style and your opportunities for growth.

Even if you're in a position that's clearly temporary, full-time opportunities may open up if you prove to be an all-star temporary professional. "Once a client or company learns about an outstanding candidate's skill set and work ethic, they often try to find places for them in the company, even though the firm didn't expect it from the beginning," Arce says.

To increase the odds of landing a full-time position, you need to demonstrate everything you're capable of doing, Arce emphasizes. "Sometimes, when people think of it as just a temporary position, they don't really show all the skills and knowledge they can bring to that company."

6. Receiving help in finding a job
Many administrative professionals prefer temporary work because of the flexibility it provides. They may have personal obligations that make full-time employment challenging, need certain months off or simply like to travel. Whatever your reasons for wanting to work as a temporary professional, Arce recommends working with a recruiter.

Recruiters have ongoing relationships with many companies, as well as candidates. That means they stay abreast of temporary positions and projects, and they get to know their candidates' specific capabilities and preferences. "We can speak to clients directly about your skill set, your personality and why you would be a good fit for a certain role," Arce adds.