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How Temp Work Can Help Maximize Your Work/Life Balance

Do you want to spend more time with loved ones? Are you looking for an chance to catch up on a daunting to-do list? Or do you simply want to get more time off to enjoy hobbies? You are not the only one.

In 2014, Harvard Business Review referred to work/life balance as “at best an elusive ideal and at worst a complete myth” but there is one group in the workforce that has found balance in perhaps an unexpected source: temp work.

Some may think of temp work strictly as a wayside on the road to permanent employment, something to do in between “real” jobs, unpredictable or unstable. But a large number of workers today are actively seeking out temp jobs instead of full-time jobs because of the flexibility they offer. You may be on your own for benefits, but before you dismiss temp work as a viable option, consider these ways temp work can help maximize your work/life balance.

Think temp

Taking on a temporary job was once simply a way to earn money when a person found themselves in between a “real” job, but not anymore. Temporary work helps balance the scales between personal and professional lives. And it may work for you, too. Temporary employment is a great alternative to a full-time job, especially for those who enjoy flexibility and variety. It’s also one of the best ways to get your foot in the door with top companies.

The benefits of temporary employment go beyond granting the freedom of time to explore other passions and responsibilities. Namely, temporary work allows employees to gain practical work experience, either in their chosen industry or a different field. As a temp, employees can view the industry  from the inside instead of simply reading or talking about it, or learning about it in school. Temp work allows the opportunity to find out exactly which career path to take to get to a final career destination.

Temporary positions also allow workers to get a glimpse of different companies and organizations, and see firsthand how they function. It’s like auditioning different organizational styles to see what fits. Why wouldn’t you want to try your eventual career on for size?

Pick your schedule

Most full-time jobs come with standard office hours. Even companies with flexible work arrangements or telecommuting options usually expect you to be available during core working hours. That can make juggling family or personal commitments difficult.

With temp work, you decide which assignments you’ll take on, choosing only those that work with your schedule. Do you need your afternoons free for school pickups or want to have the gym to yourself after the nine-to-fivers head to the office? Temp work allows you to do that.

Unlimited vacation time

With temp work, you choose when you need a break. You can take summers off even if you’re not a teacher. You can take more time off during the holidays or spend a month backpacking across Europe when the mood strikes. You’ll never have to worry about running out of vacation days because you choose how much – or how little – you work.

Overtime on your timeline

When you want to earn extra money for a vacation or big purchase, you can decide to work more to make extra money. Salary caps and overtime restrictions don’t affect you. Pick up extra hours if and when you like.

Temp jobs rarely require overtime, but if you are asked to stay late, getting paid hourly means you’ll be paid extra for it.

You can “switch off”

Anyone with a stressful or demanding job has experienced the feeling of not being able to “switch off” job stress once they get home. That job stress often has a detrimental effect on personal relationships, sleep, and general health and wellness.

Temp jobs rarely come with that level of stress. The work may occasionally be mundane, but you can do your job well and go home. Your career and sense of personal worth aren’t tied up in one career, one employer, or one boss.

You won’t lose out on career continuity

Working parents who attempt to reenter the workforce after taking a few years off to raise children often find themselves victims of the “motherhood penalty.” Just one to two years out of the workforce can result in a 14% decrease in pay. At three years, that penalty could be as high as 46%.

Temp work allows working parents to stay in the workforce, stay up to date on new technology and industry developments, and continue expanding professional networks. The best part? If you choose to look for full-time work down the road, temp work can help you get your foot in the door with a great employer.


Temporary work could become permanent. If you like your temporary role, and the organization you’re working for likes having you in that roll, the transition to a full-time position can be seamless.

With an impressive work ethic and charming personality, you can make yourself indispensable. To reach that status, you must treat every day like an audition and put your best foot forward. Arrive early, take on additional responsibility and fulfill the goals of your roll to the betterment of the company. Grab the attention of your employer and the opportunity for a permanent role will likely present itself.

For more career advice, check out our job search resources!

To learn more about temporary employment, or to discuss the exciting job opportunities we offer that satisfy your schedule and your lifestyle, please contact Accounting Principals today.


Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.