Have you ever temped?

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Have you ever temped?

Postby snyder66 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:05 am

I am currently seasonally laid off from my employer. I do not plan on returning, which will be in March. I am looking for a job in a very specific employment area, something in the farm to table food movement. I don't live in Berkley, so, I fear that I will have the same season restraints. I guess what I'm asking is: Will temping in the short term be good or bad for my future prospects? Any experience from anyone? Thanks!
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby bungalow10 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:35 am

I know a few people who have prepared tax returns (H&R Block and others) as temp work. Since you are a Boglehead, it might interest you, and it has a definite end point. It would be easy to explain to a future employer both why you did it and why it ended (tax season is over).

It also sounds like your field might have annual seasonal layoffs, preparing tax returns is something you could reasonably expect to go back to year after year.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby Watty » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:48 pm

Temping, volunteer work, or even taking classes would most likely it would help if it shows what you did with the time.

A gap in a resume can make an interviewer wonder;

1) Was he in a job he got fired from that he left off the resume?
2) Was he in drug rehab?
3) Was he in jail?

Even if it is not real highly skilled work it also shows that you have the "get up and go" to do something instead of just sitting on you rear.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby mlipps » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:43 pm

I've temped in the past, although in a more traditional office setting. For me, it was a good chance to make connections and stay busy. My temporary position led to a full time one, although that's obviously not a guarantee.

Come to think of it, I also "temped" so to speak when I was travelling in Australia last year, as I worked on a (very commercial) large wool farm there for a few months. It's not something I put on my resume, but it is something interesting to talk about and has come in handy in a couple instances in interviews.

As far as what you're thinking of doing, I think it's pretty hard to find paid work in that area with those time constraints. WWOOF is a good place to start looking for volunteer opportunities. It depends of course on what your "real job" is, but I think there's at least some chance that it would help your employment chances in that it would make your resume more interesting and maybe give a prospective employer a different view of you than just traditional employment would. I just looked at the 4 resumes for our finalists for a job my office is hiring for and the ones with more unique employment definitely stand out in my mind.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby Rupert » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:46 pm

I temped during my gap year between undergrad and law school. I actually got a couple of "longterm" (by temp standards), semi-skilled jobs during the year through the temp agency - one with a home nursing company and one in a proof department at a large bank. I was decently paid at both jobs and actually learned a lot about those two industries. It can be a worthwhile experience.
Last edited by Rupert on Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:46 pm

I've temped. In the past, when I could not find full time work, I temped in the field for which I had trained and was pursuing full time employment for. Future employers did not look down on the experience and it actually gave me a leg up on those who had graduated school but had zero work knowledge. If you are planning on temping in a field for which you will seek future full time employment with, I don't think it will hurt especially given the current job market.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby steve roy » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:02 pm

I was a substitute teacher for a few years ... working under an emergency credential. At the time, there were lots of teaching opportunities in Southern California. (This was the early eighties.)

It was kind of a hoot, walking into different classrooms and plunging into a lesson plan. Had a long-term sub job teaching AP History (which gave me the false impression that I could actually teach effectively --it was actually the kids that made me effective. My teaching skills were minimal at that point.)

Later I taught Shakespeare to tenth and twelvth graders. THAT was a challenge, since I had to go through the play ahead of them and figure out what every line meant. I was up late every night trying to stay ahead.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby HongKonger » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:52 pm

I temped every holiday I could through uni. Worked in HR in a utility company, customer service in a credit card company, reception desk in a finance firm and so on. Loved it. Good pay and very clear terms. Practically every company asked me to quit uni and stay with them. No one has ever looked down on it on my resume. It shows adaptability/flexibility and a good work ethic.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby chaz » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:57 pm

I've never temped though at times it seemed a desirable alternative.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby leonard » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:36 pm

Generally, it is better to contract or consult - rather than temp. As a contractor or consultant, you will generally walk away with a higher percentage of the bill rate - what the customer pays to the temp/contract/consulting agency.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby nedsaid » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:49 pm

I temped for almost two years. It helped me get experience in a new career. My last assignment ended up with me getting hired for a permanent job with real benefits!!
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby tibbitts » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:20 am

leonard wrote:Generally, it is better to contract or consult - rather than temp. As a contractor or consultant, you will generally walk away with a higher percentage of the bill rate - what the customer pays to the temp/contract/consulting agency.

I haven't found that at all - they're just different terms for the same thing, although it's kind of rare to refer to hiring a consultant to pack boxes, for example. What matters in percentage of bill rate is partly how many entities are between the worker and the end customer, and partly what services/benefits any agency provides to its employees. Obviously if you contract directly with the end customer, you'll earn, on average, a higher percentage of a lower bill rate. Most customers perceive value in having at least one entity between temp workers and themselves, for various legal/tax reasons, and are likely to pay more for that feature. Generally you don't get a higher rate for creating your own entity (sub-S, etc.), because end customers don't perceive the same value in that.

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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby GracieLou » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:28 pm

Yes! I temped twice and also did a 6 month stint of volunteer work and it didn't hurt at all. In fact, it showed that I was trying to learn new skills and keep old ones dusted off. Now, I only had to worry about me (no family) so it was easier to do this. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I had to. Personally, I would rather temp or volunteer than have a gap in my resume.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby leonard » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:36 pm

tibbitts wrote:
leonard wrote:Generally, it is better to contract or consult - rather than temp. As a contractor or consultant, you will generally walk away with a higher percentage of the bill rate - what the customer pays to the temp/contract/consulting agency.

I haven't found that at all - they're just different terms for the same thing, although it's kind of rare to refer to hiring a consultant to pack boxes, for example. What matters in percentage of bill rate is partly how many entities are between the worker and the end customer, and partly what services/benefits any agency provides to its employees. Obviously if you contract directly with the end customer, you'll earn, on average, a higher percentage of a lower bill rate. Most customers perceive value in having at least one entity between temp workers and themselves, for various legal/tax reasons, and are likely to pay more for that feature. Generally you don't get a higher rate for creating your own entity (sub-S, etc.), because end customers don't perceive the same value in that.

Paul


A contractor and temp are very different work structures and different agreements types of agreements with the end customer. Generally - temp agencies take a much larger cut of the bill rate. I have seen 40 or 50% (yes, not a typo). Contractors (or Consultants) usually get a higher percentage of the bill rate - meaning the companies through which they work keep 10 to 30% (or so). I have seen this percentage as low as <5%. BTW - I have never seen those rates overlap much. Generally, contractors/consultants keep more of the bill rate.

So, from the financial standpoint of the person seeking employment - Temping versus contracting/consulting have very different and the are definitely NOT as you say "they're just different terms for the same thing". Generally, anyone that has a choice between temping and consulting, will be making less if they choose a temp arrangement.
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Re: Have you ever temped?

Postby Noobvestor » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:44 pm

Temping taught me a ton ... mainly about what I didn't want to do with my life, but still, that's invaluable!

In seriousness, though: temping was great for me - rounded out some of my office skills in some cases, or bored me out of my wits in others but never for so long I couldn't stand it. My jobs included: printing out physical copies from microfiche by the thousands for archival purposes, stuffing corporate mailboxes in the basement of a Fortune 500 headquarters while listening to elevator music, data entry and so forth. Some of it provided resume material, other parts didn't, but at least it showed I was continuously employed to the extent that I 'worked for' (or through) the agency for a while.

Paid decently, I have to say, and in the really terrible jobs I got a lot of sympathy/help from the full-timers, who encouraged me to take breaks, ask for assistance if needed, and drink as much coffee as I wanted to stay awake and sane ;) In my case, it meant I didn't get stuck in one ultra-boring job - I at least got to spread it around. And I happened to get paid a bit more than I would have as an entry-level worker in the same positions. And it also meant my 'job' was in less danger, since they really were just bouncing me from one gig to the next. I didn't always have predictable hours from one month to the next, which was the drawback, but *shrug*
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