Temp, when referring to jobs, is short for temporary. Therefore a temp worker is a temporary worker, meaning they're commonly hired to fill in for those on vacation, maternity leave or other extended periods of absence. Temp workers also can be hired after somebody is fired or quits until the company can find a permanent employee for the position. Temp workers are used in a variety of different fields.
A temp agency is a company that specializes in finding temporary employees for companies. The most common way to become a temp is to apply at a temping agency. Agencies vary in the skills they look for in applicants depending on the jobs they offer. Temp agencies are typically free to apply to but they'll take a small percentage of any paychecks you make through jobs where they've placed you. Temp agencies often offer a wide variety of jobs in numerous fields. Some of the most common are general office work, accounting, construction, custodial and general labor.
According to the Job Seekers Advice website, temp jobs are a good way to get experience in different work environments. As temporary jobs rarely last more than a few months, temp workers get the opportunity to work in diverse environments and pick up valuable skills with each new job. This exposure to many different skills can prove beneficial because when a company goes to a temp agency looking for a temporary worker, they'll ask for somebody with a certain set of skills. The agency will look for applicants within their system who have said skills and if you've got the experience, you're more likely to get the job.
Variety & Flexibility
With the duration of most temp jobs being so short, temps can work a number of jobs within a given time period. For those who like variety and can't stand doing the same thing every day, this is one of the biggest advantages of temp jobs. Furthermore, Job Seekers Advice says that temp workers often enjoy flexible hours. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on whether you like flexibility or would prefer a set schedule.
Job Security & Extras
Temp workers don't have much job security. Temps are hired with the understanding that they're not going to be working at that specific company for very long. In fact, temps don't get most of the perks that come with working a full-time job. For instance, temps do not get health insurance, benefits, paid sick time or paid vacations. In most cases, temps have very little employee rights and can have their contracts terminated at any time, for any reason.
Possibility for Long-Term Employment
One of the biggest benefits of temp work is that it can sometimes lead to something long-term or permanent. If management likes you and your work skills, they might offer you a permanent job within the company. The website CV Tips suggests checking with the company's human resources department for any available positions. If you do a good job temping and apply for a permanent position, the company already will know you're a hard and efficient worker and might hire you.