• What Our Interns Actually Think of Temporary Jobs: Ben

    by Benjamin Lim

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    Wondering if it's better to take up a temp job during your break or slack off at home?

    Have you considered how temp jobs will keep you away from your mom's constant nagging and give you cash at the same time? Still unsure if you'll be able to stick with a temp job in Singapore over the holidays? 

    Let our intern Ben give you his opinion on those dreaded temp and part-time holiday jobs you keep hearing about. 

    Perk 1: Getting to try a little bit of everything! From F&B to sophisticated Government positions! 

    Ben: Most youths don't realize that temporary jobs are good additions to their CVs. Temporary jobs allow you to try your hand at a variety of positions in various industries, allowing you to discover your true passion. Short positions can also be beneficial for those with clear career aspirations. Personally, I've (Ben) had friends who changed their career path after a short working stint at an industry they thought they'd enjoy working in. 

    After working, you may start to have thoughts such as "I dislike this job" or "I don't feel like coming into work today". Even if you realize that you do not enjoy the job after your temporary experience, that knowledge can help you gain a better understanding to help you align yourself to your true career path. 

    Life is often about trying things out and figuring what you don't to be when you grow up. Only by getting your hands dirty will you figure out what you like and dislike; which should help you discover your true aspirations. 

    Perk #2: Learning New Skills 

    Ben: Those without any working experience will find the workforce a scary and daunting place. I find that junior temporary positions are a great way for newbies to gain beneficial work experience as well as learn some of the skills (e.g communication, teamwork, time management, and critical thinking skills) to help you in your future career. 

    To some, these skills may seem like common sense. However, putting them into practice at the workplace can help you identify some of the areas you may....suck at. Before entering the workforce, I thought that I possessed the skills needed to succeed at a job. It was only when I did my first ever administrative work that I realized I am prone to making silly mistakes such as shredding stapled documents in the shredder or forgetting to return ICs (scary!) to customers after scanning them. Obviously, I was reprimanded by my supervisor but I am glad that I made those mistakes at a younger age instead of my first permanent job, which would have been mortifying. 

    Some companies will also provide formal on the job training which you can learn from. Depending on the company, some may place you on large projects (add them to your portfolio!) or teach you some IT and software skills which would be a valuable addition to your resume. 

    Perk #3: Getting to Test the Waters at Your Dream Company 

    Ben: Ever had a dream company you wanted to work ever since you're young? Well, working at your dream company, even if it is temporary can be a great way to make connections with some of the key players in the company. In some cases, you may even get your foot through the door. Additionally, some businesses may also use a “temp-to-perm” hiring practice where they'd evaluate the candidate's on the job performance to determine whether or not the candidate is perfect for the position. 

    Perk #4: No Money? No Problem.

    Ben: Temporary jobs are a great way to earn extra income both for those still studying or those currently on the lookout for a permanent position (plus, your girlfriend/mom/friends won't bug you for always being broke!). Having some form of income and a job will also give you a morale boost, allowing you to believe that you were perfectly capable of landing a job but the right opportunity has yet to come. 

    Taking up temporary jobs during stretches of unemployment can also help fill in those gaps in your resume, allowing employers to see that you're a hard-working individual with skills in an assortment of industries. 

    For young students who actively search for temporary jobs or internships during their school breaks, employers would be more impressed by the drive of young individuals who choose to gain working experience while their peers are enjoying their break.

    Perk #5: Gain contacts for your professional network

    Ben: Just because you're working at a temporary job doesn't mean that meaningful connections cannot be forged. Performing well on the job and getting along with your colleagues allows you to leave the company well-liked and on good terms. There are major advantages to networking. Firstly, these contacts could serve as references during your future job searches. Alternatively, you may even land a permanent position in the company - should the position become available in the future. If there's one pro-tip I can leave it's that you should never underestimate the importance of putting in your best efforts even while working in a temporary position. 

    Perk #6: Flexible work hours! 

    Ben: Is your mother/girlfriend/dog or cat take up a large part of your life? Temporary employment is the perfect job solution for you. Most temp positions allow you to choose your preferred schedule, allowing you to plan your daily life without dancing to the tune and demands that a permanent job commands. In fact, there has been a rise in temporary and contract positions as millennials are currently looking for flexible work arrangements even if it comes with lower salaries. 

    Final Thoughts

    Ben: With all the benefits attached to a temporary job, there is definitely a position out there that suits the schedule of even the most reluctant of students who don't want to waste their precious school holiday on a job. I too was once a young and lazy student who only wanted to have fun and play games all day long - even while on break. But after trying out my first temp job at the young age of 17, I realize that sacrificing a few hours at work in exchange for new friends, a great job experience, and money was a good trade-off. I hope that you guys will choose to make the first move and plunge into the working world with a great temp position! Good luck everyone! 

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