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The pros and cons of temping

There are many reasons why people choose to work on a temporary basis; most simply like the flexibility it offers and the exposure it gives to lots of roles and industries. Others are forced into a temporary role when a permanent position isn’t available or they find themselves unemployed but need a salary and don’t want to explain any gaps on their CVs. However, whatever the reason, you will certainly find the world of temping is extremely diverse and can help you develop invaluable skills for the future.

For the businesses who hire a temp they offer a valuable and indispensable service on an often short-term basis. It is an ideal solution to hiring challenges such as sickness, maternity leave, increased short-term workload and even allows them to ‘try before they buy’ when looking to recruit for a permanent role.

So it certainly can work well for both temps and employers, however when deciding if temping is the best route for you, you need to consider the pros and the cons.

So what are the pros and cons of temping?


  • It offers flexibility - temping allows you to pick when you work. Obviously you have to be upfront with your agency but you will be able to stipulate full-time, part-time, short-term or long-term projects. It is ideal if trying to fit in around childcare or caring for an elderly relative.

  • It allows you to develop skills - each placement will be a unique and will require different skills. You will be able to expand and improve you skills which will enhance your CV. 

  • It offers exposure - you will experience many different businesses, environments and cultures and this will offer invaluable insight into where you work best and where you might choose if you want a permanent role. Plus, it looks good on your CV. 

  • You can make contacts - working at lots of different places offers you the opportunity to make contacts that can help in the future. Never mind the contacts you make at your temping agency; who will really get to know you and your strengths with every placement.

  • It could lead to a permanent role - temping allows both you and the employer to ‘audition’ each other. It is a far safer and less stressful way to see if you like a role and a company.

  • The pay - when temping, you can earn more than the basic salary offered if a permanent role and what’s more, the taxes are significantly reduced. 


  • Job and financial insecurity - with the flexibility of choosing when you work comes the negative of not knowing where or when your next assignment will come from or how long your existing one will last. You cannot rely on having a steady income.Benefits - as a temp your statutory rights will obviously be covered; however there will be no extras such as health, medical or dental cover or pension contributions.

  • It’s certainly true that temping is not for everyone and like everything there are certain advantages and disadvantages. However, for some people, temping is the perfect solution to their career and/or financial needs.