Is Temporary or Contract Employment the Right Fit for Me?

3 Million people go to work each day as a temporary or contract employee!

Make a Difference Maddy is here to breakdown if this type of employment is the right fit for you!


In fact, temporary or contract employment is one of the fastest growing segments of the current job market – a trend that took root in the 2008 recession and still going strong!

Here’s what employees tell us about why they are choosing to be part of the “gig” economy…

  • The opportunity to expand their resume – new  skills and work experiences
  • An ability to check out a several employers as places to work before you tie yourself down to one job, one employer 
  • A way to earn money while in between jobs or during those times when life is changing and you need to stay “flexible”     
  • The opportunity to create a life style that is more about free time and flexibility than fixed commitments.  
  • A way to keep work exciting and challenging, always changing – never boring! 


We often get asked questions about temporary or contract work – how it works? What are the rules? We thought we’d share a few of those questions here…  

What skills, experiences, or personal qualities are needed to be good at temping?

With some exceptions, temporary work works best for employees who have already have a certain set of skills or have a level of expertise that doesn’t require a lot of on the job training. Although some employers will train, most expect you to come to work prepared to perform.

The personal qualities we find works best when it comes to temping are…

  • Initiative and resourcefulness – The ability to figure things out without a lot of help from others.
  • A “go with the flow” personality or style – An ability to keep going in the face of unknowns.
  • A positive, helpful personality. Our best temps are people who actively look to make a difference in the short time they are on assignment.
  • Reliability –  A track record of coming to work every day – on time and ready to work!

Is it easier/faster to get hired as a “temp” compared to a career job?

In most cases, yes, here are many more interim/flexible jobs being filled daily than there are employees hired into permanent roles. The selection processes employers use to “hire” a shorter term employee tend to move faster and are less exacting.

What is the difference between a temporary or contract assignment or employer?

While the temporary and contractor language can be used interchangeably, from a legal perspective they reflect  different types of employment.

A temporary job is just that – temporary employment. Legally it can start and end without notice.

Contract assignments, on the other hand, typically involve some sort of formalized agreement between the employer and the employee (or their representative) specifying things like the length of the assignment, work content, results expected, under what conditions the contract can be ended, etc.

While not a defining difference, many contract workers are self employed and file taxes as an independent business. Temporary employees, on the other hand are always W2 employees, and typically work for an agency who contracts with an employer to provide them with temporary staff.

Some agencies refer to all their temporary employees as contractors…probably a bit misleading.

How long do most temporary assignments last?

Temporary assignments start and stop “at will”. Even a contracted assignment can end without either cause or notice. While most of the temporary or contract assignments we represent are targeted to last 2-3 months, the range actually ends up varying from a few days to several years. At PACE, our recruiters will let you know what we’ve been told as the “length of an assignment” at the time you are presented with the assignment opportunity.

If I register for temporary placement with an agency, do I have to accept every assignment they offer?

No. One of the best parts of becoming a “temp” is that you get to choose when and for whom you work. In fact, when you register with PACE and we offer you an assignment, we don’t want you to accept the assignment unless you are fully committed to completing it.

What if I have to leave an assignment before it ends?

Most staffing agencies realize that things come up in a busy life that may require an employee to adjust a previous work commitment. At PACE, if we get proper notice of your intent to quit, your relationship with PACE will stay in tact and you will be eligible to be assigned elsewhere or at a later time. Ending an assignment for casual reasons, on the other hand, can become grounds for termination, and make you ineligible for future assignments.

How often am I paid while on temporary or contract assignment?

That depends on the staffing agencies pay policies. Most employees who work for PACE on temporary or contract assignments are paid weekly, every Friday. Some of our “full time” employees on assignment will be paid every other week.

If I want to go to work for the employer where I am assigned, can they hire me directly?

Yes, in fact many PACE clients look first to our temporary or contract employees when it comes time to hire. Temp-to-Hire auditions give both employees and employers a chance to check out each other before entering into a longer term employment relationship.

If I am currently collecting unemployment and I register for placement with a temporary staffing agency,  will my unemployment stop?
No, not until you actually begin work on assignment.

Can I register with several staffing agencies at the same time?

You can register with as many staffing agencies as you need to make you are working as often as you would like.

While we appreciate our temporary employees who are exclusive with us and therefore available to accept assignments as they come up, at PACE we understand there is often a need to  register with more than one agency to minimize your down time between assignments.

PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping  Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years.

A  5-time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.

For Job Seekers, PACE provides multiple placement options…

  • Direct Placement – Full or Part Time
  • Temp to Hire Auditions
  • Short or Long Term Temporary or Contract Assignments – Full or Part Time


Our services include…

  • Resume reviews and consultations
  • Skill and aptitude assessments – to help you pin point the “right job” for you
  • Insider intros to TOP Employers HIRING NOW
  • Confidential Job Searches
  • Professional Career Guidance


There is NEVER A FEE for a candidate to use our services. 

Registering is as easy as uploading your resume into our database. For more information contact our Candidate Services team at 425-637-3301 or by email at

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