Rethink Your Career Path: 5 Benefits of Temporary Work

by Contact 1 Inc on April 2, 2024 in Career Advice, Job Search Tips


Today’s job market is all about agility. Gone are the days of a single, linear career path. Today, job seekers are embracing flexibility and exploring diverse opportunities. One increasingly popular option? Temporary and contract work.

According to Upwork’s latest Freelance Forward survey:

  • In 2023, 64 million Americans worked temporary roles—that’s 38% of the workforce. This is up from 60 million in 2022.
  • Contract workers are contributing more to the economy, too. In 2023, they earned a total of $1.27 trillion. Cha-ching!
  • When Upwork began the study in 2014, 53 million people freelanced. Since then, the number of contractors has grown by 1 million people every year on average.
  • Back in 2014, contractors contributed $715 billion to the economy. That means their earnings have increased by 78% in a decade!

While some might initially view temporary positions as a stopgap measure, the reality is quite different. Temporary and contract work can be a powerful tool for achieving your career goals, whether you’re looking to explore new fields, bridge employment gaps, or simply gain valuable experience.

At Contact 1, we understand that navigating the world of temporary work comes with valid questions and concerns. That’s why we’re addressing those worries and empowering you to unlock the full potential of temporary and contract positions. Read on and learn the many benefits this exciting career path has to offer!

5 Reasons to Consider Temporary and Contract Work

Skill Development and Exploration


There’s a misconception that temporary work means doing repetitive tasks, since you’ll likely be filling a company’s temporary hiring needs or covering their short-term absences. While these needs can involve repetitive tasks, the beauty of temporary work lies in its variety. You can gain exposure to diverse projects, work environments, and even other industries within your field.

For example, you might work on a social media campaign for a non-profit one month, and then tackle administrative tasks for a government agency the next. This variety keeps things fresh and allows you to:

  • Refine Existing Skills: Temporary positions often allow you to apply your existing skills in new and challenging ways. Need to brush up on your administrative software proficiency? A temporary contract might be the perfect chance to do so in a real-world setting.
  • Learn New Skills: As you move from role to role, you’ll be exposed to new technologies, tools, and processes. Let’s say you’re interested in becoming a project coordinator. A temporary contract with an education nonprofit could provide valuable hands-on experience in managing educational programs or fundraising initiatives.

One of our recent placements, Sarah, transitioned from a long-term administrative role to a series of temporary contracts. She was able to develop her social media management skills by working with various organizations over the course of two years. Her impressive work during these assignments ultimately landed her a full-time marketing position with one of the companies she did contract work for!

Networking Opportunities

Each new assignment presents an opportunity to connect with a vibrant network of professionals across different organizations. These connections can be pivotal in expanding your network and opening doors to future career opportunities. Here’s how temporary work fosters a thriving network:

  • Meet New People and Expand Your Circle: With new companies comes new colleagues from diverse backgrounds, allowing you to exchange ideas, learn new perspectives, and build lasting connections. The diverse network that temporary work provides can become a source of professional support and career guidance down the line.
  • Make a Lasting Impression: As you consistently change positions, you gain a platform to showcase your skills, work ethic, and positive attitude. Your work may lead to glowing recommendations, referrals, and even the possibility of transitioning into a permanent role within the organization you impress.

Don’t underestimate the power of career platforms like LinkedIn! Connect with colleagues and supervisors from your temporary assignments and, if possible, ask that they endorse your skills. Not only does this keep your network active and reputation credible, but it also allows you to stay informed about potential future opportunities within their organizations.

Bridge the Gap and Stay Competitive

Let’s face it, employment gaps on a resume can raise questions for potential employers. However, temporary work can be a strategic solution to bridge those gaps and keep your resume active and attractive to hiring managers. Here’s how:

  • Continuous Engagement: You have to stay engaged in the workforce and committed to professional development in order to be successful in temporary positions—two characteristics leading companies are always on the lookout for. Even if you’re transitioning between permanent roles, temporary work showcases your initiative and keeps your skills sharp.
  • Highlight Adaptability and In-Demand Skills: By taking on diverse roles, you demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to embrace new challenges. These are also highly sought-after qualities in today’s job market.
  • Contact 1 Expertise: Our team of experienced recruiters is skilled at positioning temporary work on your resume in a way that highlights your strengths. We’ll focus on the skills you developed and the projects you tackled during each temporary assignment, ensuring your resume remains relevant and showcases your capabilities to potential employers.

Also, don’t just list temporary positions as simple dates on your resume. Take advantage of the space to showcase your accomplishments! Briefly highlight key projects you worked on, skills you developed, and any notable achievements during each assignment. That way, you’ll demonstrate the value you brought to each role and strengthen your professional narrative.

Work-Life Balance and Schedule Control

The traditional 9-to-5 workday isn’t for everyone—and that’s okay! Temporary work offers a refreshing alternative, often featuring schedules that cater to your individual needs.

  • Flexible Schedules: Many temporary positions offer part-time or project-based schedules, allowing you to manage personal commitments with greater ease. Need time for childcare pickups or evening classes? Temporary work can provide the flexibility to make it happen.
  • Remote Work Opportunities: Remote work extends to many temporary roles as well. Imagine working on a government contract from the comfort of your home office, eliminating the daily commute and saving valuable time. With contracting, that could be your reality!
  • Work-Life Harmony: Whether it’s pursuing a side hustle, volunteering for a cause you care about, or simply spending more time with family, temporary work empowers you to create a work schedule that complements your life.

Temporary work can also be a great option for individuals seeking a brief career break. Maybe you’re planning a sabbatical or extended travel. Contracting allows you to maintain your professional network and keep your skills sharp while you take some time for yourself. Then, when you’re ready to re-enter the workforce full-time, you’ll have a recent project to showcase on your resume—it’s a win-win!

Financial Security and Potential

Temporary and contract work can offer a surprising financial advantage. While pay structures can vary depending on the position and required skills, many temporary roles offer competitive pay rates, often exceeding salaries in traditional full-time roles. This makes temporary work an attractive option for several reasons:

  • Supplement Income: If you’re in between permanent positions or seeking additional pay, temporary work can provide a steady stream of income while you continue your job search. With a greater level of financial security, you can focus on finding the perfect long-term opportunity without feeling pressured to accept a role that doesn’t align with your goals.
  • Explore Higher-Paying Opportunities: Temporary positions can be a gateway to higher-paying fields. Consider an aspiring executive assistant with a passion for social good. A temporary executive assistant role at a nonprofit organization can provide invaluable exposure to the inner workings of a mission-driven environment. This newfound expertise can translate to a higher-paying permanent position later on, allowing you to leverage your temporary experience into a significant career advancement.

Additionally, negotiation is key! Contract positions often offer some flexibility when it comes to pay rates. Don’t be afraid to leverage your skills and experience to negotiate a rate that reflects the value you bring to the table.

If you’re not sure how to navigate pay conversations, the Contact 1 team provides guidance and coaching throughout the negotiation process, making sure you feel confident and prepared to secure a competitive rate for your temporary assignment.

Find Your Perfect Fit With Contact 1

Here at Contact 1, we have over 35 years of experience placing qualified individuals in exciting temporary roles within government agencies and non-profit organizations in the DMV area and beyond.

Our approach is all about you. We take the time to understand your unique skills, experience, and career goals. Then, we leverage our network and industry expertise to match you with the perfect opportunity that aligns with your aspirations.

Temporary work is a strategic steppingstone to your dream job. Let Contact 1 be your guide on the path to success!

Ready to explore the exciting world of contracting? Contact our team today and let’s find your perfect fit!