With corporations paying more attention to shareholder greed than work-related PTSD claims filed by the minions making the profits happen, keeping lean has seduced many a company into replacing full-time folks with temporary employees long before the latest recession. In fact, anyone would be hard pressed to find a single company, no matter its size, not taking full advantage of the temporary work force, or as freelance techies like to call themselves, the Contingent contractor. Whatever.
Simply stated, temps in the previous century had proven to be of tremendous value versus the lazier, in-house crowd, and the reason was obvious: The temp of the past was a willing participant to be obliterated by immediate and unreasonable demands based on the belief that the employer-du-jour could hand the temp an e-ticket to easy street with a steady income and some measure of security. The temp of the past was also a willing participant in accepting birdseed as pay, always a measly fraction of what the permanent employee might be making annually – with zero benefits.
That was then – this is now.
In 2014 alone, the number of temporary employees soared to an all-time high. According to published reports, ADECCO, one of the largest staffing agencies in the United States, had an average of 650,000 temps on payroll with 100,000 client companies. What does this mean to you? Plenty.
Temping offers an amazing opportunity to explore an enormous array of diversity as well as securing marginal stability while still leaving plenty of elbowroom for a flexible, fun-filled schedule. What’s more, where health insurance, holiday pay, and vacation time were exclusively reserved for the permanent employee, understand what a difference a movement makes.
The temp force is expected to grow by 15% each year with a whopping 49% of employers stating that they will be hiring temps in 2016, which is why a majority of temp agencies are reaching well beyond the normal scope of marketing to attract those looking to join the rank and file in this exploding market. This includes offering the exact same perks presented by major corporations to its permanent staff – and that includes more money! Yes, today’s temp can actually negotiate his or her hourly rate. Agencies are even sending out recreational vehicles to college campuses and job fairs, snapping up potential temps wherever they can. And why wouldn’t they?
The fact is, temps are no longer the ugly stepchildren of corporations brought in to answer a phone, type a letter, make coffee, or help with the big filing projects. Nope, temps today have become a sizzling commodity, especially those with extensive social media skills. In addition, temporary agencies are one of the fastest growing service providers in the U.S., with Manpower being one of the largest employers in the world. What started out as a simple and basic purpose to hire a substitute slave for a single day — or many — for the most menial of tasks, has turned into a wildly profitable industry, $115 billion as of 2014 to be exact.
BUT – chances are you are NOT reading this blog to be bored stiff learning statistics of companies benefiting from your sweat and aching back. You are reading this blog for the benefit of numero uno – you! So, whether you are an untrained divorce’, recent grad, or even a recent parolee, your future is about to change, big time. And as any warrior knows – going into battle is all about mental preparation and attitude adjustment.
1. Shed the labels.
We ourselves have endured horrid names – Corporate Orphan, His Girl Friday Night, Seat-warmer, Inept eye-candy, you name it. Not to mention some nasty whispers overheard in the lunch room to our lack of efficiency or perceived intellectual challenges. Not you! The new you IS hotter than a fireplace poker on a winter night, and you are certainly eligible to relish in some of the more favorable titles being adopted by the Official Temp – Freelancer, Staffing Associate, Specialist, Independent Contractor, Free-spirited God. These are the respectable names you can take home to mom and dad without getting blank stares and questions, such as “a what?”
Whatever you choose to call yourself, own it.
2. Bury the Limitations
We all have our limitations, and unfortunately a history. That is inescapable. There isn’t a one among us who hasn’t tried on their own to stalk for the dream job through outdated sources online, and failed miserably. In truth, trying it solo rarely works and if by some miracle it does, by the time you finally receive an offer for fulltime employment, not engaging in some exciting temp positions first, desperation for income will overpower any rational judgment and you’ll end up stuck once again in another horrid situation. Where’s the fun in that? Nowhere, that’s where.
The bottom line is simple: You need to retain certain luxuries in life that you’ve grown ever so fond of, which might include, say, a roof over your head and occasionally putting something in the fridge from Trader Joe’s, so remember this –
We are here for you! Allow us to guide you step by step, post by post, on how to shine and tower above the rest. Take our hand and follow us through all stages of becoming the ultimate Temp, an Official Temp.
From haircuts to handbags, neckties to etiquette, eye contact to thank you notes, if you name it, you’ll learn it here, the RIGHT way. We can even teach you how to negotiation your own salary, and even a possible parking space. Remember – it’s all about angles.
So let’s roll.
For the seasoned employee looking to retake the market for a career change at the advanced age of, oh, say 34, and is worried about competition from the new grad – know this. The playing field is about evenly leveled between retreads and fresh-faced college students. Statistics always make us feel better, so here are a couple for you:
- Only 15 to 30% of today’s graduates actually hold in their hungry little palm an offer of employment upon gown day.
- The remaining 70%-plus will be forced into temping while searching for the dream job their parents promised would be there if they attended college in the first place.