Getting a foot in the door with temping

Textile image from

 Notes from the Taking the Plunge Seminar with ARLIS.

Temping and contract work can be an
excellent route into the labour market. This is something we tell a lot of our
candidates, and it was great to hear the message being reinforced independently by a fellow
speaker at the ARLIS Taking the Plunge seminar at the National Gallery earlier
this summer.

Amy Robinson is Project Manager for the Zandra
Rhodes Digital Study Collection
project. This project is a JISC-funded collaboration
between the University of the Creative Arts and the Zandra Rhodes Studio to
provide unique open online access to images of 500 of the designer’s most
iconic and landmark costumes.

Amy has been engaged on a number of temporary
contracts, and is well-placed to talk about the benefits of this kind of project
work. In her own words, temporary work
can be a fantastic way of getting your foot in the door of organisations that
interest you. If you are up for the challenge, temporary contracts can give you
a great opportunity to self-teach, and to make your mark within a fixed period
of time, particularly in smaller organisations where your work can have a
significant impact. You will quickly
develop resilience and the ability to think quickly and out of the box. And
once you start to learn new skills and develop new competencies, you may find yourself
involved in unexpected, but even more interesting things – as Amy says of her
own work “It’s librarianship Jim, but not as we know it”.

Temping and contract work can be a
particularly useful route for new graduates, and career changers. It can help
make your CV stand out with additional ‘real life’ work experience, and develop
your transferable skills. While the majority of temporary and fixed term contracts are exactly that and finish at the end of the project, of course we are always delighted to see when
they prove to be an effective stepping stone to longer-term or
even permanent employment for our candidates.

If you thrive on environments that expect
you hit the ground running, to learn quickly, and to have an adaptable and a flexible approach to work,
why not take the plunge, and try temping?

– Donald Lickley

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