So you’re looking for a permanent job. Temping may not be your plan A, but it could be the back-door entrance to the job you are seeking. According to the American Staffing Association, 72 percent of flexible workers are offered permanent positions by the companies they temp for—those are pretty good prospects!

Many job seekers see temping in a negative light, but the truth is, many companies have adopted temp-to-hire HR practices to ensure they make the best permanent hire. It’s that “try before you buy” philosophy and it makes good business sense. It’s important that job seekers understand this because it yields a broader spectrum of career opportunities with its own set of advantages to you.

Try out a position
As a flexible worker, you have the opportunity to try out a job or a company before making a long-term commitment. This discovery process can bring real clarification to your career choices which are harder to alter once you’ve accepted a permanent position.

Make valuable contacts
Once you are on the inside, you will have the opportunity to build relationships with industry professionals that can be beneficial to your career. The networking capabilities are tremendous, and may just give you the backing you need to gain an advantage over competing candidates when a permanent position becomes available. And, if you decide to move on, these individuals can serve as great references.

Shine the spotlight on your skills
As a temp, you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate your skills, work ethic and value to an employer of interest. With some diligence and hard work on your part, you will put yourself in a favorable position with the hiring manager once a permanent decision is ready to be made.

Learn while you earn
No doubt, the coolest part of a flexible work assignment is the opportunity to learn new skills you can put on your resume—and you get paid to do it! Take advantage of this opportunity, especially if you lack experience in a particular area. Volunteer for tasks and projects that will give you the skills and qualifications you need to step into the permanent position you want!

If you are having trouble getting through the front door of a company, start looking for flexible work alternatives. It could be the key that unlocks the door to a golden career opportunity!