Should You Get a Temporary or Permanent Job?
If you’re looking for employment as a nurse, personal support worker or patient attendant, you’ve likely come across a mixture of temporary and permanent positions. Which one is right for you? To help you focus your job search, let’s look at the differences – and an alternative you may not know about.
Temporary jobs have a pre-determined end date or endpoint. They can be very short – just a few hours or days – or they can last for weeks or months. Although temporary work tends to offer lower pay, fewer benefits and less training than permanent positions, it’s also more flexible and varied. This suits many job seekers’ needs, availability and career goals. Temporary work also offers opportunities to learn new skills, work in different settings and gain experience in a field that interests you.
Temporary workers represent a small proportion of the overall workforce, but they’ve grown at a faster rate than permanent workers over the past two decades, according to data from Statistics Canada. In the past, temp work carried a stigma, but no longer – the rise of freelancing, consulting and the gig economy has vastly changed people’s attitudes towards temporary employment.
Permanent jobs have no specified end date. Compared to temp jobs, they tend to pay better and have more benefits, as well as provide greater stability and a predictable salary. Many people choose permanent work because they prefer having a regular schedule, and they find it appealing to work in one place as part of a consistent team. As permanent employees, they have the opportunity to make their mark and build a career. Most of Canada’s workers are permanently employed.
In addition to choosing between temporary and permanent positions, consider how many hours you want to work. Not everyone wants a full-time job – many people prefer part-time or casual work because it offers greater flexibility.
The staffing agency advantage
If you find the benefits of temporary and permanent work appealing, consider a hybrid solution: working with a health care staffing agency. For many nurses and personal support workers, this option offers the best of both worlds: you can choose when and where you work, while also enjoying the stability and employee benefits of a permanent job.
Flexibility is one of the key reasons that nurses, PSWs and other health care workers choose to work with a staffing agency. Some people simply prefer to set their own hours; for others, the ability to design their own schedule is essential for meeting other important responsibilities, such as parenting, family caregiving, school or another job.
Other benefits of agency work may include:
- Variety of work settings
- One point of contact for all your assignments
- Competitive compensation
- Opportunities for students, grads and newcomers
- Meeting new colleagues
- Supportive agency staff
- Opportunities for guaranteed hours
- Benefits for part-time employees