This is the seventh post in the “when mothers return to work” series. Today I am sharing one option to consider for a return to work after years at home with children. I interviewed Jo, a human resources manager, and found her points about “temping” to be worthy of a feature of their own.
Many women re-entering the paid workforce will return to old professions in new roles, but many others will be starting over completely. If many years have passed you might find your old profession no longer interests you or has changed so much you prefer to explore new areas. Perhaps your old profession is not family friendly and you are looking for new opportunities.
7 reasons to consider temp work as a re-entry strategy
1. Brush up your skills
Temporary jobs – even in your old profession – can be a great way to brush up your skills. If you have been at home for a long period you may just need some active time to regain your fluency levels which will then translate into greater confidence for your job search and evidence to future employers.
2. Update your resume
If you have been at home a while it can be a great way to update your resume so your last entry is not “career break”. A temporary job can be that stepping stone that allows you access to a permanent job you aspire to.
3. Access companies
Temp jobs can give you an entry point into a lot of great companies (or reveal ones you never want to work for again). You might find you connect with a great company or role and that leads to a permanent position.
4. Agencies prepare you
If you are currently struggling to “perfect” your resume or get interview-ready a good agency will help prepare you for all those things. They will prep you for interviews, review your resume, and go through your skills with you so you can sell yourself.
5. Agencies can give you feedback
On your own you may apply for and interview for many jobs without securing a position. In each of those cases you might or might not get any feedback depending the volume of applications reviewed. If an agency sends you for a job they will share feedback received on your performance. They will also give you feedback on your interviewing skills, your CV, your choice of work clothes and anything else that will help you get a job. They get paid for filling roles and they want to help you get the job they think is a good fit.
6. They advocate for you
Companies use agencies to fill short term roles and need to know they will get a good employee (whether for one day or one month). The agency that takes you on pre-screens people for roles so when they put you forward for a position they are selling you to the company and advocating for you – they are giving their stamp of approval and telling the company that you are someone worth hiring.
7. Flexible options
Possibly the biggest draw card for many is the flexibility that can be gained from temping if you are not looking for full time permanent work just yet. perhaps you want to explore options or still need to organise long term child care or simply want some control over your work.
With temping you can choose the times you are available to take on assignments. It can be either set days of the week that you are available or that you don’t work during school holidays. If it is school holidays you can simply not accept any new assignments until they return to school. If your kids are sick and you have not started a new assignment you also can turn down roles until they are better.
While temping does not provide the security of a long term role, or the consistent pay check, it can satisfy the needs of many families who might be looking for a boost in income (but not two full time wages) or a gradual transition to the stay at home parent returning to paid work.
If you have done any temp work as a mother returning to work I would love to hear from you in the comments. Also, is anyone looking into this path for themselves and has any good agencies or tips to share here.
Find your simple,
Return to work series:
Getting started - with Allison Tait (and giveaway of Career Mums book which ends July 19)
While on leave - career breaks
On Flexibility - temp jobs, flexible hours etc