Temping, Freelance, Contract, Seasonal Or Part-Time Jobs

Temping, Freelance, Contract, Seasonal Or Part-Time Jobs

temps

By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer


Fact: more Canadians work on a non-permanent basis today than a decade ago. Up to 40% of our workforce has a job that could be classified as “precarious” – temporary, part-time or self-employed, often with few or no benefits.
 
Some of the increase in this sort of work is voluntary. There are upsides for those who want employment flexibility. However there are negatives for precarious employment too.
 
Is earning a living this way right for you?
 
Why Non-Permanent Employment Is On The Rise 
 
Two-thirds of precarious workers in Canada say they would prefer to have a permanent position. An inability to find a “real” job is the reason most commonly given for taking non-permanent employment, says the Canadian Council on Social Development.
 
Changes in employer hiring strategies is another explanation. The increased use of just-in-time employment helps companies face intensified competition. Precarious workers can be hired quickly in booms and easily dismissed during busts. Also, many firms hire non-permanent workers to replace employees on maternity, family or long-term disability leave.
 
The Upsides of Being A Non-Permament Worker

Do you enjoy changing assignments often? Do you want to stay flexible in terms of balancing work with your other priorities?
 
With precarious employment you normally change employers repeatedly. Each assignment (temporary job, contract position or gig) could be with someone new. There will be exposure to various routines and ways of getting things done. Plus every assignment is an opportunity to meet new colleagues or contacts.
 
Among the the other possible positives of precarious work:
 
·         You may be able to fit your work schedule around your other weekly activities
·         It can be a foot in the door to permanent employment – though if you are placed by a personnel agency you must read their contract carefully, as it may have conditions preventing you from negotiating with the employer directly for longer-term work
·         It beats being unemployed if you need to find work fairly quickly
 
Some Downsides Of Precarious Work

This isn’t an ideal solution for everyone. Not every type of job can be done on a short-term, in and out basis. There are some other pitfalls, such as…
 
·         Not being treated like “one of the team” when on assignments, because you aren’t part of the permanent staff and will probably be leaving soon for another job
·         Having to learn new procedures, use different equipment/software, and navigate the politics of every single workplace you get assigned to
·         Dealing with the uncertainty of whether there will be work for you after your existing asignment comes to an end
·         Because of their short job tenure, temporary employees are eligible only for the minimum legal notice of dismissal and severance
 
Temping
 
Temporary workers are typically hired by agencies (e.g. temp agencies, personnel firms). You submit your temping resume to the agency. If you’re accepted, the agency sends you out on assignments to work at various employers. The jobs tend to be at lower levels and can last anywhere from a few days to months at a time.
 
Temping can be a fairly reliable way to regularly find short-term work assignments. And since you actually work for the agency (not the employer they send you to), the agency itself may offer you benefits, bonuses, and other perks you might not get on your own. Here are some tips on preparing your temping resume.
 
Contract Employment

In contract employment, you are brought aboard a company for a fixed term. The duration of your contract could be several months, or a year plus. You might get paid as if you were a regular employee, with full benefits. But you’re more likely to get treated as a self-employed contractor, with few or no benefits.
 
Employers tend to value maturity and extensive experience when hiring for contract positions. They want someone who can jump right in and do the job with little fuss or extra training. That means being somewhat older or over-qualified may actually work in your favour.
 
Freelancing And Gigs

As a freelancer, you’re self-employed and you bid for work assignments (gigs). The gigs can be priced on an hourly basis or in terms of completed work. In any event, the client hiring you knows upfront how much they’ll pay and what they’ll get.
 
Freelancing is good for professionals who don’t mind marketing their services. Accountants, lawyers, artists, musicians, web designers…all can bid for gigs in their field of expertise. Nowadays, online talent markets serve as local or worldwide labour exchanges. Be ready to compete!
 
Seasonal Jobs
 
Every December, retailers and others hire thousands of people for a month or two. This way they can cover seasonal demand without committing to long-term employment. Same goes for summer jobs. Sometimes it’s possible to turn seasonal work into an ongoing job.
 
Part-Time Work
 
Nearly 20% of Canada’s workforce is employed part-time. This number soars to 50% for youths 15 – 24 years old. With adults, more women than men hold part-time jobs. Even though full-time positions tend to be harder to get, you’ll still need a decent resume and cover letter for part-time employment.
 
Getting Started In Non-Permanent Employment
 
So is being a precarious worker right for you? If you think it is, Monster can help get you started. Visit Monster.ca’s job search page to find relevant postings. Click on “Advanced Search.” Then after entering the preferred job title and location, scroll down to “Job Type.” Select the boxes for Contract, Part-Time, Temp or Other.
 
Non-permanent employment is a flexible way of working for pay. It may serve as a bridge to permanent employment, or provide an ongoing income source. And if you try it but aren’t satisfied with working this way, you can always go back to looking for a job that may provide more stability.