Avoiding Appearance of Desperation When Seeking Temp Work

Catherine writes:
I am unemployed and trying to get temporary work to stay marketable and pay my
bills until the right full-time position is offered to me! I plan to attend a career fair
for sales/marketing jobs and want your input on how to sell myself as a potential temp
part-timer freelancer to get my foot in the door for full-time employment. How do I come
across as not desperate when my unemployment will be running out in a month or so
and I need to start a job right away?

The Career Doctor responds:
First let me reinforce the positive steps you are taking. You are attending career fairs
talking to temporary-staffing agencies and are flexible about taking a temporary job
as a stepping stone to a career change and a more permanent position.
When you work for a temp agency you are assigned to go out and do various kinds
of work at client companies for varying lengths of time — as short as a few hours a
few days a couple of weeks all the way up to several months or longer.
Job-hunting is tough. The current job market is still quite frustrating. We’ve seen a lot
of new job creation but many of them are lower-wage positions. But guess where the
other new jobs are? They are temporary positions as businesses hedge their bets on
whether they need to re(hire) more full-time permanent employees or meet the increase
in demand with temporary positions.
Not only do you need a job to pay your bills but you also need the necessary experience
to make your career change into marketing and sales… so the key is finding the temp
agency that has the types of clients and jobs that fit your needs. Most communities
have numerous staffing firms so call around and find the one that best fits you.
And when you attend career fairs or go on interviews the key is to sell yourself — your
unique mix of education accomplishments and (transferable) skills. Don’t think about
your benefits running out don’t think about whether there could be more qualified job-seekers
out there. Instead focus on the positive. If you are desperate employers will spot it a mile
Once you get placed on a temporary assignment that you enjoy your next step is working
your way to a full-time offer from the employer. You can attempt to accomplish this feat
by becoming invaluable by networking with co-workers and bosses and by taking advantage
of every opportunity (to shine) that comes your way.
Find lots of great resources including several articles on temping in this section of
Quintessential Careers: Temping
Resources for Job-Seekers

800-652-8430 Mon- Fri 8am - 8pm CST
Sat 8am - 5pm CST, Sun 10am - 6pm CST