The way that people are employed is going to radically change over the next few years. This change will have far reaching impacts for career expectations and the sense of stability for both entry level and more experienced workers.
Research from Manpower shows that between 2010 and 2012, the use of contingency workers (temporary, part-time etc...) increased from 1.47% of the workforce to 1.88% this year. That is over 625,000 workers that have moved from perm to contingent. But, that's only part of the picture, as the research also indicates that 58% of companies plan to use more temporary employees - at all levels - over the next five years.
It's not hard to see why this is happening. Temporary labor brings clear benefits to employers. For example, firms can up-size quickly for projects and downsize at project completion with ease. Cautious businesses can bring in staff in anticipation of growth or to suit fluctuating demand and easily lay off the workers at the end.
Stigma?For many of us there is a stigma associated with temporary working, which is typically based around ideas of low wages and financial instability. This is true in many cases, but this stigma should not be allowed to define temporary working as many people secure good wages, build stable and fulfilling careers and engage in flexible life styles that they might not be able to achieve with a more traditional, permanent role.
Aim for Super Temp StatusWhile there is plenty of support for interim working in the workforce, most of the research seems to indicate that the best temporary experience is in the professional and managerial arena, as opposed to the secretarial and administrative areas, the traditional support of the temporary sector.
Where does that leave temping at the lower levels? This can be part of a preparative journey of developing your skills so you can develop into a high powered, permanent 'super temp' or simply take up a permanent role.
For example, many workers choose to accept a range of temporary assignments, enabling them to develop new skills, learn about new fields in their industry and to simply gain experience to help them in a future role. The benefit of this approach is that you can explore different career paths and then determine the kind of career you want to have.