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Should I Job Search While Temping?

Ask Savvy: Should I Job Search While Temping?

Dear Savvy,

I'm not sure how common this is, but right now, I'm a temp at my current job. When I started this assignment it was supposed to end on Aug. 31, but it was extended to Oct. 31, and a few days ago I found out the status of my temp assignment was changed to indefinite. I'm happy that I'll be working past Oct. 31, and they said that there might be a possibility for my assignment to change to a permanent position.

While I would be happy if my temp assignment becomes permanent, it's not set in stone. What my question is, do I keep looking for jobs? I haven't really had a chance to look for jobs since I'm working 40 hours a week, and I always assumed that I would start looking again when my assignment ended. Now that there's no concrete end to the assignment, what do I do? Keep looking for a permanent job, or just wait and see with the temp position?

Savvy says: It's highly common for companies to extend temporary assignments like yours. Find out my tips for how to proceed when you



When you're working a temporary job, your supervisors fully expect that you're simultaneously looking for another, more permanent position. There's nothing sneaky about it — you're called a temp for a reason. Instead of passively waiting around for your current employer to tell you how much longer your services will be in demand, consider how you'd ideally like the situation to play out.

Go to your supervisor and discuss your desire to work at the company in a permanent role, and ask her what you can do to make this a reality. If you don't speak up about your interest to transition into a permanent employee, then the company doesn't know whether or not you're just waiting it out until something better comes along. There's a good chance the employer might not be able to give you straight answer about your future there, but it's still a good idea for you to be up-front about your desire to be there long-term, so they understand you want more than just a temp job.

You have at least another month on-board with your current employer, but I suggest taking the steps to look for a permanent position somewhere else by updating your resume and searching for work that appeals to you. Keep your options open, so that you're in control of your career path.

Have a question for me? Ask away by posting your questions in my Ask Savvy group.

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Join The Conversation
Advah Advah 7 years
Look for other jobs! Even if you get an interview and if they offer you the job, you don't *have* to take it if your temping position becomes permanent. See that as being prepared in case they decide to not keep you; it's always good to know what opportunities are out there. Finally, finding a job can take time. Sometimes you send a CV and people call you the same day, but very often with the application deadline and interview process, it can take up to a couple of months between the moment you apply for the job and the moment you actually get it. Plus, you might hear about a position you hadn't thought of before but you'd be perfect for!
starofsorrow starofsorrow 7 years
Thanks!!! There's also one other thing I haven't mentioned...they did bring up the possibility of making the job permanent, but they needed to talk with the powers that be first and see what they say. As soon as there's a confirmed end date or permanent position change, they'd call us in for another meeting. (I'm actually working with a few other temps). I'll go ahead and keep looking for an position that I can interview for in the meantime. :) Zivanod - If I'm not mistaken, the temps are considered contract employees because we're not paid directly by the company that we work at...rather, we're paid via our temp agency. I could be wrong, though!
Zivanod Zivanod 7 years
That's interesting. I don't know what it's like in your state, but in Ontario, if someone was worked in a position as a temporary full time employee for more then 3 months, legally the company must make that person a full time employee with all the benefits full time employees receive. The only exception to the rule is contract employees. Maybe check your state law to see if something similar is in place? Regardless, try to get a solid answer from your boss/manager in regards to your job status. Perhaps he/she will understand your predicament and won't mind you looking while employed.
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