Some see it as a stepping stone, others as a lifeline. Temporary jobs vary in type and number, but there remains a reality: whether to bounce between two jobs, give meaning to your life or get out of a bad situation, they are still a sensible solution to get a foot in the door of the coveted company and quickly get out of unemployment.
Sylvain left his job as a biochemistry research professional in a Quebec university in the spring of 2017. He lived on his savings for a few months, then it became clear it was time to return to the job market. Problem: despite his doctorate, no one in research would talk to him at all. “After an umpteenth poorly paid contract, financial precariousness convinced me I had to find something more secure,” he confides.
Though overqualified, he applied for jobs as a laboratory technician and found a job in a factory, to replenish his bank account. He then found a job as a clerk in a bookstore. “I thought this rather easy work would put bread on the table and give me time to think about my career,” he says.
A gateway into the company
It wasn’t a bad idea. It is shared by many workers who want to get out of unemployment. “A temporary job is an excellent first stepping stone,” says William Bérubé, recruitment adviser and shareholder with Groupe Perspective, an employment and recruitment company operating in Quebec City, Montreal and Lévis.
For this recruitment professional, a temporary job is ideal, especially for someone who has been off the job market for a long time. “It’s a good school,” he emphasizes, while pointing out that a temporary job can quickly become a full time job if the worker is considered competent.
An opportunity to prove your worth
As an example, he often sees candidates get a foot in the door of a company by accepting a one-year maternity leave, which then opens on another job that has become available. “It’s the best way to see the possibilities.”
For their part, employers see a golden opportunity to test a new recruit without having to commit to the long term. As Generation X and Y workers shun “life” jobs, staying on average three years in a single position, staff turnover offers many opportunities for those looking for a job.
Easier access to employment
Temporary employment lets you not only get a taste of the job of your dreams, but also represents a quick solution to get out of unemployment, William Bérubé believes. “Employers who have an urgent need to fill are less severe in their criteria,” he points out. Among others, some companies shorten the recruitment process and reduce training time.
Obviously, a temporary job is not always the most satisfying. Packaging books in his bookstore, Sylvain dreams of a job that he is more interested in. Nonetheless, he remains convinced that he has the opportunity to start anew.