Times are still tough for everyone. The economy is improving yet many are still unemployed. Companies are tight too. However, this present job situation also presents opportunities.

When the budget is tight, many companies hire temporary employees. This is because the budget for temporary and/or contract employees generally comes from a different account than full-time salaried employees. Additionally, temporary and contract employees cost a company less because they don’t have to pay benefits or payroll taxes.

As a person looking for employment, you can use a temporary position or a contract opportunity to get your foot in the door. Many companies have a lot of temporary positions open and when you fill the position, you’re already there and in place should they decide to make the position a permanent, salaried one. It’s also a great way for you to try out a company before you sign a contract with them.

You can find temporary jobs through staffing companies and temporary placement services. You may also be able to find temporary jobs in your classifieds and job want ads.

Another way companies are solving their hiring issues is to fill positions with volunteers and internships. There are paid and unpaid internships and they can be a valuable way to both earn experience and get your foot in the door at a company. Volunteer positions help you meet people within the organization and you’re often the first person to know outside of human resources when a new job is going to be posted. This gives you an advantage over other job seekers.

Hospitals are common for using volunteers to fill positions as are non-profit organizations. You can find volunteer positions and internships usually posted on the company website. If you want to be pro-active you can call the company to find out if they have any openings or needs.

Once you’re in a volunteer, temporary job, or internship, make sure that people know you’re interested in working for the company on a full-time, salaried basis. If you’re doing a good job, they may find ways to bring you on. Get creative and open yourself up to new strategies when seeking a job. You may find that a temporary, internship or volunteer position leads you to your best job ever.