The Benefits of Getting a Temporary Job After Your Military Transition

Military Transition

It can be challenging to find a job.  It can be even tougher straight out of military.  A friend of mine recently asked, “It seems unfair.  How do I get the experience needed to apply for a job, when no one will hire me without experience?”

You may need to consider what many guardsmen and reservist have known for years! Between active duty stints and going to school, many of these young warriors are resourcefully finding solutions to this challenge through the use of a temporary agency.  As you transition from the service, do not exclude the idea of finding a temporary position while looking for the right permanent job.  Here are a few reasons you may want to visit a temporary agency during your military transition.

1. Get to work quickly.

Good news. A temp agency is paid by filling positions. You will have someone assisting your post military job search the moment you walk through the door.  If you are willing to accept the job and the pay, you can go to work quickly.  Keep in mind, if you are not satisfied, you can find another temporary position and agency if needed.

2. Stay busy.

A temporary job will get you out of the house and provide activity; both leading to a sense of hope during your transition. Most would agree that “A” job is better than “No” job as it improves the psyche and is far better than sitting at home trying to figure out how to make ends meet on a tight budget.

3. Grow your network.

You gain exposure to job seekers, supervisors and other employees. This will increase your personal network outside the military. Talk to these folks about their experiences.  You may gain valuable information and contacts from the knowledge they provide. This knowledge may potentially enable you to set your sites on other positions inside and out of the organization. Remember, your military friends are great, but most will not have the contacts to help you find a commercial position.

4. Try Out a New field

You will learn new job skills, increase your personal capabilities and enhance your resume. This is a great way to boost your knowledge, skills and attributes while gaining commercial job exposure if you are not quite sure where you want to work after your military experience.

5. Do market research.

As a transitioning service member, temping allows you to learn more about commercial companies and what you like and do not like in work environments. It gives you time to figuring out your post military direction, enabling your next career move.

6. Land a permanent job with the same company.

Temporary jobs often become permanent jobs. As a service member, you know how to get the job done and work hard when the situation dictates.  Taking the temporary job may land you a permanent position with the company.

7. Size up the commercial sector competition.

Getting to work quickly will enable you to size up the competition. You will meet folks that are struggling, employees that are doing well and others that are facing similar challenges to your own. Talk to everyone and learn what they have going on in their lives. This will increase your knowledge of the commercial market and how to survive your military transition.

On the downside, there are often minimal benefits with a temporary position.  There is no commitment by the temp agency or hiring organization. Remember, the temp agency is concerned about follow on business with the hiring organization, while the hiring organization is using a “try, before they buy” approach with their temporary employees.  With the right perspective, these dynamics may work to your advantage.

Think positively. You are not alone.  Most veterans experience challenges and employment problems during their transition from the military.  Like the millions of veterans that have already walked this path, you will find the right job.  But while you are looking, don’t rule out temporary work.  It could provide a path to a permanent and lucrative future position.

Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at Gr8Transitions4U.com.