Career Advice Career Guidance and Counselling

Turn of the temps

More businesses in Hong Kong are turning to contract and temporary workers, as they allow employers to fill a short-term staffing need or provide assistance for special projects without the commitment of a permanent hire. But does this surge in temporary contracts represent a win-win situation for both employers and candidates?

From a candidate's perspective, temporary assignments provide opportunities that can broaden their expertise, expose them to new industries and diversify their skills and experience, which will make them more attractive and employable in the future.

They can also make valuable new contacts while on assignment, and often improve their work-life balance through the flexibility of their working arrangements. Perhaps that's why more candidates are gaining confidence and acceptance of temporary roles, aided no doubt by the higher compensation packages they can offer.

But being successful and productive at your job requires more than just participation - it demands being proactive about your own performance. How you are doing your job is just as important as what you are doing.

So on assignment, make sure you are professional at all times. The levels expected of temporary workers and contractors are often higher than those of full-time colleagues. You are expected to hit the ground running and learn quickly.

But that doesn't mean you can't ask questions. Yes, temporary workers are hired for their experience and skills, but you are allowed to ask questions if you are not certain about a particular task.

Marc Burrage, regional director of Hays in Hong Kong