Temping, part-time work options for desperate job seekers

Posted: Monday, August 07, 2006

You need to work - and you need to work now. Don't let your quest for full-time employment keep you from paying the rent, especially when part-time employment is available.

A part-time job can offer some structure to your day and supply you with some extra cash. Taking a part-time job can also be beneficial to your career - you'll gain new skills and make new contacts. Taking a part-time job within your field is the best choice, but there are benefits even to a part-time job out of your profession or industry.

"If other opportunities become available to you, and they're just not for your target role, try to shift your mindset and focus on the transferable skills you will be using and building - then sell your experience from that angle going forward," says Susan Eckert, principal of Advance Career & Professional Development in Brightwaters, N.Y. "The damage introduced by having to briefly take a detour in your career can be mitigated by taking something as close as possible to your target role or that allows you to build transferable competencies."

Alisa Cohn, an executive and career coach based in Brookline, Mass., advises taking a part-time advises taking a part-time position in sales - in telephone sales, retail or inside sales - even if you've never been attracted to sales before.

"You learn so much in the process of learning how to sell. You'll learn about communication skills and people skills, which are immediately transferable to another job," Cohn says. "You can even discover something you're good at."

Approach the search for a part-time job the same way you would a full-time job - use customized resumes and cover letters, research the companies you interview with and tap into your personal network.

"Sometimes your friends and your network don't know that you're looking for part-time work in addition to full-time work, so you should clue them into that, because opportunities can come through them," Cohn says.

Temping an option

Temporary agencies today offer positions in a variety of professions - from administrative work to information technology, healthcare to specialized legal services. Taking a temporary job can help you keep your skills sharp and introduce you to new ones. It can also help you make new contacts and try out new companies.

A temporary job can also often lead to a permanent one.

"There have been many companies who have laid off workers or had hiring freezes, but they have special projects that need to be done, so they get approval for temporary or contract workers," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam, a national temporary staffing agency based in Menlo Park, Calif. "So there are companies hiring more of these temporary workers, and, as the economy is turning, these people can become full-time employees."

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