The benefits of using placement agencies, temporary employment, or contract positions is often overlooked as a viable employment option, but unless you have a great job already lined up, working for an agency may be the smartest place for you to look for work. Here are the benefits to working for an agency:
- Gain valuable experience in your chosen field or in a new field that you may not have considered. If you have the skills to do the job, but you lack experience, working with an agency can help you gain that much needed experience.
- Increase your networking contacts and expand your knowledge of the many possibilities that exist in the LIS field.
- Boost your confidence and create references who can verify your ability to perform the work.
- Agencies are free to use. Employers pay the agency to find viable candidates.
- The assignment can lead to regular employment. Many employers use the temporary assignment as a way to check out or vet prospective hires before offering a regular position, and you can use it to find out about unadvertised openings.
- Some companies do all of their hiring through agencies. They bring in new staff on a contract basis, and if the person is a good fit for the job, then they hire them, or some companies may even employ you as a long-term contractor.
- It provides an opportunity to "try out" and reality test different work environments and employers.
- It can provide flexible work options. In some cases, the employer can accommodate your availability. Or, it may be a part-time job, or a full- time but short-term placement. This flexibility can give you time to attend professional development workshops, or write for a publication, for example.
- In some cases, it can provide benefits in addition to a paycheck – including paid holidays, medical and dental coverage, life insurance and a 401K plan. Be sure to inquire what benefits are offered and about whether the agency pays for them or you do.
- You have the opportunity to work in many types of industries and companies such as law firms, medical & pharmaceutical companies, investment banking, research, financial services, corporate, legal and tax departments, Library of Congress, NASA, other government agencies, corporate environments, and consulting firms.
- You have the opportunity to work in different types of positions – such as administrative, research, analyst, metadata, digital asset manager, archivist, records specialist, cataloger, library assistant, law librarian, law firm reference librarian, medical librarian, records clerk, and information specialist, just to name a few.