Candidate Resources, Q&A

Q&A with Kolt Free: How to Turn your Temp Job Into a Career

If you’re seeking a permanent job and think a temp role will derail your future goals, think again! Today we’re sitting down with Kolt Free from our Temp Division who is going to tell us how temping can actually be a great way to make a splash by jumping into a new role that can be leveraged into a career. He knows this is possible because he did it himself! Not just any temp job will have the long-term potential you may be seeking, we totally get that! However, keeping an open mind and leveraging your temp opportunity and making it work for you, can help elevate your short term experience into a long-term career. By beginning as a temp, Kolt was able to proactively position himself for a permanent role with us here at Clarity and navigate a temp-to-perm conversion ーhence making that temp work really work. Let us allow his experience to speak for itself. Read on to hear how Kolt rode the wave of a temp job all the way to shore, and how making an initial splash helped him build his career.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Communications Team: Where are you from originally, and how did you end up in New York City?

Kolt: I’m from Knoxville, TN ー born and raised. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, I took on a 6 month contract role while my partner completed graduate school and then we moved to NYC together for a position he had accepted. Moving to NYC was a big change, but one we were both excited about!

Communications Team: How did you begin your career in recruiting? What drew you into this profession?

Kolt: To be completely honest, I didn’t really know what recruiting was before I moved to New York!  I came to Clarity as a referral candidate looking to pick up temporary work while I continued my long-term search. After working a few temporary assignments at various companies, I was fortunate enough to be invited in-house for an office coordinator maternity leave coverage position. Once I began working at Clarity I learned a lot about recruiting ー even from simply sitting at the front desk! ー and thought it could be a great career option considering my personal drivers and the skills I brought to the table. I love meeting and learning from new people, have a passion for helping others, and love a fast-paced environment where problem solving is the name of the game. With this in mind, I continued to prove my value through hard work. While we can’t always get what we want in life, I know it can also be really hard to get what you want if you don’t ask for it. I knew my next step was to just go for it, so I proactively asked our CEO, who I had developed a great rapport with during my assignments, to give me a chance on the team. Turns out the timing was right, the feeling was mutual, and the rest is history!

Communications Team: We heard you went “temp-to-perm”… can you explain to our readers more about how that works and how it can be a beneficial option for job seekers?

Kolt: Totally! As I mentioned, I didn’t fully understand what recruiting was until starting as a temp office coordinator at Clarity. When our CEO gave me the opportunity to move into the recruiting space and take on a role internally, it started on a temporary basis with the potential to go perm if it ended up being the right fit for me professionally and for the business. I have a background in the arts and non-profit space, so it was nice to be given the chance to transition industries which might not have been offered to me if it was a direct-hire opportunity. I transitioned from Office Coordinator to Recruiting Coordinator/Sourcer on a temporary basis while I went through training and learned the ropes of recruiting. Since it was temporary to start, it really helped give me the drive to prove myself and my skills while maintaining freedom to decide if the position was a good fit and I enjoyed the day-to-day. Luckily, both parties felt I was headed in the right direction and I was brought on permanently a few short months later. One, among many, of the beneficial aspects I wasn’t expecting to take away from the temp-to-perm process is how it has enabled me relate to job seekers. Whether my candidates are looking for a new career or industry transition, my personal employment story comes in handy while counseling people on their next step, even when they’re uncertain as to what it should be. I love being able to advocate for Clarity’s process and to be able to really exemplify that it works!

Communications Team: Outside of recruiting, what do you love most about NYC?

Kolt: I love the energy in the city and the endless list of options no matter what you’re looking to do! When I first moved up here it felt like I was on a long vacation, and even three years later it still feels that way some days! Getting to see Broadway shows whenever I want or just have a picnic with friends in Central Park still feels magical (even on the days when the MTA decides you don’t really need to get to work on time…).

Communications Team: Our team can always count on you for a great broadway recommendation ー what is on your summer hit list?

Kolt: Oh, great question! With the Tony Awards having just told us the best of the best for the season I’d have to suggest Once On This Island & The Band’s Visit both break away from the mainstream “Broadway Blockbusters” and pull at your heartstrings.

Communications Team: Last but not least, what is the best piece of advice you ever received while job searching?

Kolt: Don’t be afraid to try out something brand new and ride the wave! Recruitment was a big step away from my comfort zone, and so was moving to NYC, but I was lucky enough to have a support system telling me to give it a try and put my all into it because of that I was able to find a great career doing something I’ve become incredibly passionate about!

Communications Team: Thanks, Kolt!

Feel free to email Kolt directly if you are looking for a new opportunity, or seeking more information about temp or temp-to-perm opportunities.

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