Freelance Work: What is a Temp Job?

Lesson 3: What is a Temp Job?


What is a temp job?

With competition in the job market continuing to rise, it's important to know what alternative employment is available. Aside from permanent work, there are a number of options in the gig economy, including temp jobs. These are short-term jobs that can be obtained through working with a temp agency. Instead of hiring permanent employees to meet their needs or work on projects, some businesses work with temp agencies to hire workers for a limited amount of time. For more information on temp agencies, review our lesson on temp agencies.

Watch the video below to learn more about temp jobs.

Why work a temp job?

While they're not permanent, temp jobs can still offer several benefits. Like any job, they're a source of income and can be used to gain experience or skills. They can be a great stepping stone for entering a new line of work or continuing in a field you've previously worked in. Some people will work them while they're in between jobs to prevent gaps in their employment history and to continue building experience.

Temp jobs are often fairly short, lasting anywhere from several days to several weeks. However, some longer-term temp jobs can last up to several months. The length varies depending on the type of work, but you can usually determine the assignment's length by talking with the temp agency offering the work.

It's also a possibility that your temp job could lead to a permanent job, although it's not guaranteed. But if you put a lot of effort into a job and make a good impression, there's a chance the company may take notice of your value and decide they'd like to keep you on for a permanent position.


While temp jobs do have some benefits, there are also some possible negatives that can come along with them. As evidenced by their name, temp jobs are usually fairly short, and you don't have any influence over their length. So even if you enjoy the work you're doing and the people you work with, when the job's over, the job's over. It's simply not as stable as permanent employment.

Depending on the workplace, you may also feel isolated or disconnected from other permanent employees and the business as a whole. In some temp jobs, you may feel like a bit of an outsider. You may be treated differently by some of the permanent employees, or your work area may be farther away from some of the other staff. This may not always be the case, but it is something that several temp workers experience.

In addition to feeling socially removed, most temp jobs and agencies don't offer the benefits or perks that you might normally receive as a permanent employee. This includes things like insurance, retirement, and certain employee privileges.

We hope this gives you a better idea of what temp jobs are and whether they're right for you. If you're interested in learning more about other employment alternatives, we recommend looking into freelancing and the sharing economy.