Every business day, almost 3 million Americans go out on short-term work assignments as temporary employees. Few, however, make it the rewarding experience it can be, for both themselves and their employers. Here are some tips to do just that:
If you are temping with the hope of learning about various companies and industries, you need to be flexible when considering assignments. Don’t turn down an assignment unless you’re absolutely convinced it will be a poor fit.
Did you seek temporary work so you’d have one or two days a week to pursue the type of job you’d really like to have? If so, don’t fall into the trap of accepting assignments five days a week. On the other hand, if you need the money to pay the bills, be sure to set aside enough days or hours during the week to earn the cash you need.
Once you’re in your temporary workplace, do more than what’s expected of you. Simply being competent and completing the work you’re assigned isn’t enough to get you noticed in many companies. If you show enthusiasm and do more than you’re required to, you’ll gain respect and get the chance to do more than just answer phones.
This is especially important if you’re using temping as a stepping stone to bigger and better, such as a direct employment with the company. The more you can sense what’s going on in the company and why, through simple, casual conversations with your coworkers, the more opportunities you’ll likely spot. And, you will increase your chances of knowing who to approach about those opportunities. If you find out about a specific opening you are interested in and qualified for, your Staffing Agent at a.e.s. can be a tremendous help to you. Make sure to inform a.e.s. about any open positions at an assignment.
You’ll sometimes find yourself with little or no real work to do in temporary assignments. Don’t cure your boredom by reading a magazine or surfing the Web. Instead, ask your supervisor or others in the company if there’s anything you can help them with, especially if doing so will give you a chance to learn a new software program or participate in an important project.
Your supervisor may have a copy of your resume, but it’s likely he or she hasn’t had the time or the inclination to look at it. Take a moment to write up a brief (half-page) memo describing the types of things you can do for the company. Often, your supervisor will be pleasantly surprised to discover that you can take on unexpected tasks and assignments.
The short-term embarrassment you might suffer by asking what you perceive to be dumb questions won’t compare to the embarrassment you’ll experience if you unsuccessfully complete an assignment that your supervisor thought you understood.
You never know when your supervisor or someone else at the company is going to approach you about a full-time position. After all, as a successful temp, you’ll be a “proven” employee. Just be sure to remove your contact information, as you are not allowed to give this out to clients. You can also refer them to a.e.s. We will be happy to provide them with a copy of your resume.
If you do good work for the company and spend some time getting to know your coworkers, someone will likely ask you, “So what kind of job are you really looking for?” You need to be ready to respond with a 15-second “advertisement” so the person quickly understands what you want and what you might be able to contribute.
It can be very difficult to hold your head high, especially when half of your coworkers refer to you as “the temp” instead of calling you by your first name. But with a good attitude and a little grace under pressure, you’ll earn the respect of your coworkers and bosses, have a good overall experience, and possibly land a direct employment.
Remember, it’s up to you!
We look forward to working with you on your new assignment. Please read the following guidelines carefully, since they are important for a positive experience.
Feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions. Thank you for the effort you will be putting into this new assignment!