Starting a career in the temporary world boosts skills

Summer is right around the corner, and if you are looking to earn extra money, temporary work may be right for you. With the unemployment rate at a 30-year low, college students are in demand. Temporary services are typically able to keep students busy all summer, offer a variety of choice assignments and you can start as early as your freshman year.

The most popular requests of temporary services are for strong administrative skills and a professional work ethic and attitude. The most requested software packages are Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, Excel, Power Point and Access database in addition to Internet skills for research projects. Regardless of the position, you will have to be computer savvy.

Temporary work is an excellent way to build your skills through the summer months and gain valuable work experience for after graduation. By working as a temporary employee, you can experience several different types of companies and a variety of work responsibilities.

Kathryn Harris, a senior at GW majoring in International Affairs said, “Temporary work has been beneficial in that I have been able to work in a variety of offices in Washington, D.C. It has helped me to be exposed in a general sense, to a lot of different kinds of companies in size, politics and the nature of what they do.” She added that her staffing service “has been really flexible in working with me since I am only available on Fridays.”

Working as a temporary will guarantee you summer income and may lead to employment during the school year. Temporary work may also expose you to possibilities in your field or open up possibilities you may not have considered.

Having done temporary work, you’ll have many contacts around the Washington area and a staffing consultant within your staffing firm to assist you with the start of your interviewing program. Many temporary opportunities can develop into full time careers.

Choosing the right temporary serviceFirst, be sure the service evaluates your skills. The more you can do, the more options you’ll have for temporary employment. Make sure they are flexible with you schedule. You should be able to choose the days you want to work.

Next, identify a service that will help you to increase your skills. Several services offer free or paid training programs that you can use in their offices. By increasing your skills, you increase the options you have for employment and the number of assignments that are open for you.

Finally, ask for referrals, question the service about their experience placing college students and graduates and be sure they have a track record of your kind of placements.

Temporary work will get you through difficulties of less-than-confident times. Use this time to build your skills and your confidence.

Bernadette Gilson, CPC is Vice President of TSi Temporary Staffing inc. a full-service staffing firm in Washington, D.C.Laura Arbelaez is a 1995 graduate of GW with a BA in psychology, currently working as the Staffing Coordinator for TSi Temporary Staffing, inc.

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