Is it ever a good idea to take a temporary position instead of holding out for a full-time position? Sometimes this provides the perfect opportunity to test drive a new career. If you are seeking to make a significant career change but are not landing the positions you dream about because you lack the required experience, maybe a temporary position is your ticket to success.
Gain Relevant Experience – Given the opportunity to gain relevant experience in a new field or industry, go for it. Be clear about your goals and seek every possible opportunity to gain experience and exposure. Do the work you are assigned very well and then offer assistance with additional projects. Demonstrate your interest and passion for the work and your willingness to do whatever needs to be done.
Network as much as Possible – It is always easier to network from inside the organization. Meet as many people as possible for lunch or coffee to learn more about what they do in the organization, their path to their current position, critical skills for success and more. Let people know this is work you hope to do longer term. Learn as much as you can while you are there.
Track Your Accomplishments – You are gaining valuable experience so keep track of your accomplishments. This will be critical in updating your resume to reflect this experience.
Become a “go to” Resource – Deliver high quality work that is accurate and on time. Go the extra mile where ever possible do demonstrate added value. Become the individual they turn to when something just needs to be done. Strive to be such a valuable member of the team that they can’t imagine working without you.
Maximize Opportunities – Be open to opportunities within the organization and be flexible. Consider extending the temporary assignment if that option is offered and you are continuing to gain valuable experience. Do not assume that your temporary position assures you a full-time position down the road. Demonstrate your appreciation for the opportunity and pick up on the signals so you know when you need to ramp up your external job search.
Test driving a new role or industry builds valuable transferable skills that will help you land your full-time position. It also helps confirm you interest in working in the new field. While taking a temporary position may feel like an off ramp on your career journey it may give you the experience to move full speed ahead.