Temporary relief

Despite the lack of perks, temporary jobs are gaining credence as they are an easy way to supplement income and offer flexible work hours.

Chandralekha Mukerji        Print Edition: September 2010

Apart from his regular salary as a copywriter, 32-year-old Ankur Suman also makes good money from his part-time profession as a voice artist. Having undertaken about 40 projects in the past three years, Suman admits it is an excellent way to add to the monthly income.

For Garima Sehgal, a freelance lecturer, it was flexibility at work that made her quit a permanent job as general manager in a multinational firm. "A full-time job left me with no time to focus on other aspects of my life, which were equally, if not more, important for me," says Sehgal. Temporary jobs are no longer synonymous with clerical tasks at the bottom of the professional ladder.

The size of the organised market is estimated at about 3.5 lakh temporary jobs across India, not counting the large unorganised sector. Fresh avenues are being added every day, with several professional assignments also being outsourced to the temporary workforce. "A temp role has graduated to being an acceptable means of supplementing income, gaining additional experience and having flexibility during or after work hours," says Sangeeta Lala, vice-president (sourcing), Team Lease Staffing Services.

This is the reason that despite the absence of traditional benefits and perks of a permanent job, a large number of people are opting for such profiles. "The entire gamut of benefits needs to be viewed as flexibility and opportunity, which, in future, may translate to permanent employability," adds Lala.
According to an industry analysis, most of the temporary opportunities are in the sales and servicing sections of telecom and manufacturing industries.

Though temping is growing fast, it can be difficult to find the right earning opportunities that match your skills, suit your availability and pay decently. We profile some options that offer the perfect fit between your requirements and those of the job. Break the Routine If you detest the rigid work structure or are on a sabbatical, consider freelancing and contractual jobs. The best part about freelancing is that you are your own boss. You decide when and where to work and, yet, can earn well. There are
many flexi options to choose from.

Registering with staffing firms or Websites such as freelanceindia. com, guru.com and plugintoprojects. afaqs.com is a good place to start. Though there are hundreds of choices, here are some preferred ones. Public relations (PR) executive: Communication skills and media contacts are essential for the job. Those who want to freelance should be able to write press releases, coordinate with journalists, arrange press conferences and promote the firm/events.

The minimum compensation for such projects is Rs 10,000 and can go up to Rs 50,000. Business development associate: Marketing and sales professionals can freelance as business development executives. The profile includes getting new business and doing other promotional work. Freelance executives usually meet clients, gather the required information and help in generating revenue. The budgets range from Rs 10,000-25,000 for such work.

Event manager: Experienced people with the ability to organise and coordinate stage shows, sporting and promotional events, exhibitions, etc, can freelance as event managers. Regional projects usually pay Rs 25,000, but the pan-India ones fetch over Rs 50,000.

Guest lecturer: Professionals, especially from the media, management and financial industries, can work as guest lecturers for private institutes. The schedules and payments vary for different organisations. One can earn up to Rs 1,400 per lecture, depending on the institute. There are similar opportunities for soft skill trainers, which include language classes, personality development courses, etc.

Content writer: Professionals with work experience in complementary fields can freelance as content or copywriters for Websites, publishers and advertisement agencies.

The minimum compensation for such projects is Rs 10,000. Besides writing skills and general awareness, the ability to deliver even on a short notice is important as deadlines are sacrosanct. After Office Hours One of the fundamental rules of personal finance is to spend less than you earn. You can do this either by cutting down your expenses or supplementing your earnings. The latter may seem difficult to people with regular jobs. On the contrary, a suitable part-time profile can be extremely rewarding. It could be as simple as tapping a hobby, passion or a skill you learnt a long time ago.

Voice artist: A good command over language, clear diction and voice modulation skills are all you need to be a voice artist. Radio spots, prerecorded mobile ads, ad films and documentaries need voice-overs in various languages, so there are ample opportunities. The initial projects may offer nominal payments, but once you have a decent portfolio, you can expect Rs 10,000-15,000 per assignment. Record voice samples and distribute the CDs at recording studios. Social networking sites and Web portals, such as voiceartistes.com and voices.com, can also help you get a kickstart.

Translator: Those who are multilingual have a good chance to earn a handsome compensation as translators. Many marketing and research companies, ad agencies and government units regularly need translators in various languages and pay per assignment. The earnings depend on how uncommon the language is and the size of the assignment. For regular languages, such as English and Hindi, you can expect around Rs 2 per word, whereas the translation of foreign languages or other atypical ones can fetch up to Rs 5 per word. In case of the latter, even a small assignment of 500 words can get Rs 1,000-2,500. Other than the popular job portals, register with sites solely dedicated to translation jobs, such as langjobs.com and translatorsbase.com, to get the best projects.

Transcriptionist: The most common transcription jobs are in the fields of medicine, law, business and academics. Thus, one needs training to understand convention and jargon in each before taking up assignments. The training can be provided either by the employer or centres that offer certificate courses. The compensation is based on the number of lines you transcribe and the rates vary from Rs 1.50-2 per line. There is also a turnaround-time associated with each assignment. As most projects come from American firms, familiarity with their local accents is also required. Other than the ITeS firms and job portals, the sites that can get you such projects include transcriptionprojects. com and bpojobsathome. com.

Online tutor: If you have a post graduate degree, can teach and have access to the Internet, it can be a paying combination. There are many opportunities waiting for you as an online tutor. All you have to do is log on to the Website and get yourself registered. Since these services are mainly for overseas students, the prime timings are 6 p.m.-9 a.m.  On an average, you can get Rs 500 per assignment. Some such sites include transwebt u t o r s . c o m , tutor2help.com and tutorialschool.com For Freshers Students may not readily attract employment for want of degree and experience, but there are options enough to replenish their pocket money. Consider the following choices to fund your expenses.

Event-based activities: "With regular classes to attend, a permanent job is not for me, but I can always take up a small task over the weekend," says Amrita Mukherjee, a student of Delhi University. Promotional activities are not only convenient for regular students but also pay well, with the compensation of Rs 800-1,000 per day. These tasks are eventbased, so you can approach event management companies to get assignments on a regular basis.

Paid intern: This temporary profile will not only supplement your finances, but also boost your curriculum vitae. Almost all big organisations take interns, where you get trained as well as paid. The stipend may vary, but on an average, it ranges from Rs 5,000-10,000. Also try interning at a place were you would like to get absorbed in the future as it is not uncommon for companies to convert temporary positions into permanent ones.

BPO agent: Apart from the notorious graveyard shifts, there are some well-paying part-time opportunities in this sector. A 4-5-hour shift can get you Rs 4,000-6,000 a month and there are vacancies for weekend workers as well. Also, most companies provide incentives, meals and transportation. Register yourself with job portals and you will be flooded with offers from recruiters. Be choosy and hit upon the best deal.

According to Team Lease's Annual Temp Salary Primer (2010), India's temporary job market is expected to see an 18% rise in hiring this year. "Going by global standards, where 5% of the workforce of a country comprises temps, India has the potential of adding nearly two crore temporary workers over the next five to seven years. For this to happen, contract labour laws will have to be overhauled and the market will need more skilled resources.

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