Friday, November 12, 2010

Temping trend? Whatever.

I just read this post about the "trend" of choosing a temp job over a full-time job. I use quotes because I don't think it's a trend at all; I think it's a necessity when people can't find full-time jobs. Because some blogger calls it a trend it is doesn't make it so.

This post contains a lot of bullshit. Of course, your worth shouldn't equal your job, and building/refining real job skills is great, if not-always-possible outcome from temping. But she totally loses me when she tries to create financial benefits from temping.

Let's start with health insurance. Even being young with a high deductible, private health insurance is expensive, way more expensive than employer-subsidized insurance. Honestly, I'm surprised that she has coverage at all -- most temp jobs don't pay enough to cover private health insurance.

And "Shoring up your finances"? Deferring your student loans isn't a benefit. Sometimes it's a necessity, but it shouldn't be anything you relish doing. You have to pay them eventually, and obviously, the longer it takes, the more interest you pay. Plus, you can defer them without temping. I've done it while temping, while working full-time and while going to school. And to be honest, a lot of those times were because I didn't care to make the sacrifices necessary to make the payments. And that's why, 13 years after I graduated college, I still have more than $13k left to pay (I took out, what?, about $15 or 17k).

Oh and by the way, that unemployment check you're talking about? Not sure why you're getting an unemployment check when you quit your job anyhow. Regardless, you have to declare any income -- even temp money -- and you're probably making enough that you will no longer get an unemployment check; at the very least, your check will be less. And yes, states DO audit these things.

All this said, I will never temp again at a company where I hope to work full-time. It's a waste as far as career development goes. While you're gathering important skills and learning to navigate that company's political environment, you're also a temp -- and people don't forget. Even if you end up with a full-time job there, you're starting from a lower rung on the payscale ladder, and your pay is always going to be lower. Your starting salary is going to be as low as possible because the company is required to pay the agency a percentage of your salary (depends on the agreement between the company and the temp agency). And don't forget: you were cheaper as a temp, even with the surcharge they pay to the agency.

In any case, I suppose this post is really about convincing herself that she made the right decision. Choosing to leave a shitty job for a decent temp job isn't a bad decision at all. Staying in a job you hate is bad for the soul.

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