It happens to the best of us. Suddenly, you are no longer gainfully employed. You have been laid off, or perhaps involuntarily terminated. Whatever it is that has happened, you suddenly find yourself in need of a job. In the meantime, you have bills to worry about paying, and somehow, you’re supposed to find another job as quickly as possible. But how? Sometimes, months can go by without you finding another job, which can lead you into a situation where employers want a good reason for why you have not been employed for so long. Having a record of unemployment on your resume can be undaunting. You find that you always have to explain yourself.
What if I told you that this can be avoided? What if I told you that you don’t have to be unemployed while seeking out another position? There is a way to manage it.
Working as a temp for a temp agency is a great way to earn money while you are short on cash and unemployed. First, there is an enormous psychological benefit to still being productive every day rather than sitting at home trying to figure out how to get work. Not only that, with a temporary agency, you can accept work with less commitment. Some gigs last only a week or more, while others can last for months. Temporary work can also provide opportunities to learn new skills and to network. You may even find a new permanent position through your temporary job. Partnering with a staffing agency that places employees into temporary positions in your line of work is a great way to get back on track with your career. If you lack a firm idea of what you want to do next, temporary employment can allow you the opportunity to sample different career pathways and perhaps find something new that your would like to do.
What about your unemployment benefits?
Each state has different unemployment laws, but in general, your benefits will typically be reduced or eliminated while you work as a temp, depending on the level of pay at your temporary job. If you earn less than the amount of your unemployment benefits, you should still be entitled to the difference between your temp pay and the amount of your unemployment benefits. When your temp job ends, you should be able to either continue your existing unemployment claim or open a new claim depending on your eligibility. If your benefit period has expired, you will need to reapply for unemployment. Your benefits will generally be based on the preceding period of temporary work.
How do you find temp work?
The Internet is a great way to identify temporary jobs and the agencies that offer them. You may search on websites that specifically list temporary positions or go to a search engine on the web and include “temp” or “temporary” in the search. Some of the better known job boards that post temporary positions are: Monster.com, Indeed.com, Careerbuilder.com, SnagAJob.com and Net-Temps.com. It is also beneficial to check your local resources, like online classifieds or Job Service.
Worried that working a temp job will take away from your time trying to find a full-time job?
While it is often said that finding a full-time job can take as much time as a full-time job, I don’t believe that this is necessarily true. Initially, you may find yourself overwhelmed with creating an updated resume, networking and online job searching; this initial phase of unemployment won’t last. There are a finite amount of contacts and leads to develop; as such, you will find that time spent on this exercise will dwindle. This is when you can start finding a temp job to fill your days. Taking time off to interview shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you let your temp agency, or temp employer, know that you need some time off. They may even support you, knowing you’re seeking full-time work.