As weeks turn into months on the unemployment rolls, job seekers face new obstacles, including a gap in employment that can be hard to explain to prospective employers and the perception that their technical skills have grown stale. The challenge was recently discussed on the Dice Discussions board, as one job seeker wrote that he feared his prolonged hiatus would decrease his marketability. Job seekers can avoid these problems by working temporary gigs, which can fill the gap between full-time jobs and provide you with a paycheck, as you wait for the full-time job market to rally.
When a recession begins, IT contractor positions are often cut before full-time workers are laid off, but the market for contractors historically rebounds first as the economy recovers. This trend appears to be underway once again, as IT staffing firm executives reported a surge in business during August, which was the second month in a row that the demand for contractors increased, according to data collected by Staffing Industry Analysts and reported by Reuters.
And temping won’t affect your ability to collect unemployment should your temp assignment end before you find a full-time job, because contractors are usually eligible for unemployment benefits. You could also learn new technologies on a temp assignment, make new contacts and receive an offer to go full-time as the economy improves.
You could look for freelance gigs on your own, but working through a staffing agency will help you find work quickly and you won’t have to hassle with invoicing, collecting payments or changing your tax status. And if you have to take a lower-level position, doing so on a contract basis won’t pose the same problems as taking a downgraded full-time job; which might set your career back permanently.
If you’ve been out of work for at least three months, now might be the perfect time to take a temp assignment to bridge the gap before your land your next full-time job.