How Do I Evaluate a Temp Job Offer?

Whether you’re a career freelancer, going through a freelance phase, or temping while you look for a permanent job, there are a variety of opportunities out there. Because there are a lot of variables to consider, it can sometimes be hard to decide whether an opportunity is right for you.

Here are a few things you might think about and consider:

Does this job seem like a good match for my best skills and strengths? Or is it too far above or below my skill level? There can be advantages to making either a stretch or a compromise, but you can do that with intent. You might decide to learn on the job (with the consent of the employer) or decide to take a step backwards to refresh your skills or get to work quickly (again, with the understanding of the employer).

Will the hourly rate be compatible with my current needs? Even if you are making less than what would be your “rate-card” hourly rate, you may have a good reason for doing so. A temp agency will almost always get you paid faster than a freelance client, and that can be well worth a compromise.

Will this employer look good on my resume?  If it’s a well-respected company or important brand in your market, there could be advantages to positioning yourself for future employment or even more freelance or temp jobs.

Will this temporary job give me an opportunity to expand my professional network? The chance to meet new people can be extremely valuable, whether they are in your specialty, other functions, or at a hiring manager level. New connections can create relationships and new opportunities, sometimes far into the future.

Does this temporary job meet a specific or immediate goal which overrides other considerations? Maybe you need to get to work to minimize a gap in employment. Possibly you need an opportunity to demonstrate your skills to help make a career shift, or to get to know people in a new community. Or perhaps the geography is advantageous and you have short-term transportation challenges.

If you are clear about your objective, then you will feel confident about making a decision. Temporary employment can be an excellent way to forward your career, whether you are a new graduate, in the middle of your career, or entering retirement and not ready to step out of the workforce altogether. Many companies make skillful use of temporary and adjunct workers so the choices are plentiful. Happy temping!

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