How to Use Interim IT Jobs to Change Careers

Emplois provisoires en TI

If you're looking to change direction in your technology career, it's likely for at least one of these reasons: You need a new challenge, you face lack of advancement potential or you're unhappy with your rate of pay.

No, we're not omniscient. We're just betting that you're like many of the technology professionals who took part in a Robert Half Technology survey and cited those three reasons as their top motivations for looking for a new job.

Changing careers can be a daunting prospect no matter how confident you are that it's the right time to make your move. And given the different niches in IT, you know that taking a new direction in tech will likely require you to gain additional skills, earn new certifications and work to build up your experience in the new area.

One good way to do all of the above and more is by working interim IT jobs. Here's why:

You can explore your options

Interim IT jobs provide the opportunity to experience working for a variety of companies and industries – something you can't do when tied to a full-time position with one employer. Through interim IT jobs, you can also pursue different specialty areas that may eventually lead you to a new full-time path.

For example, maybe you've been working in network security for years but would now like to focus on building expertise in data security. (A data security analyst must know how to do a much deeper dive on data security issues, such as researching breaches or creating security policies for the organization.) Or maybe you'd like to apply your knowledge of relational database languages and applications to data analysis projects instead of database administration.

You can build in-demand skills

With interim IT jobs, you can acquire new skills and hone current ones as you work on a temporary or project basis. You also can enhance your knowledge and earn certifications through training opportunities your staffing agency may offer.

Keeping your skills up-to-date is essential if you work in technology. As we all know, what was hot yesterday may not be desirable today or tomorrow. Some of the most in-demand tech skills today relate to virtualization technology, Citrix product line experience and LAMP stack development experience. By working in interim IT jobs that give you the opportunity to develop specialized skills like these, you could end up having your pick of technology jobs.

You could land a new full-time position

While you may already have one foot out the door in your current position, an interim IT job could help you get a foot in the door with another. Employers often hedge their bets and hire IT professionals on an interim basis, understanding that an extension to ongoing or full-time positions may be available if the candidate is a good fit.

It's an ideal situation for both parties involved. Employers can observe your skills, performance and personality first-hand and decide if you're a good match for the job and the organization. Likewise, you can decide if the role and the company are right for you.