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How a Temporary Job Can Turn into a Permanent Career: Stories From Cambridgeshire County Council’s Business Systems Team

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Whilst there’s no doubt that temporary work is great for flexibility, short term solutions and seasonal employment, its true potential is often overlooked. Despite its name, temporary work can be an effective route into permanent employment and an excellent way to gain experience in a new field to help support future applications.

At Opus many of our temporary workers are offered a permanent position, with candidates moving on to begin successful careers in local government.

In this article we hear from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Business Systems team where several current permanent employees started their career as temporary workers through Opus. Here they share more about their reasons for choosing temporary work, what it’s like to work at the council and any advice they would give to someone considering a temporary job.



Sarah, Senior Support Officer


Why did you choose to do temporary work?

Prior to this role I was working part-time four nights a week as a Catering Supervisor and needed to start daytime working to accommodate my child. I knew temp work was the way to go and that it could lead to permanent opportunities.


What was your temporary role and what did it involve?

I started as a Business Support Officer- resolving errors within certain systems used within all council areas. I worked temp for around eight weeks before being offered a permanent position and have since progressed to the role of Senior Support Officer.


What do you like about working at Cambridgeshire County Council?

I feel valued by my manager and the management team, the benefits are good such as salary, hours, incredible flexibility, and working from home.


What advice would you give to someone looking for temporary work in local government?

Go for it, take a chance - if you do a great job and prove yourself then temp work can go permanent quickly. Temp work also gives you the freedom to try other areas of local government if you wish.



Business Systems Support Officer


Why did you choose to do temporary work in local government?

I was recommended to join by a friend I had worked with in a previous job as they had such a great experience working in the team. Joining via Opus was an easy pain-free process. The role, although temporary, was also a higher salary than I had at the time. I was drawn to the fact that by working at the council I was supporting a wider service that made a difference in the local area.


How did you find the transition from temporary to permanent?

Smooth and hassle-free! My temporary role was as a Business Systems Support Officer, it involved supporting the smooth running of the main ERP system used by the council. I was offered a permanent position after 13 weeks and it’s now my permanent role!


What were your initial impressions around working in local government and did these change once you started the role?

My initial impressions about local government before working there was that it would be fairly stuffy and old-fashioned, very much stuck in the past process-wise. I’ve found it’s completely the opposite. We are constantly looking at ways to improve processes and have a very modern approach to ways of working.


What are the best things about working for Cambridgeshire County Council?

The flexibility to work from home is a big benefit for me and we have a lovely brand new building for when we are in the office (with a fantastic coffee shop downstairs - priorities). Colleagues are really friendly and helpful. When interacting with upper management they are always very approachable and there are no “Us and them” barriers. The flexibility around working hours and the work/life balance is a very important factor for me and I feel like the balance I have working for the council is very good.




Curtis, Business Systems Support Officer


Why did you choose to do temporary work?

I previously worked as a hospitality supervisor in a pub and restaurant. I heard about Opus and opportunities in the council through someone I had previously worked with. I liked that it gave me the opportunity to gain experience in a new role and have a taste of what the role is like.


What motivated you to work in local government?

I believe the council is a great place to develop my professional career and have many opportunities to network further. I like to challenge myself with problem solving and this is the perfect place to do so whilst also working amongst a great team.


Is there anything you’ve learnt since working at the council that surprised you?

I was unaware before of just how many different systems are involved in local government, it is very interesting to learn how each team works with others.


What advice would you give to someone looking for temporary work in local government?

I would recommend it highly as it gives anyone an opportunity to learn and develop in a positive and friendly environment, with perfect opportunities to network and progress further.




Interested in temporary work? Opus manage temporary recruitment on behalf of numerous councils. To find out more about the councils w work with and opportunities available, take a look at our Featured Employers.
View the latest temporary jobs at Cambridgeshire County Council here.