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How Contract and Temporary Positions Can be a Step Forward, Not a Step Back

You are a good candidate caught in a difficult employment market. You do all the right things. You work closely with your recruiter, network with your connections, and respond to open positions like a hawk. Your recruiter calls to discuss a contract financial analyst position in New York. No thanks. You are focused on finding the best permanent position.

Is this the right call? As a recruiter who sees a lot of momentum for contract positions, I would urge you to reconsider. Contract and temporary positions are a great way for you to get out there and network, stay sharp, and create opportunity.

Grow your Network

Contract and temporary positions help you build new networks. They put you in a position to meet people of similar skill sets and interests. The people at your contract or temporary job may become valuable connections that point you toward a new position. In this way, contract and temporary positions build your network while prolonged unemployment can tear it down.

Stay Sharp

Employers want job candidates to be sharp. A gap on your resume forces you to explain what you haven’t been doing. Contract and temporary jobs give you the opportunity to talk about your work ethic and skills. This can be a major differentiator in a difficult job market.

Opportunity Knocks

Contract and temporary positions allow you to get your foot in the door and show your stuff to potential employers. Rockstar work can create the permanent opportunities you are looking for. This is particularly true right now. Many employers are anticipating ramping up hiring in 2011. Right now, they are hiring temporary and contract workers, evaluating them, and getting ready to flip the switch in 2011. You can create opportunity by doing great work for them now.

A contract and temporary position may not be the starting point of your job search. Yet, contract and temporary positions are a way to build your personal network, stay sharp, and create opportunities. These benefits are in addition to the obvious financial rewards. I would urge you to consider every opportunity, especially contract and temporary positions. They just might be your ticket back into the job market.

Photo Credit: Step-Forward-Coaching