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Crowdstaffing featured as Rising Star and Premium Usability HR platform in 2019

Crowdstaffing has earned the prestigious 2019 Rising Star & Premium Usability Awards from FinancesOnline, a popular B2B software review platform. This recognition is given out annually to products[...]

May 13, 2019

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Can Working a Temp Job Make You a Better Person?

The holidays are here, and things are getting busy. This time of year, the air seems to buzz with a sort of frenetic energy. It’s a time for catching up with family and friends, a time of music and merriment, and no matter which holiday you celebrate, it probably means it’s time for some good food. But amidst the colorful lights and bustling city streets, there’s another side to the festivities - a calmer, more pensive side.

December is an introspective month. We tend to get a bit sentimental. We make New Year’s resolutions to be healthier or to be better about staying in touch with family. We look forward to the next year and plan ways to improve our lives. Perhaps compelled by the somber weather or the promise of new beginnings, we all get pretty inspired to become better people. Strangely enough, one of the ways we can become better people is through work – though it might not be the type of work you’d think.

Job-Hopping Might be a Good Thing

Back in the day, changing jobs was a big no-no. But these days, job security has taken on a different meaning, and in some cases, job-hopping is actually encouraged. Whether feeling stagnant in a position with limited growth or simply wanting to try something new, people change jobs for a variety of reasons. Hence the popularity of contingent work. One study by the American Staffing Association shows that roughly 3 million temporary and contract employees clock in each week. The gig economy is flourishing, too, and by 2020, the self-employed may make up an estimated 43% of the workforce.

So, what’s with this new paradigm shift? Part of it is due to changing priorities and a younger workforce. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement, and younger generations value personal growth, flexibility, and culture fit over job tenure. Employers really have no choice but to accommodate those needs if they want to find the best candidates. Years ago, a traditional employer would’ve frowned upon a resume that had a list of temporary jobs or freelance gigs. Now, though, having a healthy variety of jobs on your resume might indicate that you’re a skilled employee and a well-rounded person – which makes you a very strong candidate.

Temp Jobs Build Character That’s Hard to Find Elsewhere

If you’ve worked a temp job before, you might simply look at it as a paycheck or a way to get your foot in the door for a more permanent position. And that’s fine, because temp jobs totally do both of those things. But there’s also an added benefit that goes on behind the scenes: they make you a better person.

  • They teach you how to set and achieve your goals. As we mentioned earlier, people tend to set a lot of goals for themselves during this time of year. Come March, though, most of us will have heard plenty of tales of broken New Year resolutions. Why? It could be because the goal itself wasn’t quite feasible, or it could be due to a lack of motivation. Achieving a goal requires research, planning, and determination – all skills that you learn as a temp worker on the hunt for the next job.

  • They improve your work ethic. Tenacity and industriousness are natural byproducts of working in an environment where your job has an expiration date. You learn how to get things done, and how to get them done quickly. Contingent workers often must fight against being seen as expendable, as well, and thus are more likely to be over-achievers in the workplace.

  • They expand both hard and soft skill sets. Like, by a lot. It’s easy to imagine how working several different jobs over the course of the year can expand your hard skills. Maybe you become a G Suite guru at one job and an MS Office master at the next. But your soft skills get a big boost, too. Things like collaboration, problem-solving, and creative thinking can only be learned through experience, and they’re all skills that employers value highly.

  • They encourage empathy and open your mind. Temp workers and the people that employ them come from all walks of life. As you move from job to job, you’ll work with many different people who have many different perspectives. Not only will this teach you to understand others, but it will also help you form a robust and unbiased view of the world. And those are pretty important traits.

  • They foster a sense of self-worth and build confidence. Learning new skills is a great way to move up in the world, job-wise, but it’s also a great way to grow as a person. You know that “YES! I’m awesome!” feeling you get when you finally figure out how to beat the super annoying level in your favorite game? That’s a feel-good chemical response to your brain (quite literally) growing. Thanks to neurogenesis and dopamine, we’re not just able to learn new skills, we’re also rewarded for learning them. Over time, learning can make us happier, healthier, and more confident. You know, science stuff.

  • They teach you how to pinpoint your professional wants and needs. Working a temp job is probably one of the fastest ways to figure out what you want from a job. Maybe you’ll find out that you do better in an office setting than working remotely. Or perhaps you’ll decide that a certain industry isn’t for you after all. It’s similar to romantic relationships in that the variety of experiences help you identify the characteristics that suit you best. Then, when and if the time comes to settle down, you can be confident that you made the right choice.

Expanding Your Horizons, One Job at a Time

Gone are the days of being confined to the same job for decades on end (unless you want to be, of course). Having a diverse work history builds character and promotes self-awareness. It teaches you how to evaluate what you want, then how to go out there and get it. Most importantly, it helps you grow and become a better person, both professionally and socially. So, this holiday season, when you’re feeling sentimental and reflecting on ways to grow as a person, why not think about trying a new job? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that everyone should work a temp job at some point in their lives…

Wait, I guess maybe I am.

 

 

 

 

 

Casey Enstrom
Casey Enstrom
I am passionate about helping business leaders adopt crowd-based hiring solutions to hire the best talent. Through a comprehensive workforce and staffing programs assessment, I help identify areas of opportunity where having a hiring marketplace with a curated network of staffing agencies & independent recruiters​ could dramatically impact results.
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