Have you ever bought an expensive outfit without first trying it on? Or bought a car without test driving it? Certainly not. And yet the standard in career selection is to pour thousands of dollars into training and schooling without first trying on the anticipated career for size to make sure it is a good fit. Seems rather silly, yet this is the process that millions of students stumble through, year after year.
You will never fully understand your profession until you have experienced the reality of working 8 to 5 (or 7 to 6).
Your best opportunity for truly understanding a particular job or industry is to try it on for a day, a week, a month, or a year. How? By temping in the field. Working through a temporary staffing agency will give you the opportunity to develop real-world work experience while trying on your chosen field for size.
There are plenty of opportunities to work through temp agencies. The key is to be specific about your preference for positions within your chosen field. Be specific, yet not picky. Working at the desk next to your target position is often just as profitable as sitting behind that desk. Temping often works best over summer break, but also can be used during fall, winter, and spring break. And if you are extremely productive, you may be given the opportunity to continue part-time while classes are in session.
This is a classic win-win situation. You have the opportunity to view your chosen field from the inside. The employer has low-cost, temporary labor to fill in the gaps. And in the best of all possible worlds, you may find your future employer.