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Temps: How has the world of work changed for YOU, and how will your career be impacted?

By Roddy Adair, Director, Hays Personal & Executive Assistants

Temps: How has the world of work changed for YOU, and how will your career be impacted?

Organisations have had to make tough decisions since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of which have directly affected temporary staff. Whether you have had to work remotely, adapt your role or been placed on furlough leave, it’s natural to be curious about what shifts are happening in our world of work and how this impacts your career.

Based on recent findings from the Hays Market Outlook report, here’s what you need to know about the world of work if you’re in the temp, contractor or interim market and how you can invest in your career here and now.

1. Opportunities are out there

Our survey showed that nearly a third (32%) of employers are still actively recruiting, so rest assured that recruitment is on the agenda for employers and opportunities are increasingly available. Many employers have looked to temporary staff to help them react to the impacts of the virus – and as things are still set to change, talent from temps and interims will continue to be very much valued.

If you are looking for new opportunities, consider highlighting some of the specialist skills which are in demand at the moment from those who are recruiting temps:

  • Operations skills (needed by 39%)
  • Managerial and leadership skills (37%)
  • Project and change management skills (29%)

Don’t forget that employers consider the whole package when hiring, so soft skills like communication, problem solving and flexibility are also worth emphasising when applying for new roles.

If you’re available to hear about work or want to line up your next contract, let us know.

2. Wellbeing matters, perhaps more than ever before

Most of us will have felt our wellbeing take a hit at some point throughout the crisis and professionals have experienced a drop in positivity across the board. Two thirds of temps alone rated their wellbeing as positive before we went into lockdown, but since lockdown only a third now give their wellbeing this rating.

While everyone’s situation will be different, this is a crucial time for us all to invest in our wellbeing in both our personal and professional lives. Here are some things to consider:

  • Spend time on yourself. Set clear boundaries between work time and leisure time to avoid burnout and try to do at least one thing each day which makes you feel happy and relaxed
  • Communicate more. Is your employer aware of your current situation and the challenges impacting your wellbeing? Do you have any concerns about transitioning back to work? Even if you have been furloughed, raise this with your manager to see how they might be able to support. If you’re self-employed and have taken furlough, your personal support network is vital. Make sure you’re communicating often with friends and family, including about your wellbeing and mental health
  • Offer support. Having a support network between colleagues is just as important as having an employer-led wellbeing programme. Stay social, maintain the relationships you had at the workplace and let your teammates know you’re there to help

You can read more about workplace wellbeing and find out what support is available to you in the Hays Wellbeing Matters report.

3. Upskilling is vital

Whether it’s experimental cooking, picking up running or trying your hand at a musical instrument, there’s no end to the ways in which we have been upskilling in our [personal lives since going into lockdown. However, professional upskilling is crucial as the world of work reacts to a changing economic environment, so if you have been afforded any extra time as a result of working remotely or being furloughed, the time to upskill is now.

Temps who have taken steps to boost their skills will come out of the crisis in the best position, so here are some ways in which you can upskill which will also benefit your career:

  • Get Excel proficient: avoid stressing over a spreadsheet ever again by brushing up on your skills using one of the most vital office programs out there. YouTube is a helpful place to start if you are looking for free online resources, but more extensive paid courses are also available
  • Listen up: you can find podcasts on virtually every topic and they’re almost always free. PlayerFM enables you to pick from podcasts on subjects such as software engineering, investing and entrepreneurship – or have a look through Feedspot’s list of career podcasts for 2020 for inspiration
  • Take an online course: Udemy, for example, offers some 100,000 courses so chances are you’ll be able to find something related to your career interests to learn about. Other ideas are Codecademy for coding courses at all levels, or Duolingo for engaging language learning

4. If you have been furloughed, use your leave productively

If you’re on furlough leave (or have just found yourself with extra time on your hands) it’s important to try to use any extra time productively, as long as your wellbeing allows it. Considering the current pace of change, the world of work might look different when you return to your assignment, so read up on our advice for using this time productively.

Along with investing in your wellbeing and professionally upskilling, now might be a good time to take stock of where you are currently in your career by plotting out a career roadmap. Ask yourself questions like:

What do I want to achieve in my current assignment?

What do I want my next role to look like?

How does my current role feed into my wider career goals and ambitions?

As your lifelong career partner, your recruitment consultant is on hand to support you throughout this time – whether you have been furloughed or not. They will be able to give you a rundown of the temporary market, talk you through your career options and offer career advice including interview coaching, CV formatting and application tips.

To get to work securing your next contract, get in touch with your Hays consultant, or for further advice and insights to help navigate the evolving world of work, visit our Inspire Me in the New Era of Work hub.

About this author

Roddy joined Hays in 1999 as a Recruitment Consultant. In 2012 he took over operational responsibility for Hays in Scotland, managing dedicated teams providing expert temporary and permanent recruitment services for a wide range of sectors and professions. From 2017, he has been the lead for Hays Personal & Executive Assistants business across the UK, providing strategic leadership to over 200 consultants.

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