Friday, January 6, 2012

Working on a Trial Basis

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply try a job, without making a long-term commitment, or just take a test run to evaluate whether the work and company culture are a good fit. If you’re intrigued by these ideas, you might be a good candidate for an alternative work arrangement like one of the following:

Contract Work
Many companies look for contract workers who have specialized skills or experience to support a specific project or increase in business. Contractors work for a specified length of time—from several months to even a year or longer. Many successful contract workers function independently, contracting for and billing their services directly to the company. Others work through a temporary (i.e., temp) agency or a staffing firm that manages placements and contract arrangement details.

Temporary Work
Temp or staffing agencies also place temp workers, typically to compensate for a short-term employee absence or to support a project or a business spike. These assignments may last from several weeks to several months, but unlike contract work, they don’t typically require specialized expertise.

Consulting is similar to independent contracting work in that a consultant usually has specialized knowledge or expertise. However, consultants are different in what and how they deliver that knowledge/expertise. A contract worker may contract to work for a set period of time performing a particular job function—for example, graphic design work. On the other hand, a consultant would more typically focus on helping a client get up to speed in a particular business methodology, process or industry standards—for example meeting new industry quality guidelines.

An internship is a great way to gain work experience while exploring a company and/or an occupation of interest. These are often geared toward college or university students in exchange for college credits. Internships are also popular among those looking to change careers or re-enter the job market.

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