The benefits of temporary work: work on your terms

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern job market, traditional notions of long-term, permanent employment are changing, with temporary work coming to...

Nicholas Kira

21 September 2023

14 min read

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern job market, traditional notions of long-term, permanent employment are changing, with temporary work coming to the fore – giving more choice and opportunities for career advancement, no matter your personal circumstances.

The appeal of temporary work lies in the flexibility it offers –  granting individuals the opportunity to work when they where they want, to suit their schedules and shape their careers.

In this in-depth exploration, we’ll delve into the key benefits of temporary work; covering how it allows you to stay flexible and stay in control, learn new skills quickly, show off new tips you’ve learnt, build your professional network, help you during your transition to more permanent work, and allows you to manage your finances and maximise your earnings.

Why temporary work?

The benefits of temporary work are innumerable, offering a whole host of activities which make it an attractive proposition to individuals. They give you the opportunity to dictate your work schedules and choose the projects that are in line with your preferences, skills, experience, and priorities.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial if you’re seeking a better work-life balance, as it enables you to prioritise personal commitments and reduce the stress associated with the rigidity of working full-time hours with a permanent employer.

Furthermore, temporary work exposes you to a number of different job opportunities and industries, promoting continuous learning and skill development, opening up all sorts of career paths. And temporary work allows individuals to hone their skills, paving the way for the pursuit of other ventures they may not have considered.

Overall, the advantages of temporary work are countless, empowering individuals to take control of their careers and develop on both a personal and a professional level, while offering the freedom to work on their terms.

Be flexible, and stay in control

'work-life balance' written on a paper fortune teller

One of the key benefits of temporary work is the true work-life balance they offer, affording the ability to attend both personal commitments and professional ones.  

True flexibility and autonomy

When you consider the benefits of temporary working, the cornerstone is the unparalleled flexibility it provides. As a temporary worker, you remain in control of your work schedule, with the power to decide when, where, and how you work, and who for.

This flexibility enables you to create a work-life balance that suits your lifestyle, making it an ideal choice for busy parents, students, or those pursuing a long-term career, who need to work to support their aspirations. In fact, it’s perfect for anyone who values the freedom to determine their work hours, rather than be tied to a fixed 9-5.

In addition to flexibility, one of the other benefits of temporary work is that it offers a degree of autonomy often missing in traditional employment settings. Rather than being restricted to a predefined role, you have the chance to choose the projects you undertake and the employees you collaborate with. In turn, this empowers you to shape your career in line with your personal preferences and professional goals.  

Learning new skills

Another benefit of temporary jobs is that they offer a fantastic opportunity for continuous skill development. With the ever-evolving demands of various roles and industries, temporary workers are constantly exposed to new challenges and tasks.

Whether it’s adapting to different projects, industries, technologies, working practices, or the workplaces themselves, temporary positions push individuals to acquire and refine a diverse set of skills. The dynamic and somewhat transient nature of temporary work encourages learning through actions – by actually doing – fostering adaptability, problem-solving, and allowing you to gain both hard and soft skills.

For clarity, examples of hard skills would be data analysis, computer programming, project management, engineering, or graphic design. By way of comparison, soft skills would be communication, teamwork, leadership, time management, organisation, and active listening. Temporary work often demands a mixture of these two skill sets and requires individuals to quickly become proficient in various aspects of a job.

These acquired skills are, in most cases, transferable, and will prove invaluable in future career pursuits, making temporary work a useful pathway for personal and professional growth. In short, temporary work can only serve to enhance your employability.  

Networking: making useful new contacts

Another of the benefits of temporary work is that it serves as an excellent platform for expanding your professional network and making important new contacts. In taking on various roles and different industries, you open up opportunities to meet a wide range of professionals; from colleagues and clients, to supervisors, managers, heads of department, and collaborators.

Meeting all of these people allows you to develop meaningful connections that can be vital when it comes to furthering your career. Building a diverse network of contacts through temporary work opens doors to new opportunities, offers insights into different industries, and – perhaps most importantly – often results in referrals or recommendations; either through word of mouth, written letters, or comments on professional platforms like LinkedIn.

In addition to recommendations, these connections can be valuable in terms of mentorship, advice, and potential future collaborations, meaning that temporary work not only offers the chance to earn a living but can also broaden your career horizons.  

Temporary working in the modern world

The increased prevalence of remote work has only served to further the appeal of temporary work. A number of temporary positions now offer the option to work remotely, giving you the option of choosing your preferred work environment.

This is often seen to enhance productivity and increase job satisfaction, contributing to a more fulfilling professional life. It also allows you to, again, balance your commitments – say, for example, if you have young children to look after.  

Increased job satisfaction

Work-life balance: prioritising your wellbeing

As anyone would undoubtedly tell you, achieving a healthy work-life balance is integral to your overall wellbeing, and you find that balance by following these steps. One of the (many) benefits of temp work is that it actively supports this, by giving you greater control over your work schedule. You can then prioritise your personal commitments and reduce the stress often associated with long commutes and inflexible working hours.

Moreover, as mentioned above, many temporary workers have the option to work remotely, further contributing to an enhanced work-life balance. The ability to choose your work environment can lead to a greater sense of overall wellbeing and a closer affinity with the role you’re undertaking.  

A chance to find the right fit

Although some may view temp jobs as a stopgap, they can in fact, be used as avenues for discovering your ideal career path. If you stop and think about this, it makes perfect sense. One of the benefits of temporary jobs is that they allow you to explore various industries, roles, and company cultures, with very little risk attached.

These roles provide a testing ground to find out what best suits your skills, interests, and values. By trying out different positions on a short-term basis, you can gain invaluable insights into your own preferences, strengths, and weaknesses, and, ultimately, where your future may lie.

In short, temp work allows you to make more informed decisions about your long-term career goals, and identify the ideal fit for you.  

Free training – what’s not to like?

Among the benefits of temporary positions, there’s the access they provide to a range of valuable training opportunities that can enhance your skill set and, as a result, your career prospects.

Many temporary roles, particularly in industries like industrial, technology, healthcare, hospitality, and finance, offer on-the-job training, where individuals can learn how to use new tools, software, techniques, and terminology directly related to their roles. And, in many cases, temporary workers may have the chance to take part in workshops, seminars, or courses provided by their employers, often giving them industry-specific certifications that they can then take wherever they go next.

This is not to mention mentorship and skill-sharing opportunities, from those more senior than yourself. It may be that you take all that you’ve learnt, and the qualifications you’ve gained into full-time positions, at a later date. In summary, temporary work can allow you to gain valuable practical skills, earn certifications, and build strong foundations for long-term career growth.  

Building an entrepreneurial mindset: from temp work to independence

Believe it or not, temporary work can serve as a launchpad for entrepreneurship. As you build your knowledge and experience, and build a network of clients and contacts, you may decide to embark on an entrepreneurial journey – perhaps there’s a new product or service you’ve had in mind for ages, which you now want to launch.

The skills and connections you cultivate as a temporary worker can be essential when establishing this product or service, or your own business or consultancy.

The opportunities offered by temporary work highlight its potential to be more than just a job; it can push you towards a brighter future, ultimately propelling you toward your entrepreneurial aspirations.

The financial advantages

Piggy Bank and Pound

Potentially earn more than you would in a permanent role

It may surprise you to know that, contrary to popular opinion, you can in fact earn more from temporary work than from a full-time, permanent job. Hourly wages can be highly competitive – certainly higher than what you could expect to earn in a full-time role in the same industry. Then there’s project-based pay, where you’ll be paid upon completion of a particular task or project.

As a worker on such projects, you’ll often be given financial incentives for productivity, the quality of the work, and, of course, completing them on time. Overtime opportunities offer another chance to make more money in some temporary roles.

This practice is especially common in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, and industries with seasonal peaks, like retail and sales.  

Flexibility for Multiple Income Streams

A benefit of temp jobs is that you can work out your time to enable you to take on multiple roles back to back. This flexibility enables you to diversify your income streams, as yet another way of potentially earning more than you would in a traditional full-time job.

This means you can tap into various sources of income simultaneously, spreading the financial risk associated with relying on just one job. This approach not only increases overall earnings but also provides a safety net in case one role ends unexpectedly.

Being exposed to different industries, roles, and clients, in this way, also broadens your skill set and expands your professional network, which can only help in terms of your long-term employability and financial stability.

Read this post to find out all about how best to juggle multiple temp roles at once.  

Access to Benefits

While some temporary positions may not offer traditional benefits like health insurance or retirement plans, others do provide these perks. As a temp worker, you should carefully evaluate the benefits packages associated with the role(s) you’re taking on.

At Indeed Flex, we offer a comprehensive Flexer Benefits package, covering things like sick pay, family leave, access to a digital GP and physio, counselling sessions, financial advice, and a huge range of discounts on big brands.  

Getting on top of your money

While managing your finances and maximising your earnings as a temporary worker requires careful planning and careful decision-making, it’s certainly achievable. The first thing to do is create a detailed budget to track your income and expenses, to give you a clear picture of your financial situation.

Make sure all of your essentials (rent/mortgage, utility bills, food, transport costs etc.) are taken care of, then prioritize savings by setting aside a portion of your wages for emergencies and future goals – many a holiday or some home refurbishment.

Tracking your expenses on a monthly basis is a good way to stay on top of your finances: certainly something to consider. It also pays (sometimes literally) to be diligent when it comes to tax planning, understanding the tax implications of your temporary work, and taking advantage of deductions and credits.

Budgeting and tax planning aside, it’s also worth investing in skill development and certifications to increase your earning potential for future roles. You can then negotiate more competitive pay rates based on your skills and experience, and be proactive in seeking out well-paying jobs.

By following these practical tips, you can manage your finances effectively and make the most of your temporary work opportunities.    

How important is work-life balance to you when considering employment options?
Is flexibility in work hours and location more important to you than traditional benefits?
Have you used temporary work as a way to explore different industries and roles?
 

The benefits of temporary work: in conclusion

Temporary work boasts a whole host of benefits that can significantly enhance your career and allow you to have a personal life too, giving you a true work-life balance.

It provides unmatched flexibility and autonomy while offering continuous learning and skill development, including official certification and qualifications. That’s not to mention the professional networking opportunities it gives you – the chance to make new contacts who can only further your career, or perhaps get your new entrepreneurial venture underway.

And, of course, depending on which roles you take on, you could earn more than you would in an equivalent permanent position – or you could take on multiple roles if that suits you better.

In a world where that which constitutes a ‘traditional career’ is continually changing, embracing temporary work can be the key to unlocking a fulfilling and balanced working life. In choosing the path of temporary work, you can achieve your career goals while retaining control over your schedule and priorities.

The possibilities are almost endless. So, go ahead, see what’s out there, and begin your temp work journey today.  


Download the Indeed Flex app today and benefit from a world of temporary work opportunities across all different industries and employers.

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