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As soon as the pink slips began making the rounds and shortly after the recession came with many uncertainties, many job seekers discovered the benefits of a temp job. For a lot of people, these were their first experiences with those positions that had predefined time parameters.  In many ways, it felt like a double edged sword. It was income with a catch. But are there more benefits to a temp job than it simply serving as a bridge between more permanent positions? A. Harrison Barnes says a lot has changed in the traditional temp position and those changes mean an attractive pull for those looking for something new and different.

Barnes, who is a career coach and founder of, says the stereotype of temp jobs being synonymous with clerical positions could mean some are missing opportunities they don’t even know are available.  “Many employers are taking their time with transitioning back to their business as usual hiring mentality; as a result, there are a lot of jobs in nearly ever profession that are being sold to candidates as a temporary position.” But that’s not all. “Often, employers commit to hiring a candidate as a temporary employee not because the job itself is short term, but because it allows an easy – and legal – out in case their candidate isn’t a good fit”, says Barnes. “Once the right candidate is found, it’s easy to offer a permanent position to him and bring the candidate on board, complete with company benefits that part time and temp employees aren’t eligible for.”

Another reason job seekers don’t attempt to pursue temporary positions is because they believe the pay won’t be worth the effort. That, says A. Harrison Barnes, is another misconception. It’s more often one discovers an impressive salary than he is disappointed with a low figure. Some professionals are concerned about filling a temp position and providing permanent money-saving solutions to a company that will be in place long after his services are no longer needed. It’s all about perspective, though. After all, how permanent are any of our jobs? The recession, says the founder, taught all of us that nothing is as secure as we think it is – even our career choices. Think of it this way: giving any position our best effort is good career karma. You never know when that one idea is going to be what propels you forward. Even if you’re not offered a full time position, you have an excellent reference and an additional accomplishment to add to your resume.

We don’t always get the opportunity to step into our dream position and then shape it as we go; sometimes the biggest rewards are in those roles that we believe are the most unbending only to discover the experience and learning curve shapes us. Before you automatically dismiss those job openings that are listed as temporary, at least give it a fair shake and apply. It could become the perfect position that you spend the rest of your working years in.

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